New week, new Champagne list @ The Champagne Bar by Richard Juhlin.
Sweden had great sucess at ‘The Cookbook World Championsships 2014’ in Beijing, or World Gourmand Awards 2014, as it is called officially. Six Swedish publications can now put the prestigous label ‘Best in the world’-label on the front cover.
Champagne experte Richard Juhlin won the special cathegory ‘Hall of Fame’ in the winecathegory, for his magnificent work “A scent of champagne.” In addition, he became this year’s TV show host, for programs shown in Norway and China.
“Sweden’s cookbooks is top class ”
– Just as you have your red cottages there is a special culinary culture in Sweden . It’s amazing how it manifests itself in both cooking and cookbooks, says Frenchman Edouard Cointreau who started World Gourmand Awards and it was held this year for the 19th time.
– I have followed the Swedish cookbook publishing since the 1980s , and the last five years has really reached the international top class. In relation to the population, Sweden is perhaps the highest rates of all countries. Unfortunately, it’s too few Swedish publishers who make an effort to sell their books overseas.
Edouard Cointreau is keen to encourage food and beverage literature worldwide, and is pleased that cookbooks from Africa, China and Latin America are now beginning to reach a high standard. The contest, which was previously held in Europe, had for years been scheduled for the Beijing suburb of Daxing, and host country China got prices in many of the 60’s categories.
– I am extremely proud to have received two ” World Championship gold ” , not least because I got the award for writing the best vinbok, said Richard Juhlin. – I’m even more proud and amazed to have for the second year in a row to have received an award for being the world’s best beverage hostess, even though I barely visible in Swedish television.
I was invited to a lunch at the splendid Operakällaren i Stockholm to enjoy a fabulous spring flavored lunch by chef Stefano Catenacci. Thierry Gasco had brought some great vintages from the cellars of Pommery in Reims.
RJ ON POMMERY In 1856 Pommery & Greno was founded after having been known as Dubois-Gossart for the previous twenty years. The firm established a sales channel to the English as early as the nineteenth century, and were pioneers with their dry Champagne—quite without dosage.
The Marquise de Polignac was one of the first owners, and one of her direct descendants, Prince Alain de Polignac, was for a long time the man in charge of assembling the cuvées. Prince Alain is a fascinating man who, better than any other winemaker, can describe the philosophy behind his winemaking art. In 1990, Pommery was one of those firms that ended up as part of the powerful Moët-Hennessy Group, and in 2002 Vranken took over.
But the house-style remains intact, thanks to Thierry Gasco, who was trained by the prince. Pommery is among the firms that own the most land in the grand cru villages, but less well known is the fact that their locations within the area are not always the best. Besides Pommery’s own grapes, 70 percent of their supply comes from throughout Champagne, and they are vinified in modern style. Pommery is undoubtably a great name in historical terms. The house-style is made up of dry, restrained, pure champagnes with young fruit and an unmistakable steeliness that takes many years to round off.
RJ ON CUVÉE LOUISE The cuvée de prestige, Louise Pommery, doesn’t fit that description, but instead is often too soft and polished to compete with the top wines of its competitors. I have been amazed time and again by the greatness of the older vintages from Pommery. Only recently I bought a large number of bottles dating from 1911 to 1979, which have lain untouched since birth in the dark recesses of Champagne. Every bottle that I’ve opened has been fantastic. The modern portfolio is also impressive and aristocratic.
POMMERY ’BRUT ROYAL’ | Reims | Champagne | Frankrike | Pommery | Swedish importer: Gullberg by Stockwine | SBnr 77041pris: 379 sek | 35PN 35PM 30CH | LG 85(85)
TASTING NOTE Some times I get amazed at the richness of Pommerys muktivintage. In other times it is hard and stingy as can get. The style is always uncompromisingly dry with a nice toasty notes. Wins for storage. Soft and comfortable with an uplifting freshness of recent times. 2009-base has a lovely likeable pineapple scented integrated charming fruitiness that will lead to greater popularity.
