Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Ostertag resurrection

You know what you like about wine – don’t you? Or have ever been in doubt? I can occasionally find myself in situations, where I feel my entire fence of wine self-confidence collapsing.

In situations like this - it almost feel like a bad conscience. How did I come to the point, where I neglected wine? Why wasn’t I thorough enough?  

I had a wine yesterday. A Riesling from Alsace, -which put me in the corner. Here I was, thinking about how I have completely abandoned Riesling and especially Alsace.

Riesling did it for me when I fell in love with wine. It was never Chardonnay. It was never Burgundy. Riesling had more personality, clarity, edge and acidity for my preferences.

But Alsace lost its sex appeal the day I discovered German Riesling. German Riesling however killed itself the more I got exposed to low sulphur wines. I sometimes hate myself for doing such simple conclusion. They are naive, arrogant and horrible narrow minded. Every detailed wine lover should always examine the exceptions before making such huge categorizations.

It’s not me at all. I am proud of being constant curious. I even know that I often go back to my old neighbourhood and check what I drank 10-15 years ago. But you see, often the result is disappointing and only confirming that the path I am on is the right one for me. So I get tired of having wasted my time. Why not use dedication to really get detailed about the types of wine, which are currently close to my heart?

That said – I went back to a producer, which I haven’t tasted for about 15 years. Domaine Ostertag in Alsace.

Why you may ask - and why Ostertag??

Well - I was in Champagne about 14 days ago, where I visited two good friends; David Léclapart and Jérôme Prévost. David always speaks highly about Ostertag and Jérôme said about the wine I am about to introduce “The best wine I have tasted for ages and it simply makes you feel better ”.

So let me introduce:
2013 Domaine Ostertag “Riesling Muenchberg”

Terroir: Red sandstone and volcanic sediments.
Vineyard: 17ha (Ostertag has 2,05ha) South-facing Grand Cru in the village of “Nothalten”
Viniculture: Biodynamic – certified by Demeter
Harvest: Picked 18 and 19th of October
Alc: 13%
Residual Sugar: 3g/l
Label: Symbolizes the fire from the volcanic soil and the silky sandstone
Glass: Zalto Universal

It’s rare that I would describe the label on a wine – and the meaning, as I have just done above. But here it makes perfect sense. The wine is a study of sand and volcanic soil embracing each other. You will see why.

When I opened the wine I wasn’t that impressed. It wasn’t bad, but it kind of remembered why I split up with an “old ex girlfriend”. Remembering all the things, which didn’t work out. But the bad memories stopped here. It took about 20 minutes before the wine turned and it never looked back.

Normally in tasting note, you start describing the aromatic notes from the nose – then the taste and then you sort of wrap it up. But here the order doesn’t really matter – because it’s not interesting.
I would rather try to describe a wine, which has an enormous impact on your body. The first thing, which makes me smile, is a totally free frame. The wine welcomes you with open arms and looks both to the sky and the earth. The feel of the wine is simply phenomenal. It feels ballerina light, but its main attraction is the elastic frame. Tasting it confirms it, where the silky and elastic structure creates a luxuries mouth feel, which warms up your entire body. Normally I tend to favour wine and especially Rieslings, which provide a high acidity. But here it’s different. The acidity is present for sure, but somehow wrapped in this soft structure. But it doesn’t really matter, because the taste is about something completely else. I have already describes this mouth coating appeal, but on the finish it warm both palate and body up with this red volcanic soil. So imagine dear readers, you actually have a wine, where you by heart know all the components – as they are strong singular elements. When you combine them - you somehow know why they work so strongly together.  They simply curl around each other’s personalities in circular movements (just like the label) and it’s simply unbelievable beautiful. By far the best Riesling I have tasted in years.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Humble and clueless

I don’t know what to write about? I have tasted a Champagne, which I want share with you all, but I can find a subject.

But what’s the problem? I don’t want the tasting note to matter so much - because it doesn’t really interest me to write them anymore, if they are not part of a reflection. This is what I do – this is what this blog is about. Why should I compete with what’s already out there in the tasting note category?

But there is also another reason. I feel deeply humble when putting a judgment on wine. Paradoxically – the more wines I taste – the less I feel about expressing my judgment. I have seen how emotional I am around wine and how variables can change the outcome. I wrote about it here.  I have even seen how wine can outsmart the most skilled tasters and I have too much respect for the wine craftsmanship and for the producers I have met. But for sure – I am the paying costumer; I even have lots of experience, so why not express my opinion? Sometimes I want to – sometimes I don’t.

