This Friday we had the opportunity to invite members of Richard Juhlin Champagne Club to a presentation of our new champagne glass – ‘Richard Juhlin Optimum’. The three designers Mårten Classson, Eero Koivisto & Ola Rune where there to share their views on this new design.
For the members in The Richard Juhlin Champagne Club we set up at monthly tasting. The theme this time was ‘odd auction bottles’. The bottles has been purchased at Swedish Champagne auctions the last three years.
2004 DIEBOLT-VALLOIS ’FLEUR de PASSION’ | Cramant | 100CH | aprox 1 000 SEK | TASTINGNOTE ‘A new super-wine is born. Jacques Diebolt has put his heart and soul into the 3,000 bottles that are sold under this label. The philosophy is to copy earlier generation’s methods of craftsmanship: only the oldest vines, no malolactic fermentation, storage and fermentation in small oak barrels, lengthy maturation in the bottle. The result is astonishing. Young and graceful with chiselled elegance and floral beauty. SoYoung and graceful with chiselled elegance and floral beauty. Some oakiness starting to emerge. Suddenly grand and a year later stony and mineral salty.’ RJpoints 93(94)
1999 DEUTZ ’CUVEE WILLIAM DEUTZ’ | Aÿ | 55PN 10PM 35CH | aprox 1 500 SEK | TASTINGNOTE ‘William Deutz is a Champagne that impresses me more and more. It is early days still in the life of this young wine. The fruity loveliness and complexity in this closed bud of beauty are however quite unmistakeable. Yet another magnificent William with which to gild the future.’ RJpoints 90(94)
1998 DEUTZ ’CUVEE WILLIAM DEUTZ’ | Aÿ | 55PN 10PM 35CH | aprox 1 500 SEK | TASTINGNOTE ’A bit mean and apple-tinged up to now. The almost earthy stoniness of this vintage is not something that contributes to giving the wine charm, either. It will certainly improve well and truly, but it is hardly likely to be one of the great Williams, is it? The sudden strawberry maturity in the finish makes me ask the question.’ RJpoints 93(93)
1999 DEUTZ ’CUVEE WILLIAM DEUTZ ROSE’ | Aÿ | 55PN 25CH | aprox 1 500 SEK | TASTINGNOTE ’Yet another magical edition of this wine. Please do not drink it yet. Of course the wine is seductively delicious with its focused strawberry essence, but the layers will split up and they have the potential for becoming even more subtle and captivating with time. Be patient!’ RJpoints 92(94)
1992 VILMART ’CUVEE CREATION’ | RILLY-LA-MONTAGNE | 60PN 40CH | aprox 900 SEK | TASTINGNOTE ’Vilmart has quickly established cult status, only topped among growers by J. Selosse. A transparent bottle, small barrels, but younger vines. Surprisingly oxidative and miles from Couer de Cuvée from this vintage. A rich, rustic flavour of honey, toffee, leather and fallen fruit.’ BJpoints 90(90)
1998 VILMART ’CUVEE CREATION’ | RILLY-LA-MONTAGNE | 60PN 40CH | aprox 900 SEK | TASTINGNOTE ’Reminiscent of 1980 Noble Cuvée at the same age. Exactly the same aroma of meringue, sabayone and Brie. Creamy-sweet fruitiness with an element of vanilla. Not at all as compact or barrel-influenced as the Coeur de Cuvée.’ BJpoints 88(88)
1990 JACQUESSON ’CUVEE EMPEREUR NAPOLEON NON DOSE’ | DIZY | 54PN 46CH | aprox 4 500 SEK magnum | TASTINGNOTE ’A highly successful Champagne, where finesse and richness go hand in hand in excellent fashion. Hazelnut, white chocolate, honey, licorice, and a hint of oak are found in this refreshing and clearly youthful taste. Brilliant winemaking!’ RJpoints 94(95)
1990 JACQUESSON ’AVIZE BLANCS de BLANCS’ | DIZY | 54PN 46CH | aprox 2 000 SEK | TASTINGNOTE ’Their first vintage Blanc de Blancs was released in October 1994, replacing the much-praised nonvintage version with a lot of fuss and bother. I don’t know if this remarkable vintage was the reason for the huge jump in quality, but it is clear that this is a much broader and richer Champagne. The mousse melts in the mouth like the finest caviar, the nose is rich in bread aromas and Granny Smith apples, the flavor is soft and harmonious with a long, buttery, burgundy-like aftertaste. Ah, they are just so clever at Jacquesson’s! I am greatly charmed by this wine since the dryness, sometimes exaggerated, is bridged over by the buttery, rich, exotic fruitiness of the vintage. Very typical of the vineyard.’ RJpoints 94(95)
1989 HENRIOT ’CUVEE DES ENCHANTELUER’ | REIMS | 45PN 55CH | aprox 2 500 SEK | TASTINGNOTE ’The firm’s new cuvée de prestige is identical to Cuvée Baccarat. Tasted newly disgorged before the wine had gone onto the market. That’s why it was not so strange to detect a slightly restrained, unevolved characteristic about this—in all other ways—classic, house-typical Champagne. Vanilla, peach, lemon, rolls, bread, and mineral clothed in a fat, balanced exterior. Beautiful and developable. Highly reminiscent of Henriot’s delightful ’76s.’ RJpoints 94(94)
After the summer break we opened the season with a grand Bollinger-tasting @ Café Egoïste in Stockholm. Bollinger’s greatness?