2002 POMMERY ‘LES CLOS POMPADOUR’ | Reims | Champagne | Frankrike | Pommery | Swedish importer: Gullberg by Stockwine | pris: ca 3 600 sek per magnum | 20N 5PM 75CH | LG 92(94)
TASTING NOTE Only bottled in magnums. Limited edition 3000 magnums. Disgorged April’12. Dosage 9 gr/liter. The first declared vintage year is 2002. First vintage of this 25 acre fenced vineyard in Reims bore fruit 117 years ago. During my last visit we found the old notes to the first vintage in 1897. The blend is the same as then with the repect for the traditon of blending grapes. Here’s the first edition of this rarity only in magnums of course. Wonderfully good and extremely faithful the house style! How can terroir from Reims to play such a subordinate role ? Looks very much like a fine vintage Champagne, although it is always a clean grand cru. The rocky and beautiful mineral profile, together with the almost clinically precise clarity that breathes Pommery straight through. Bold Chardonnay and intense low harvest sockets and perfect winemaking has created a symphony where buttery Chardonnay with gunpowder-smoky notes from the magnum. What a brilliant debut!
Coquille Saint-Jcques de Fröya et ravioli, tomat confites et beurre blanc
2002 Pommery ’Cuvée Louise’ | Reims | Champagne | Frankrike | Pommery | Swedish importer: Gullberg by Stockwine | SBnr 77041pris: 1 292 sek | 35PN 65CH | LG 92(95)
TASTING NOTE It’s the ninth time I try this new vintage. The winemaker Thierry Gasco really enjoy this vintage. A light year in the vineyards. Small but very high quality proportion of Chardonnay. Disgorged in sep’13. Dosage 5 gr/liter. Bright young color, incredibly beautiful mousse, creamy texture and elegant sophisticated fruit. Long potent unredeemed modern aftertaste that follows all the lofty intentions that the house has. After 30 minutes in the glass it will develop a sub-queue notes of sois-bois (undergrowth).
2000 POIMMERY ’CUVÉE LOUISE’ | Reims | Champagne | Frankrike | Pommery | Swedish importer: Gullberg by Stockwine | pris: ca 1 200 sek | 37PN 63CH| LG 90(92)
TASTING NOTE Only 20 000 magnum was produced this year. Disgorged feb’13. Dosage 6 gr/l. Slightly pear dominant right now. Fine strutur and good aroma that pulls against white lilies and almonds. Great energy in the finisch. This one, I will follow the next 20-30 years.
Omble Chevalier cuit au beurre noisette, variation d’Asperges at sauce à l’Ail de Gotland
TASTING NOTE A large and magnificent wine with many layers. The house-style is intact with an extra natural addition of sweet, exotic fruit that is so typical of the vintage. There is so much power here that I am convinced the wine will need to be served with food when it finally matures some time after 2015.
Richard Juhlin har blivit intervjuad i DN, under rubriken Dagens stockholmare: ”Jag är finsmakare på hela mitt doftuniversum”
Han provade vin som åttaåring, och kunde urskilja smaker som inte ens de vuxna klarade av. I 20-årsåldern drack han sin första riktiga champagne och passionen var total. I dag är stockholmaren Richard Juhlin en av världens främsta champagneexperter – och nybliven riddare av den franska Hederslegionen.
We were specially invited to a timeless and luxurious Lunch at Deutz with amazing Vinothèque-wines. As one of the greatest high spots of the journey we would taste one of the very few remaining magnums of Deutz Blanc de Noirs d´Aÿ Vinothèque. One of the best and most famous champagnes in the world with an auction price of 14 000 euros.
RJ ON DEUTZ In 1838 two Germans, William Deutz and Pierre Glederman, founded this distinguished firm in Aÿ. Deutz was hit hard during the Champagne Uprising of 1911. The house was long run by André Lallier, who has made large investments in other wine districts. Notable among these properties are Delas in the Rhône Valley, Maison Deutz in California, as well as another site producing sparkling wine in the Loire Valley. In 1993, Louis Roederer gained a majority stockholding in Deutz.
Nowadays the firm is ably run by the very likeable Fabrice Rosset. Winemaker is Michel Davesne. Seventy-five percent of the grapes are bought from grand cru and premier cru villages. Deutz themselves own land in five villages. The property is among the most beautiful in Champagne, and even the wines are very distinguished.