But I am probably deviating for the trend, which is moving in the opposite direction. We have endless opinion formers on wine these days. Sometimes I am astounded how quickly some people form their judgment and conclusion thirsty they are.

There is a Danish poet, author and filmmaker called Jørgen Leth, which I deeply admire. Together with two musicians; Michael Simpson and Frithjof Toksvig they formed a trio called; “Vi sidder bare her (We are just sitting here)”.  So far they have released 3 CD’s. The genre is Spoken Word (in Danish). Jørgen Leth has an almost hypnotic nasal voice, which are well known here in Denmark. Jørgens voice is accompanied by an almost dreamy cinematic soundtrack of subtle floating sounds. On the first CD there is a track called (translated) “Not a damn thing wiser”. Here is a part of the lyric, which I particular like:

“I like to be perceived as slightly stupid - I would rather express a stupid consciousness - a kind of non-intellect consciousness. So it’s the completely opposite from most people, who basically are clever and looking to announce their wisdom. This in an attitude I don’t have at all - not at all”.

On many occasions I feel like Jørgen Leth - especially when it comes to praise wisdom and judgement on wine.

So what now? What should I write about? Should we just get on with the tasting note – something everyone understands and not all of this Mumbo Jumbo?

Let’s get acquainted with a new Champagne from Cédric Bouchard, which I have bought a while ago, but not before now I got the chance to taste it. I tasted it with my friend Claus and we were both intrigued and fascinating from the first glass, but also agreed that the last glass was by far the best.  
2010 Roses de Jeanne / Cédric Bouchard “Presle”

Grape: 100% Pinot Noir (10 different clones)
Terroir: Hard clay soil
Vineyard: 0,2548ha – West exposure
Location: Celles-sur-Ource
Age of Vines: Planted in 2007
Aging: Steel
Dosage: Zero – always the case with Cédric Bouchard
Disgorgement: April 2014
Glass: Zalto White Wine

About a month ago there was an article on Cédric Bouchard in the Danish food & wine magazine: “Gastro”. The article highlighted the fact that Cédric is not a fan on oak and the autolysis character of classic aged Champagne, as both take focus from purity and the terroir character of the wine. Then the journalist reported some tasting notes, found them very interesting, but ended up concluding that he especially missed the autolysis notes.

I feel the complete opposite. I never miss anything, when I tasted Cédric Bouchard. I don’t mind oak – I can even appreciate the autolysis character, but unlike the journalist from Gastro I praise the diversity of Champagne and the fact that Cédric makes wines his way and no other way.

I get and praise the idea of comfort zones in wine (as you saw with “Daily drinkers”), as they are something, which takes a lot of time to reach, and we can find enormous rest within. However when reaching out to a producer like Cédric Bouchard we have to cross our anxiety zone. There is no alternative. This is a producer, which doesn’t make any compromises. Like or not. The first Champagne I tasted from Cédric Bouchard was in 2007.  It was the 2005 “Les Ursules”. I was on one hand fascinated – but also confused and I was definitely outside my comfort zone and close to my anxiety zone. Today that anxiety has turned into a warm comfort zone and if I should tell others about my love for WINE in Champagne, he would be one of the first I would serve them.

So – If I understand this correctly, the Presle vineyard was supposedly meant to be the base of Cédric Bouchard Coteaux Champenois project. When I visited Cédric in 2011 I noticed some oak barrels there, which he told us was an experiment for his still wines. Initially the still wine(s) were to be sold in very limited numbers of magnums. But for now – the first vintage have gone bubbly – let’s see what happens in near future.

I tell you it’s an intense Champagne this one. Like with Haute-Lamblé, I have to say that I am amazed that Cédric manages to make this kind of quality with vines of such young age. It even seems to have a solid soil footprint with enormous bite and intensity.  Like all other Cédric Bouchard Champagnes you don’t just sit and pick a fruit note here and there and outline a normal tasting notes. Because rarely you don’t find these common notes as lemon, pear and apple for instance. What you find is a wine composed of all kinds of racy edges – like here with Presle, which both plays with exotic fruit notes, gamey flavours, black currant and an enormous savoury spectrum. We had it both with and without food and it plays better with food as it has a very vibrant acidity and it’s one of the most structured Champagnes I have tasted from Cédric Bouchard.