- Bolinger only produces their own champagne. No wines are bought as ‘vins sûr lattes’.
- A large ownership of vineyards, 60 percent, which will garanteea consistent house style.
- 325 crus, which 17 are grand crus & 41premier crus.
- Pinot Noir is the base in all Bollingers Champagnes.
- Bollinger only uses ’la cuvée’.
- First fermentation only in oak barrels.
- Réserveviner matures in magnums under natural corks.
- Long maturation sûr-lie.
- Only four winemakers during the last 60 years.
- Low dosage. 7-9 grams for Spécial Cuvée & La Grande Année & Vieilles Vignes Françaises, 3-4 grams for R.D.
mv BOLLINGER ‘SPÉCIAL CUVÉE | 2008 base | 60PN 15 PM 25CH | SBnr 7418 | 859 sek | RJpoints 81(89)
TASTINGNOTE ‘Yet again, one of my absolute favorites among nonvintage Champagnes. Since the beginning of the 1990s the wine has only been four years old when it enters the market and is vinified in steel vats. Even so, it’s fascinating to see how much 12 percent old reserve wines, vinified in oak barrels and stored in magnums, do to lift the product. The oakish, smoky, and deep Bollinger style develops after a couple of years in the bottle.’
2004 BOLLINGER ‘LA GRANDE ANNÉE’ | 66PN 34CH | SBnr 7579 | 899 sek | RJpoints 93(94)
TASTING NOTE ‘Bollinger makes the heaviest and richest of all the Champagnes. The first fermentation takes place as usual in oak barrels and the final blend contains wines from 16 different villages, all Grand Cru (88%) or Premier Cru (12%). Their wines are always a smoky and fragrant hazelnut complexity that is hard to beat. Since the year 1990 made vintage wines from Bollinger in a little fruitier more scented with peaches with slightly less pronounced smokiness and nuttiness. The 04 is super comfortable with a lovely balance and accessible creaminess of chocolate and nutty undertones already. It can surely be kept for a very long time in the cellar and despite its early charm.’
mv BOLLINGER ‘ROSÉ’ | 2007 base | 70PN 10PM 20CH | SBnr 7755 | 549 sek | RJpoints 82(86)
TASTINGNOTE ‘They have spiced the white standard champagne with a little delicious red wine from the most famous locality at Aÿ. The result is a modern and charmingly easy-to-drink, elegant rosé that can at first glance be mistaken for rosé wines from less personal houses. When aired, Bollinger’s famous nutty and apple-influenced complexity appears, reminding one that this is not any old nightclub bubbly but rather an excellent gastronomic wine.’
2004 BOLLINGER ‘LA GRANDE ANNÉE ROSÉ’ | 70PN 30CH | SBnr 77078 | 1 265 sek | RJpoints 90(93)
TASTINGNOTE ‘7-8 percent still red wine of Pinot Noir from the vineyard La Côte aux Enfants was added before the second fermentation took place before bottlling. The wine was matured on its lees for at least six years, which is significantly longer than the minimum of three years for a vintage Champagne. During this process, real stoppers was used in the bottles, in contrast to the practice of “crown caps”. This is considered giving greater protection against oxidation. After disgorgement, which happens manually a very scarce dosage (the conventional addition of sugar) of 7-9 g / l, which perhaps gives the driest and most powerful rosé Champagne on the market. A little young berry notes from the added red wine disturb a little bt at the moment. Otherwise, the wine is well-rounded creamy, harmonious with classic Burgundian Pinot smoky and nutty Bollinger touch.’
