"I have seen things that I can’t deny" (Fox Mulder, X-Files)
I have tasted this Champagne at least 10 times before and I have always been thrilled with it. But it has been at least two years since I have touched it and since then a lot of water has floated into the river of Champagne experiences.
For that reason, I was really looking forward to taste it, as I saw it as an opportunity for taking a current “temperature”, on how I would feel about a very traditional and highly respected Cuvée Prestige.
It’s a pretty bottle and that’s probably the best thing I can say about it. The nose is out of the scale toasted, with dull smoke and trying-to-seduce-me-vanilla flavours – only making it flabby and loose nerve. It’s filled with sulphur notes and combined with the toasted aromas it’s without a doubt (in tough competition with 1996 Dom Perignon) one of the most impure Champagne I have tasted in the last two years. It should be noted, that I am confident it’s sulphur, but in the case of Dom Perignon, some have suggested it’s the result of winemaking without oxygen. If anyone out there could clarify this, I would be interested, because it’s aromas, which are very annoying to me.
For sure it has some flowery and citrus flavours, which could have made a difference, but they are so covered in this sulphur hell, that they never come to life. On the tongue the wine is dead – no energy, no life, no acidity smack, no soil expression – just awful. It’s the first Champagne in a while, where I was not able to finish the bottle – half of it went in the fridge for day 2, where it hadn’t improved at all.
So how can I be ecstatic over a bottle of Champagne and two years later, literally hate it? Can if be phase for the wine? I doubt it. I think it’s me. The fact that I in the last two years have tasted more Champagne than I have in the last 10 years – and most importantly, falling in love with very pure Champagnes. I know where this is going. It’s the same old trivia about little man grower and big house evil Grande Margues. Why has it to be like that – why can’t it just be the pursuit of the taste of good?? I think it’s a little more complicated than that – also because the paradoxes are obvious there and Champagne – like no other region – has this unique and odd setup.
I hope you, as a reader know that I have no agenda other than use this innocent blog as my personal diary and share wine experiences. But admitted – I am sometimes puzzled by Champagnes paradoxes and don’t really get the idea of Champagne as a brand and not a wine with a birthmark from Mother Nature.
This dilemma will keep haunting me. I have a fair stash of Grande Margues in my cellar – I hope the deliver better than this one.
Glasses – several used as I hope one of them would make it shine. The Zalto kept the sulphur notes more calved, where it in the Adina glass, the sulphur notes was like a hurricane.