I was just about to compare Presle with the other Champagnes of Cédric Bouchard. But does it really matter? Presle stands for something singular and unique - like the rest of Cédric's wines. BRAVO!!!.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Daily drinkers

“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans”
(John Lennon)

Wine has always been a victim of proportions. Most of my wine loving friends (including yours truly) have always measured the experience of drinking wine. It’s the simple result of telling a story and emphasising the enthusiasm or disappointment. 

Telling a story about wine is not easy, which of course is a good thing, as we interpret so individually. Yet we often categorize. Cut to the chase. What wine are we dealing with? What level are we at? Legendary, Great, dull or bad wine. Maybe just daily drinkers

So what are daily drinkers?

First of all it’s a wine with a good” quality to price ratio” (QPR). It’s something we buy in cases and drink it big gulps. The no brainer wine - the wine we always reach out for, when we have no idea what else to drink. The wine, which is never seasonal, but works all year round. It’s also something, which define us. Italian wine aficionado maybe; a Chianti, Rosso di Montalcino, Dolcetto or a Barbera. These wines not only provide our everyday needs – they also keep us in our comfort zone. We have bought these wines, because we know beforehand that we will connect with them.

But when it comes to tastings or special occasions we tend to dress up and explore wines with a higher price tag and presumably also a higher quality and complexity. Rosso di Monalcino becomes a Brunello - Dolcetto or Barbera becomes Barolo. These special events tend to be the bridge to some of our most memorable wine experience. Or are they really? Did John Lennon have a point, when it comes to wine? I think so.

For sure wine obtains an extra dimension, when it breaks the barriers and light up our emotional barometer. But somehow I think daily drinkers deserve the same respect. They are the backbone of our passion. I also like the humbleness, which are essential for these wines. There is something aesthetical about the simplicity they posses and despite the might lack in complexity they can in some cases have a higher degree of presence as you immediately connect with them. And last – but not least, to earn and fit this category they always have the highest degree of drinking pleasure.

Here are some of my favourite daily drinkers – some I drink now – some I have run out of –some are on the radar, some I wonder why I forgot or never bought more of. Price wise less than €20 are ideal, but it could go all the way up to €30 in some cases.


Laherte “Brut Nature”
Tarlant “Brut Zero”
Marie-Courtin “Efflorescence”


Nicolas Carmarans “Selves”
Cyril Fhal “Clos du Rouge Gorge (Blanc)”
Sarnin-Berrux “Bourgogne Aligote”
Yann Durieux “Love and Pif”
Frederic Cossard “Bigotes”
Noella Morantin “Chez Charles”


Arianna Occhipinti “Il Frappato”
Arianna Occhipinti “SP68”
Lamoresca “Nerocapitano”
Vino di Anna “Palmento” 
Yvon Mètras “Fleurie Printemps”
François Saint-Lô “On l’aime nature”
Domaine de la Tournelle “Uva Arbosiana”  
Maxime Magnon "Rozeta" 

….Etc….and I am sure there a lots of wines, which I have either forgot or could fit in.

Let’s end this small session with a wine, which fits this category to perfection: 

2012 Hervé Villemade “La Bodice”

Blend: 80% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Chardonnay
Location: AOC Cheverny (Loire Valley) town is called Cellettes
Terroir: Sands with flint and flint clays
Age of vines: 33years old
Vinification: Oak and steel
Glass: Zalto Universal

I love this wine – simple as that. It’s trademark and the fist impression is divine zippy freshness, which burst out of the glass with candied citrus and lime zest. But there is also a remarkable secondary understated window with remarkable ripe and lush fruit sensation – such as mango and pineapple, which could very well be driven forward by the Chardonnay grape. Underneath you have some darker baseline, soil and spice driven with fennel and liquorice as the main character (also mentioned on the Hervé Villemade homepage). This is the sort of wine you drink with our without food on any day of the year. If you choose the latter you will discover a phenomenal food-pairing breed, which I have successfully matched up with both a rich salmon dish, chicken in red curry, sushi, gazpacho and even guinea fowl. Great stuff and highly recommended. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The perfect drinking window

From the very first day I got acquainted with wine, I also stock my head into a swarm of consumer guidance. At that time I needed those advises - so obviously I embraced them as the most natural thing to do. 

