Friday, December 31, 2010

2004 Agrapart "Vénus", Champagne

(The new labels from Agrapart)

Blend: 100% Chardonnay
Ages of vines: 51 years (Planted in 1959)
Dosage: 0 g/l
Vineyard: “La Fosse” – soil: Mainly chalk
Production: Around 1.500 bottles
Bonus: Vénus was the name of the horse that worked in the vineyard. Vénus sadly passed away a few years back.
Glass: Spiegelau Adina “Red wine”

True, I have tasted 2004 Vénus about 4 times already, but this is the first real Tango @ Casa Mad Aboout Wine.

I presumed an extremely young Champagne would await me – and true this was the case, but it’s one of those Champagnes you simply have to take for a test drive in it’s youth in order to get that mineral sensation.

Already from glass one I encountered a vinous Champagne of incredible seamless personality and crystallized clarity. The nose is unbelievable complex and the first thing which came to my mind was a fresh breeze of the sea with seashells and seawater. It’s defiantly the result of an out of scale driver of chalk, which gives the wine this raw, pure feeling and the chalk note infects the wine from all corners. The other notes of the nose and small dozes of; straw, yellow cherries (in Denmark we call them; Moreller), toasted bread, butter, flowers, anise, and hay. The taste is one hell of a rush for those who adore soil expression and all the notes from the nose is almost transported to the finish line and crushed in a mineral and stony expression. The mousse breaks so gentle and releases the very last perfumes of minerality.

My God, what a Champagne. You almost have to pinch yourself in the arm, to be sure your not dreaming. It’s that good my friends – majestic, masterpiece…I almost lost for words here.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2002 Tarlant "La Vigne d'Or", Champagne

Blend: 100% Pinot Menuier
Ages of vines: 64 years (planted in 1946)
Vineyard: Pierre de Bellevue
Soil: Sparnacien (chalk mixed with clay).
Disgorged: 22 June 2010
Dosage: 3 g/l
Other: Debut release was the 1999 Vintage
Glass: Spiegelau Adina “Red Wine”

The small memory film, which is set in motion, when we smell a glass of glass of wine covers many personal stories and it’s one of the treasures about being a wine lover. I came to think about this, when I recently opened the 2002 La Vigne d’or from Tarlant.

In this film, Benoît Tarlant plays the leading role and I can’t help to think of this playful – yet very skilled, committed and curious winemaker – which I have been lucky to meet both here in Copenhagen and in Champagne. It simply makes smile, before I even open the bottle and realizing how important it is to go and see winemakers in order to have an even more memorable and multifaceted wine experience.

This is rather concentrated baby, which opens with a bold dark fruit combo, which initially made me think of wheat tones and freshly baked bread. On the second sniff you get; brown apples, hazelnuts, forest, quince and a note of citrus, which is really important for the balance. The taste is full throttle creamy and waxy style - yet very energetic also, with afterburners of those brownish apples and spices.

Even if this Champagne is dynamite full-bodied stuff, it still feels a bit compact and should unfold additional secondary layers in the coming years. I would however not recommend hands off at the moment if you like me can’t hold that curiosity back.

This is once again proof how splendid a Pinot Menuier can be in the hands of the right winemaker.

Fantastic Champagne!!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

2007 Vouette et Sorbée "Blanc d'Argile"

Blend: 100% Chardonnay
Production: Roughly 2.500 bottles
Ages on vines: 10 years
Vineyard: "Biaune" (Western Exposure)
Soil: Kimmeridgian marl
Disgorged: 12. January 2010
Dosage: 0 g/l
Glass: Spiegelau Adina "Red Wine"

It’s important, when I am drinking wine at home, that the experience will be more a result of relaxing with the wine and not a hard-core analysis of the wine.

However here, with the 2007 Blanc d’Argile, I did the exact opposite and tasted the wine over 2 days without food, solely writing notes and focusing more detailed, than I usually do. I did it, because I knew this wine would be way too young and not exactly friendly. This is in fact the case, but I tell you it’s a fascinating wine, but also a very demanding wine.

The nose comes out rock hard, only with greenish apples, baby banana and a very “bio” driven. Like with the 2006 vintage of this wine, the oak is beautiful controlled, only giving character in the background and providing depth and never taking focus. But it also means, there is no immediate appealing help from seductive oak perfumes. But in the long run, this is - in my humble opinion – a big plus for this wine.

Taste is frightful demanding – almost poor and spartan, as it’s so incredible dry and harsh on the finish line. However, the purity, energy and soil attack makes you listen and wanting a second fill.

On day 2, the apples scents had some grease added and brilliant notes of hay and straw comes forward. However, what I found most appealing was to give the Champagne a big spin in the glass, making the mousse completely die – but only realizing what a beauty you have in front of you and what rewarding potential there will be for the patient taster.

Cellar my friends – for maybe 5 years or so.