How do we
inspire each other when it comes to wine?
the somewhat odd accountant exercise; we call the Tasting Note, where we put
together the fragmented pieces into a final result. I hate it – yet I have done
it thousand of times before and continue to do it. It’s the poor mans version
of an individual emotional experience, which somehow only tells the story of
what we can measure and weigh.
So I end up
in the same blind alley as everyone else. Yet sometimes – like yesterday - I
can’t hold back the experience I had. I want to share. I want to inspire. Don’t we all? I think most of us know
that fragmenting wine is ridiculous. The real mojo of wine lies in the things we can’t
take you into my Champagne experience, I should write a small disclaimer.
Champagne growers and I am no way neutral, when I share my opinion. Why should I?
I am not your consumer guide, but merely a kind of diary storyteller on wine. I
like to think of true wine lovers as constant subjective individuals, emotional
effected by all the impressions they have obtained. When it comes wine, we
should throw away reason and embrace chaos.
A glass of
Champagne from Jérôme Prévost is not just a bubbly neutral
thing, which I can compare neutrally with wine A to Z. It’s the work of a dear friend. Jérôme have
showed my so much kindness and made me understand how he thinks.
laugh, joy and inspiration stored in my memories and I constantly wish I could
visit him more often. I want you all to know how gifted Jérôme are and how he
like no other can tame the Pinot Meunier grape.
thing more. I have often said, that I really don’t pay much attention to
vintages. It’s not that I think it’s both important and educational to know as
much as possible about each vintage. Vintages are fascinating in terms of how
unforeseeable nature is and how dramatic each growing season can be. I am just
saying, that sometimes we, as consumers, miss out on the smaller vintages
because we are constantly trying to cherry pick. Small vintages are not to be
missed, as they often just add to the diverse understanding of wine.
it’s the other way round. The glorified 2008 vintage in Champagne. So can it
(and Jérôme) live up to the expectations or was it just another overhyping coincidence?
have become somewhat allergic to Champagne with some age. Allergic is a strong
word. I know. But the more Champagne I drink, the more I see myself drawn to
the youthful side of Champagne. I will hopefully come back to this in other
thread, where I will illustrate my thoughts on; “Young”, “Mature” and
Prévost, La Closerie “Les Béguines”
Sand & Calcareous elements
Oak 450- to 600-liter barrels
vines: 45 years old
Village of Gueux – located west of Reims.
opened the 2008 "Les Béguines" I immediately detected some classic notes of
mature Champagne. Some autolysis notes came forward, presenting themselves
rather conservative with its notes of dark bread, touch of mild caramel and
hazelnuts. The more Champagne I drink – the more tiresome I find these
secondary notes, as they are rather monotone and overpowering both terroir,
freshness and singularity.
But it took
about 30 seconds before all of my reservations were proved wrong. Like the sun
burned away the morning mist, the last drops of funky aromas were cleared.
Underneath a landscape of beauty unfolded. Never ever have I smelled such
sophistication from Pinot Meunier. We are again at a level, where it makes no
sense to fragment the Champagne and list each note. Once again I am even sure I
can get them right and I paid only attention to the superb balance of this
Champagne. You had all imaginable things in play here. A super rich Champagne,
filled to the brim with the most healthy fruit zest you can image. You feel
these fruit driven notes all the way from nose – to the tip of the tongue - to the finish line, were it delivers
so much sizzling energy, clarity and acidity kick.
all kinds of herbs and spices flying around and lots of them have Asian roots. The
oak is present – but just filling in superb roundness and highlighting how
complex it is. You sense it has some evolvement present, but just with small
pockets of oxidation. No way near a nutty nightmare, but it felt more like the
aromas from when you toss in freshly churned butter in a bowl of pasta.
comes the interesting part. I rested (or should I say, hid1/3 of the Champagne
from my wife) and returned 2 hours later.
The Champagne has completely contracted. Where it before felt like a
Champagne just entering a perfect maturity window, it now felt like a one year
old Champagne. The deeper and rounder notes, where replaced by freshly squeezed green
apple juice. The clarity was even higher, still so complex and constantly fired
up with a frightfully high acidity.
insane Champagne and by far the finest "Les Béguines" I have ever tasted.