The style is laid-back, elegant, and sophisticated, with a medium body, crystal-clear fruit, and an exemplary mousse. All the wines are good, but the Cuvée William Deutz Rosé is something special. Their Vinothèque wines and the white William are also world class wines. Recently Deutz launched Amour de Deutz, a new ultra-sophisticated prestige Champagne. It has sold like hot cakes since Madonna took a liking to it—they say that there is always a chilled bottle ready wherever she goes.The 2002 is pure essence.
One of my absolute favourite houses.In 1838 two Germans, William Deutz and Pierre Glederman, founded this distinguished firm in Aÿ. Deutz was hit hard during the Champagne Uprising of 1911. The house was long run by André Lallier, who has made large investments in other wine districts. Notable among these properties are Delas in the Rhône Valley, Maison Deutz in California, as well as another site producing sparkling wine in the Loire Valley. In 1993, Louis Roederer gained a majority stockholding in Deutz.
Nowadays the firm is ably run by the very likeable Fabrice Rosset. Winemaker is Michel Davesne. Seventy-five percent of the grapes are bought from grand cru and premier cru villages. Deutz themselves own land in five villages. The property is among the most beautiful in Champagne, and even the wines are very distinguished. The style is laid-back, elegant, and sophisticated, with a medium body, crystal-clear fruit, and an exemplary mousse. All the wines are good, but the Cuvée William Deutz Rosé is something special. Their Vinothèque wines and the white William are also world class wines. Recently Deutz launched Amour de Deutz, a new ultra-sophisticated prestige Champagne. It has sold like hot cakes since Madonna took a liking to it—they say that there is always a chilled bottle ready wherever she goes.The 2002 is pure essence. One of my absolute favourite houses.
Lunch @ 16 rue Jeanson – Aÿ
2008 DEUTZ ‘BLANC de BLANCS’ | Aÿ | Champagne | France | Deutz | 100CH | RJpoints 90(94)
TASTING NOTE From the start, extremely voluptuous, round and generous. Here are all the cute yellow-white dessert assiocitionS. Creamy sweet, meringue-like and light citrus exotic. Perhaps a bit too rich and ripe, but I think above all hope that the acid is sufficient for further development.
2005 DEUTZ ‘AMOUR de DEUTZ’ | Aÿ | Champagne | France | Deutz | 100CH | RJpoints 90(93)
TASTING NOTE The wine lives on a lovely generosity and also wonderfully delicious easy drinkability. A highly appreciated and popular wine. As usual, I grumble some about the lack of airiness between the various components of the dense 2005.vintage wines Brie de Meaux tone in the fragrance in some bottles.
2000 DEUTZ ‘CUVÉE WILLIAM DEUTZ VINOTHÈQUE’ | Aÿ | Champagne | France | Deutz | 55PN 10PM 35CH | RJpoints 91(94)
TASTING NOTE I’m not quite a grip on how some wines from the hills surrounding Aÿ has become extra powerful, dark and concentrated monumental one usually fairly easy and tutti frutti scented soft year. Clos des Goisses and even clearer in this wine ,illustrates what I mean. Wonderful! Unfortunately, some oxidation tons the last times.
1975 DEUTZ ‘BLANC DE NOIRS d’AŸ VINOTHÈQUE’ | Aÿ | Champagne | France | Deutz | 100PN | RJpoints 99(99)
TASTING NOTE This wine that was too good to be sold and that is only intended for internal use has been made available for me to taste thanks to the generosity of Fabrice Rosset. The recently disgorged magnum is at its best after decanting and is surprisingly light in colour. Fairly soon the most beautiful Pinot aromas start to bombard one’s nose. Distinct layers of satiny-smooth strawberry essence, leather, liquorice, roasted nuts and gunpowder smoke make their appearance with accelerating strength. A masterly wine to follow for many decades in the future.
2008 DEUTZ ‘ROSÉ ‘ | Aÿ | Champagne | France | Deutz | 100PN | RJpoints 89(93)
TASTING NOTE The flowing rich vintage! What balance! What a prodigious Burgundy-like strawberry aroma and wonderfully generous softness!
|15 champagne lovers | 5 champagne | 4 vintages | 75 glasses | 3 dishes|
The bus took us to Reims again. Some free time at the hotel was nice and som ewanted to be guided around the Cathedral and wine shops by Richard. For the evening we met up Hôtel du Marc for a Winemakers dinner at the wonderful private house of Madame Clicquot especially for our little group.
