Blend: 100% Chardonnay
I have followed Blanc d’Argile since the debut release of the 2004 vintage. I have always liked it and seen a cuvée constantly evolving in higher and higher quality. Today it seems like Bertrand Gautherot has achieved a more intense raw material, which works far better with the fingerprint of the oak. I now consider Blanc d’Argile a Champagne with great cellar potential.
The 2008 vintage is already hyped with best vintage ever all across the Champagne landscape. However – from the signals I have picked up – the ideal conditions are more linked to the Marne area, whereas Aube is more mixed. That said – judging from another Aube resident: Cédric Bouchard - his ’08 - Inflorescence and Les Ursules are both staggering good.
With these expectations I popped the 2008 Blanc d’Argile, but immediately set it aside and rested it for 20 minutes. The reason was simple, as I remembered the 2005, 2006 and 2007 constantly improving with air. My wife and I shared 2/3 of the bottle together and 2 hours later I had the last 1/3 alone.
The 2008 Blanc d’Argile is seriously impressive Champagne. It burst out of the glass, with an enormous amount of energy. It was almost at the verge of being a bit crazy – too intense, as the oak also marked its presence with a raw toasted tone and notes of hazelnuts. However it calms down after 2 glasses showing remarkable fruit ripeness, which shapes like juicy apples, honey and lots of citrus fruits. The citrus aromas are being accelerated by an insane acidity nerve, which penetrates the entire wine from nose to palate, providing so much brightness to the Champagne. The finish it poised with this mind-blowing acidity snap and a really long mineral attached finish. The last 1/3 – as the bubbles dies down – was an exceptional study in this acidity game, turning the last perfumes into green apples, lime and some brushings of smoke from the oak. I believe these ingredients will provide the ’08 Blanc d’Argile with solid life and cellar potential.
Impressive Champagne, which has an open window. It will probably close down within a year or so – but do try a bottle now and give it 30 minutes of air in the bottle before you pour.