Monday, April 11, 2011

2004 Cédric Bouchard “Le Creux d’Enfer Rosé de Saignée”

100% Pinot Noir

Vineyard: 0,032 ha

Age of vines: 31 years

Production: 300-500 bottles

Dosage: 0 g/l

Glass: Spiegelau Adina ”Red wine"

Champagne is not a thing – it’s a wine. To really discover Champagne you have to get beyond that it’s a thing, meant only for special occasions and it’s really rather simple to do that. Just start drinking it like it was any kind of wine and suddenly you take it down from the pedestal and you are truly in love.

Having said that – I needed a “wine” to celebrate my wife’s birthday. What to pick? - Champagne, but of course. But not any kind of Champagne – something special, something I knew she would like. She is not that difficult – in fact I consider her to have, what I would call an exceptional spontaneous palate. It might be a surprise to hear – but she has no idea what we are drinking, even though I do my best to enlighten her wine education. Five minutes after I am done with the sales speech, she has forgotten every single word I have said. But rest assured that the verdict would be swift and unmerciful, if I serve her something she doesn’t like.

I had numerous choices, but knew exactly which one I wanted.

This is the fourth time I taste this rosé, which has to be one of the most limited Champagne productions, but it’s the first time at home, which gives me the opportunity to focus and follow it over a couple of hours.

Already at glass number one, you know you have entered a spaceship set for a journey into the unknown. No rosé, I have tasted, has this profile and Cédric Bouchard has once again proven that some of the best wines in the world doesn’t necessarily fit in on the aroma wheel, but have a dimension of their own. The nose consists of notes, which I am not really sure of. It’s on a degree of guessing, searching in darkness, as if I had just landed on an unknown planet. Here is what I found; boysenberry, cranberry, liquorice, pata negra ham, currant, black olives, red fruit and rosehip. The tonality of these notes is so subtle – yet so intense. It’s a lesson in making a statement you will never forget, but at no time raising your voice. It’s beyond good class and it’s outrageously complex, just to sit there and smell. Tasting it just brings everything in place and the mousse is so fragile, but again so intense perfumes of those mysterious aromas breaking like small swaying waves on the palate.

When the bottle was finished, it was like coming back from hypnosis. I felt uplifted, as I have witness something extraordinary, but also hunger, loneliness and I missed it already. Next time I wish for magnum, even though it will be in my dreams, as it doesn’t exist.

This is truly one of the most significant bottles of Champagnes I have ever tasted.

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