The drinking window was one of those advises, I quickly realized was of significant importance. Back then; I was into wines with serious muscle and extract, which required time to unfold. Paying attention to the perfect window of opportunity was crucial and logical. However I also learned, that the drinking window was not a straight line, which gradually unfolded the flower. Wine were a living organism, which had it’s own dynamic cycle and you never knew what to fully expect.

The consumer guidance however evolved over the years with the birth of the Internet. Wine boards – databases and social medias, all chiming in with live data stream about a wines status. It matters in an environment of passionate, dopamine addicted and seriously impatient wine people. Being guilty as sinned here – yet somehow I have also realized flaws in the system and actually never solved the equitation of planning the perfect drinking window.

But why are we so anxious about the drinking window? Are we merely just practicing due diligence by sort of protecting our investment? Opening a wine at perfect maturity is success. Opening a too young wine or a wine over the hill is failure. The consumer guidance has taught us to pick our winners and stay away from the loser’s team.   

But you know what – it’s just another flawed story from the wine scene, always posting flock mentality black and white guidance.

I think it’s fine that you, as a wine geek pay attention to every detail about a wine. If you pick up stories about a possible vintage or certain wines, which requires extraordinary patience  - you will obviously somehow storage that information. But personally I discovered, that I gradually became a slave to an overload of information. It became the driving force behind every move I made. I started to form intros, story lines and endings for wines, like they were a predictable Hollywood movie.

It had to stop and it did.

If you are a romantic wine drinker (like me), it’s important that you somehow bury the theorist inside you and prepares the inner “doer” to get out on the dance floor and practice. The only way you learn about what’s the right or wrong drinking window (if at all any) is to make “mistakes”. But actually they are not mistakes. You take experience with you and if you are willing to challenge yourself you stop and reflect. In this process you will discover that wine does not have one, but almost never ending drinking windows. I would even go as far, as saying, there is no such thing as a wrong drinking window. That’s not the same as saying a wine will taste significant better/worse during it’s life span. But hey – that’s life – that’s wine – that’s the risk you have to live with. If you are looking for a 100% bulletproof plan only circulating in your comfort zone then you might consider drinking Coca-Cola or water.

So let’s turn to a Champagne, which can support my post. It comes from a wine maker, which I am very fond of. It’s the one and only Jérôme Prévost (again).

Now Jérôme have often told me, how it sometimes takes 5-6 years after bottling before he can actually recognize the wine he worked with in the cellar. His wines are known to shut down dramatically in the bottle. For this and based on several experiences, two visits (and even a small vertical tasting in nov-2012), I have build a comfort zone fence of making myself believe that “Les Béguines" and La Closerie Fac-Simile rosé” requires +4-6 years of cellaring to reach an optimal drinking window. In this process I did the exact same mistake, which I have just criticized. I forgot that Jérôme’s wines, especially “Les Béguines" presents one of the most sophisticated versions of Pinot Meunier from day one.

You love your children from birth – and they might bring even higher joy to your life as they grow older – but their character are also a reflection of their childhood. Wine is the same – small individuals, with both a backpack of personality and constant evolvement. They might be slightly flawed, unresolved, mysterious - even fascinating, yet they also provide a mind game of imagination of what they can be. Wine is sense game, a dreaming aspect and who on earth would miss out on this?

2011 Jérôme Prévost “Les Béguines “

Blend: 100% Pinot Meunier
Terroir: Sand & Calcareous elements
Age of vines: 42-47 years old
Location: Village of Gueux – located west of Reims.
Dosage: 2 g/l.
Glass: Zalto White wine and Riedel Veritas Champagne (see test result)

From the very first nosedive you are beamed into a another Pinot Meunier dimension. Nowhere in Champagne you find this sophistication. I would be reaching beyond my vocabulary, if I should try to list the “correct notes”. They seemed to be composed of black cherry stones, black olives, diamond dust (don’t ask), licorice powder, nutmeg and a mixture and unexplained spices. There is a splendid firmness and energy, bringing utterly divine tallness, which is reason enough to taste it young. On the palate it shows great definition with a solid footprint of this spice paradise mixture being gracefully released in a very convincing way. Overall – the 2011 might not have the majestic tallness like the ’08 and the ’06 devilishness – but it’s one of the most elegant and sophisticated versions I have tasted of “Les Béguines “. 