RJ on VEUVE CLIQUOT In Sweden, no Champagne is as well known as the “Gula Änkan,” the Yellow Widow. The house was founded in 1772 by Philippe Clicquot. His son, François, married Nicole-Barbe Ponsardin, who took over the company at the age of twenty-seven when she found herself a widow. By her side was Comte Edouard Werlé and the firm’s chef de caves, Antoine Müller. Together with Müller she developed “remuage” using “pupitres.” One Heinrich Bohne then helped to take the Russian market by storm. Throughout the nineteenth century and right up to the 1970s, Clicquot was reckoned as one of the top four or five Champagne companies, a position they still are very close to obtain. At first the company merged with Canard-Duchêne, but today it is a part of the powerful Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) group. The 284 hectares owned by Clicquot in twenty-two villages are enough for around three of the almost 18 million bottles produced each year. The most important crus for La Grande Dame and the vintage wine are Ambonnay, Bouzy, Avize, Cramant, Le Mesnil, Oger, and Verzenay. Since 1962 modern vinification techniques and stainless-steel tanks have been used. If you find old, well-kept vintages they’ll be very like Bollinger and Krug. Despite the factory scale, the house has managed to keep its Pinot-based classic style, where dough, bread, and pepper are clear elements. Jacques Peters, who is brother to François Peters in Le Mesnil and an equally gifted winemaker, should get the credit for Clicquot’s quality today. The talented new winemaker Dominique Demarville follows smothly in the same tracks. The rich and honeyed La Grande Dame is a wonderful champagne, but the powerfull and nutty vintage wine often gives best value for money. Cave Privée is probably the best bargain on the market. A classic house that is one of the greatest!
The theme for the dinner was 2004. | RJ ON 2004 *** | A mild spring followed by a summer with unstable weather. Fortunately, the first weeks of September were hot and sunny and created good prospects for the harvest. In my opinion, the wines have a good structure with a rather floral bouquet but with a bit rough, stony mineral profile. The charm is missing, and it needs a fairly long storage before the cavities are filled in. Promising favorites that have reached the market include prestige champagnes from Thierry Perrion, Diebolt- Vallois, David Léclapart, and of course Jacques Selosse. Among the big elephants that are launched, I choose Mumm de Cramant, Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame, Dom Pérignon, and Louis Roederer Cristal.
But we started out on the beautiful terrace with a wonederful glass of rosé | nv VEUVE CLICQUOT ‘ROSÉ’ | Reims | Champagne | France | Veuve Clicquot | 50PN 20PM 30CH | RJpoints 84(88)
TASTING NOTE A new rose wine from the old lady made in a modern, somewhat lighter style. A tribute to the added red wine is really feels well integrated and all blue notes are conspicuous by their absence. However, I lack Clicquot customary bready richness in this fairly light creation. Cyril Brun’s latest mint toffee scented titbit is astoundingly great!
2004 VEUVE CLICQUOT ‘RICH RÉSERVE’ | Reims | Champagne | France | Veuve Clicquot | 59PN 8PM 33CH | RJpoints 82(85)
TASTING NOTE Nice together with foie gras, but the sugar is otherwise mostly in the way in this issue where the wine’s body is a little too round to completely fit in a sweet costume.
2004 VEUVE CLICQUOT ‘MILLÉSIME’ | Reims | Champagne | France | Veuve Clicquot | 62PN 8PM 30CH | RJpoints 88(91)
TASTING NOTE Embarking very promising but gets ‘dark’ to quickly in the glass, indicating that it should be enjoyed sooner than many of the greatest wines from the house. Bright and toasty in magnum.
2004 VEUVE CLICQUOT ‘ROSÉ’ | Reims | Champagne | France | Veuve Clicquot | 71PN 9PM 20CH | RJpoints 87(92)
TASTING NOTE Extremely charming from start. Lots of beautiful berry tones however, also stylish animal touch from the start. Unprecedented charm and the balance from the start with stylish features of summer romance.
nv VEUVE CLICQUOT ‘DEMI-SEC’ | Reims | Champagne | France | Veuve Clicquot | 56PN 16PM 28CH | RJpoints 52(67)
TASTING NOTE Precisely as with Roederer, Clicquot has even more bottle maturity in its sweetest wine before sale. A trouser-opener, as the Germans say. Honey, strawberry and toffee, but sickly sweet after a while. A good way to introduce someone to champagne.
AFTER-DINNER BOTTLES SERVED BLIND IN THE BAR | 1952 VEUVE CLICQUOT ‘EXTRA RARE VINTAGE’ magnum | Reims | Champagne | France | Veuve Clicquot | 67PN 33CH | RJpoints 98(98)
TASTING NOTE Absolutely outstandingly good! One of all these carzy magnums that Cyril and Dominique serves me and my VIPgroups instead of coffee at the Hôtel du Marc. Now it was a long time ago I tried the incredible ’55, but we’re on the same level of quality. The scent is more animal and reminds of the truffle-oozing ’61, but the taste is ultra sleek, smooth, toffee and multilayered as a novel by Shakespeare! The best Champagne of the trip?!
1996 VEUVE CLICQUOT ‘LA GRANDE DAME’ | Reims | Champagne | France | Veuve Clicquot | 64PN 36CH | RJpoints 94(96)
TASTING NOTE A surprisingly tranquil, high-octane, elegant La Grande Dame that will probably develop into one of the greatest vintages of this wine ever made. The balance is extraordinary and the wine has a silky appearance, devoid of both sharp edges and an exaggeratedly chocolaty, muscular body. Hints of hazelnut and white chocolate are present, but for the moment handsome fruit and fine mineral notes from Oger and Le Mesnil dominate. A uniquely long aftertaste that should convince doubters that something big is happening here.
|15 champagne lovers | 8 champagnes | 3 vintages | 120 glasses | 4 dishes|
The day after we visited the cellars of Veuve Clicquot (the name Ponsardin has been retired). Cyril Brun set up a Vin Clairs tasting for us:
|Veuve Clicquot||Vins Clairs pinot meunier Villedomagne||2013||btl||100PM|
|Veuve Clicquot||Vins Clairs pinot noir Verzy||2013||btl||100PN|
|Veuve Clicquot||Vins Clairs chardonnay Vertus||2013||btl||100CH|
|Veuve Clicquot||Vins Clairs chardonnay Cramant||2012||btl||100CH|
|Veuve Clicquot||Vins Clairs pinot noir Verzy||2012||btl||100PN|
|Veuve Clicquot||Vins Clairs pinot noir Verzenay||2008||btl||100PN|
|Veuve Clicquot||Vins Clairs chardonnay Villiers-Marmery||2008||btl||100CH|
|Veuve Clicquot||Vins Clairs Bouzy Rouge||2013||btl||100PN|
|Veuve Clicquot||Vins Clairs Final Blend||2013||btl|
|Veuve Clicquot||La Grande Dame||2004||btl||64PN36CH||RJ 94(96)|
|15 champagne lovers | 1 champagne | 9 vins clairs | 4 vintages | 150 glasses|
Bus left and took us to Winston Churchill´s favorite Champagne Pol Roger. we had a visit and lunch at Champagne Pol Roger with president Laurent D´Harcourt and some amazing rarities.
RJ ON POL ROGER The foremost ambassador for Champagne, Christian Pol-Roger, has unfortunately retired from the scene. Nowadays the firm is run by Christian de Billy’s son Hubert. He was very doubtful for a long time as to whether or not he should dedicate his life to the family firm, but feels completely at peace now that the choice has finally been made. Winston Churchill’s favourite domain was established in 1849 by Pol Roger, who was succeeded by his sons, Maurice and Georges.
At the turn of the century the Roger family changed its name to Pol-Roger. Maurice was the mayor of Épernay during the week-long occupation of the town by the Germans in September 1914. Despite German threats to shoot him and burn down the town, he remained defiant and was later hailed almost as a saint in the town. He was voted honorary mayor for life. England has always been the main export market for Pol Roger, and when the wartime prime minister Sir Winston Churchill died the label of the Champagne was black-edged in memory. After a suitable period of mourning, the 1975 Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill was launched, in magnums only. The wine is made in a style they believe Sir Winston would have appreciated. His favorite vintages were 1928, 1934, and 1947.