Now knowing how it tasted from youth, we have been formally introduced to each other. The dream processes have begun. When will me met again – how will the next“date” turn out? 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Pink Love in January

I tend to forget about the rosé category in general. What about you? How often have you said to yourself (in comparison with red and white) – I need more “pink” in my cellar? It’s a shame really, because they are in some ways unique, not only by colour, but also on aromatic profiles and food matching abilities.

Maybe the category occasionally slips our minds, because it’s season based, making sense as the refreshing thirst-quenching drink on a hot summer day. But of course the wine geek knows better and the pink song has a B-side, which contains much other than Tutti Frutti bonbon beats. Often the flip side leads to Champagne, where another dilemma awaits. The simple equation of the supply and demand curve, with deadly high price tags, as the en vouge pink sparkling version often is microscopically part of a producer’s entire portfolio. 

Yesterday I found myself in mood for some rosé. Or should I say – I was in the mood for some Jérôme Prévost. The weather was dead awful. Grey with a mixture of sleet and snow, so not your average sunny rosé day. But what the hell, I had prepared some pearl barley with pumpkin seeds, which I made like a risotto and served with guinea fowl. I thought a Rosé could work and it did – really well in fact. I knew the fat structure from the risotto look-alike dish could be an issue. And for sure, it was of some concern, but then again the refreshing bubbles did a good job cleansing the palate.

But let’s turn to the Champagne.

2011 Jérôme Prévost “La Closerie Fac-Simile Rosé”

100% Pinot Meunier
Dosage: 0-2 g/l
Terroir: Massive layers of calcareous sand formations and fossils with tiny crustaceans
Aging: Oak
Method: Assemblage
Production: 3.128 bottles
Glass: Zalto white wine

Some would say that Jérôme Prévost rosé version always have been in the shadow of his standard Champagne: “La Closerie”. Of course it makes sense to do the A vs B battle here, as Jérôme currently only makes two cuvèe’s. However I think it’s wrong and like to see them as two different persons, with two different personalities. I also believe that Jérôme have improved his rosé enormously since release, and it’s something you need to drink over an entire evening – both with and without food. You also need to let it breath and warm up in temperature (which I did).

Let me emphasize, what I like about a rosé (and forgive me for repeating myself). I love a when a rosé sort of “dries out”. When the primary fruit settles down and removes the worst candy like associations. With the saignée method (maceration – not the case here), time is also necessary for me, to take away both the slightly more aggressive style and in some cases lower the potential tannins. In both cases, cellaring will bring a saltier and far more interesting Champagne IMHO. But also on the aromatic barometer, there awaits beauty with patience… you are probably thinking….so why the hell are you telling us all this stuff, when you have just popped the cork of a relative young 2011 Champagne? Good question and I have no good answer, other than I always like to check out (if I have enough stock) a Champagne when it’s potentially too young. But here comes the good part – this rosé had already gained some of that “dried out style”, which provided some of the most fascinating aromatic notes of verbena, currant, dried thyme and other mind-blowing sophisticated spices. These notes will come fully alive half way through the bottle and when you raise the temperature to 13-15 degrees. You simply can’t let go of the glass – the nose is seriously intoxicating. The taste is not bad either – really light on its toes, very graceful, yet persisting enough with enormous bite. I think some would argue, that it has a slightly greenish style, which is also the case for the ’11 vintage in Burgundy. But I really this, because it becomes so understated by this. What rosé Champagne – WOW!!....and just to let you know – the day before I drank 2004 “Venus” from Agrapart, which was also mind-blowing good, so I came from a high calibrated level and this Rosé didn’t suffer one bit at all.

BRAVO Jérôme!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Vintage hysteria, high expectations and 2008 “L’Apôtre”

(David Léclapart)

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”Alexander Pope

I think we have all been there, right? Expecting too much and ending up disappointed. With a colleague, your company, your best friend, your spouse or maybe even a bottle of wine. Expectations are the result of looking ahead, thinking solution orientated and imagine (maybe even dreaming) of a happy end. When failure arrives at our doorstep, we obviously ask ourselves why? Did we overlook something? Or were unexpected variables responsible for the negative outcome and can we actually blame someone other than ourselves?