TODAY Nowadays the firm owns eighty-five hectares of vineyards, most of them close to Épernay: Mardeuil, Chouilly, Pierry, Moussy, Chavot, Cuis, Cramant, and Grauves. They meet 45 per cent of the firm’s needs, and the rest is taken from Pinot villages to give the wine backbone. Pol Roger’s vinification is quite normal, which leads me to the conclusion that the secret lies in the quality of the grapes and, above all, in the skill in assembling the cuvées. The wines are medium-bodied, with a lovely fruit balance and perfect dosage. The mousse is exemplary, with smaller bubbles than usual because of a cellar temperature half a degreee below the average.
Pol Roger had more wines and more older wines in the Millennium Tasting than almost any other Champagne domain, which is completely natural because Pol Roger’s champagnes are extremely high class and are so long-lived. They are normally most famous for their Pinot-dominated cuvées today made by Dominique Petit, but at Villa Pauli they were rewarded for the best blanc de blancs ever made, with their powerful 1959. My only 100-pointer is a blanc de blancs from Pol Roger. I love the entire range of the firm’s products, from the regular non-vintage all the way to the Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill, and I guarantee you that every sound bottle you drink will impart a life-enhancing experience of pure joy. Just at present the best bargain is the 2000 Blanc de Chardonnay if you can wait at least two more years after release. The wines from the 2002 vintage are destined for the cellar.
APÉRITIF IN THE GARDEN | 2004 POL ROGER ‘BLANC de BLANCS’ | Epernay | Champagne | France | 100CH | RJ 87(92)
TASTING NOTE It’s a bit early to predict whether this will be a bestseller or just a very nice Champagne. Anyway, we again have to do with a classic Pol Roger Blanc de Blancs with strong mineral character and lemon overtones. The roundness verify that we have to wait for a while.
1988 POL ROGER ‘BLANC de CHARDONNAY’ | Epernay | Champagne | France | 100CH | RJ 94(96)
TASTING NOTE This label is very consistent through the years. Already from the start, the ’88 was charming, and distinguished with a faint note of citrus and a soft aftertaste. Delightfully complex bouquet, with a nutty tone and classic purity developed in the beginning of the twenty-first century and by 2003 the wine had broken all barriers. Now it’s sensationally voluptuous and rich, with a Comtes-like exotic mint-toffee sweetness and layers of butter toffee and fat Chardonnay.
1999 POL ROGER ‘CUVÉE SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL VINOTHÈQUE’ by magnum | Epernay | Champagne | France | secret blend | RJ 91(93)
TASTING NOTE Young and immature directly after degorgement. A bit closed at that time, but nothing that makes me think of anything but a very good future. As I expected early, harmony appered when I tasted it again at the beginning of 2012. Very nice on jeroboam and magnum.
1993 POL ROGER ‘MILLÉSIME VINOTHÈQUE’ by magnum | Epernay | Champagne | France | 60PN 40CH | RJ 92(92)
TASTING NOTE A wine that was surprisingly similar to the fruity and charming nonvintage Champagne when it was released on the market. In a very short time the character has gained depth—we are already dealing with a classic but as-yet light and rapidly maturing Pol Roger. To be drunk in great, refreshing gulps. Because the house-style is intact, it will surely mature handsomely. No great depth, but still a good piece of work.
1996 POL ROGER ‘ROSÉ VINOTHÈQUE’ | Epernay | Champagne | France | 65PN 35CH | RJ 92(96)
TASTING NOTE This issue of this wine follows the trend of recent years’ rosé wines, which is somewhat lighter, more floral and simultaneously creamier than previous vintages. Gorgeously, romantically summery just at present.
2006 POL ROGER ‘ROSÉ’ | Epernay | Champagne | France | 65PN 35CH | RJ 84(87)
TASTING NOTE Clearly better than the alarming weakness in 2004. Pure fine fruit, but still somewhat neutral in style and now the rosé from PR is always the only vintage wine from Pol Roger, I do not acquire my own winecellar.
|15 champagne lovers | 6 champagnes | 5 vintages | 75 glasses | 4 dishes|