Wine is indeed exposed to high expectations and holds a complex field of variables, which sets complex scenarios.

One of the most expectation adding variables is vintage hyping. The declaring of a great vintage will obviously raise the bar and expectations.

Vintage has always been a key driver for wine lovers. If you get caught inside the wine universe, you have also learned to pay attention to details. We constantly search for wines, which can enlighten our sense hungry minds a little more than our last experience and provide us with those unforgettable moments.

So we plan well ahead to be in our comfort zone. We look for a bulletproof plan, by cherry picking the best vintages and carefully (unless your are a billionaire) plan our future wine purchases. Why shouldn’t we? Wine education tells you to be selective; otherwise your finances will run dry

Paying attention to vintage is logical – but also a blind alley and not a guarantee.  Especially because wine journalists often compose the declaration of a vintage, which tends to follow a framework, which might not take into account how you drink wine. I mean, how many speak about the simple drinking pleasure and how food diverse the wine or vintage may be? I couldn’t care less about +60 second finishes and only hearing praise for vintages with the highest testosterone.

I find myself split on vintage and high expectations. It really depends, how much I pay attention to vintage. When I get my yearly allocation on producers like Ganevat, Cossard or Cédric Bouchard, I don’t really care about the vintage. I just buy them (if I can afford them), because I know they will have something to offer. And what if it’s on paper not a great vintage? Maybe it will just taste better young? Cellar the big vintage and drink the smaller vintages. Great plan as I see it. I think there is almost nothing worse than seeing tasters obviously disappointed with a wine in a “great vintage”, trying to prove for themselves that the wine was still fantastic.

So even if I find the whole vintage thing one big mass psychoses I would be lying to you if I said that vintage didn’t matter to me and I never tried to find an alibi for a wine, which didn’t live up to my expectations.

It actually happened a couple of days ago.   

2008 David Léclapart “L’Apôtre”

Blend: 100% Chardonnay
Dosage: 0 g/l
Vines: Planted in 1946 
Vineyard:0,31ha Lieu-dit “La Pierre St-Martin”
Fermentation: Oak-barrels. 
Other: Biodynamic stuff
Glass: Zalto White wine

Oh yes I had high expectations. Why not? I have a thing with David and his wines and there is always something in the air, when I taste his Champagnes. 

I even tasted the 2008 “in the “L’Apôtre” Vertical 1999 >>> 2009” back in Nov-2013 with David and was blown away by its intensity. It certainly lived up to the hype about the 2008 vintage in Champagne. Vertical tasting are really educational, as you can almost outline the younger wines path and imaging their potential Sure, having tasted almost all releases of L’Apôtre from youth, I knew there was a risk of it being simple too young. I even knew that L’Apôtre would be slow starter.

Day one – Friday. A leaf day btw - So not a good day to drink wine, according to the biodynamic lunar calendar. I think I have never tasted a Champagne this shy and 110% completely closed. There was simply nothing to gain from the nose other than the sense of something very clean. The taste had an insane acidity, which felt like a thousand citrus fruits being crushed on your tongue. I would be lying, if I said it was good. More a study than actually pleasure. If I had to conclude something from this day I would have no idea what to write other than I had too high expectations. Did I hype it too much or what had happened since Nov-2013. I found myself making the same excuses that I somehow find rather pathetic; when a taster just can’t get himself to say it’s not a good wine, but feverishly try to argue their way out of the problem. My wife and I drank half of the bottle and I decided to leave the other half for the next day, where I had the entire half for myself.

Day two – Saturday. A fruit day and even if I don’t have that great success with the bio-calendar, I still found myself in this search for meaning (and still hoping) over my Friday disappointment. Mama-Mia – WOW!!! I wouldn’t say that the wine was actually open now and a flowering fruit bomb. But what revealed itself was one hell of an insane electric Champagne, setting the bar for energy higher than I have ever seen before. The aromatic notes are still very primary with tons of ripe citrus tonality, soil intensity and this nerve wrecking acidity still cuts all the way through the wine. With vintages like 2002 and 2004 “L’Apôtre”, which has occasionally also shut down, especially shortly after release I would obviously recommend seriously cellaring here. However “L’Apôtre” is known to open up again before heading for a more mature window. When that is – I have no clue. But damn – what a Champagne it will be, when it unfolds.