RJ ON R.D. (Recently Disgorged) is the same as the vintage wine, but stored a few more years in contact with the yeast. The 1975 was for several years the best Champagne I’d drunk. The critics are unanimous—this is a great vintage for Bollinger. Some bottles with the Année Rare label have been too young and closed. The wine is best appreciated two or three years after being disgorged, when its classic hazelnut tones and rich flavor of truffles, cheese, and chocolate appear more clearly in the relatively hard and acidic wine. The aftertaste is majestic, with layers of nut and leather aromas.
2002 BOLLINGER ‘R.D.’ | Aÿ | Champagne | France | Bollinger | 60PN 40CH | aprox €250 BJpoints 92(95)
TASTING NOTE Disgorged 19th of Sep’13, 11 years sûr-lie. 23 crus, 71% grand cru & 29% 1er cru. Dosage 3 grams per litre. Since the year 1990 made vintage wines from Bollinger in a little fruitier more peach-scented style with slightly less pronounced smokiness and nuttiness. I was always more impressed initially by the previous style, but it feels like the differences even out over time. 2002 shows lovely shy notes of peaches and honey. It hasn’t developed it’s typical masses of RD-character yet. In the mouth this R.D. is typically oily and rich with notes of Champignon de Paris (!), Verzenay-dominated, stringent aroma of red apple peel. The taste is beautifully balance and harmonius. I love to drink R.D.s between 18 and 24 months after release. This is a Champagne that really benefits from being served in a Burgundy glass(!) As always tis is a Champagne for true gastronomy. Like the tartar of deer and oyster mayonnaise and lemon zest that we we’re served at the premiere-lunch in Sthlm. This is a grand R.D. in the making!
1999 BOLLINGER ‘R.D.’ magnum | Aÿ | Champagne | France | Bollinger | 60PN 40CH | aprox €200 RJpoints 93(94)
TASTING NOTE ‘Some RD character can be discerned from the start. More depth and mushroom aroma and a metal-like and wood-saturated tone and less kind tropical fruit than the vintage version. Significantly better than Grande Année’.
1996 BOLLINGER ‘R.D.’ magnum | Aÿ | Champagne | France | Bollinger | 60PN 40CH | aprox €250 RJpoints 94(96)
TASTING NOTE ‘Such a rich and fruity wine that the RD-character didn’t bite from the beginning. Now very dark in style with aromas of tar, raw mushrooms and heavy powerful flavor. Although not as elegant as Krug, but lately heading that way. ‘
2004 BOLLINGER ‘VEILLES VIGNES FRANCAISES’ | 100PN | aprox €580 | RJpoints 96(97)
TASTINGNOTE‘The Vintage Champagnes from Bollinger is among the best in the area, but the question is whether or not it’s amazing and rare wine Vieilles Vignes Françaises, made from grapes from ungrafted Pinot vines, reach even greater heights. Champagne’s biggest rarity is made from grapes from ungrafted prephylloxera-vines in Aÿ and Bouzy. Only 6-7 gram dosage is added. No other Champagne can show such wealth. Undeveloped compact scent. Mineral, cold and deep, filled with exciting flavors. Yogurt that can be found in some red Burgundies, here is a very significant feature. From the beginning, this Champagne is nearly perfect with its deep golden color, wonderfully mature and nuanced bouquet and shocking attack.
Think that blanc de noirs can be so elegant and versatile surprised! Just as expected, a tremendous wine experience! The wine belongs to the few who behave with such natural poise that comments and comparisons feels superfluous … Fantastic long and homogeneous already a colossal dense fruit spanning between pears to figs. Tempting to enjoy now, and it’s not a crime, but if you behave yourself you should probably wait until the wine’s 20 th birthday before you meet again when the truffle complexity are fully developed.’
Only 36 bottles found it’s way to Sweden of this rarity. 20 bottles were launched at Systembolaget the 30 May’13.
RJ ON BOLLINGER Joseph Bollinger was the German from Würtemberg who founded this ancient house in 1829. The French called him simply “Jacques.” The firm’s large estates in the best Pinot villages were bought by his sons Georges and Joseph, and in 1918 it was time for the next Jacques to take over the property. He became the mayor of Aÿ, but died during the German occupation at the age of forty-seven. The most colorful person in the history of the house is his widow, Lily Bollinger, who kept a watchful eye on every bunch of grapes by cycling through the vineyards regularly. Her rigorous demands for quality still run through the house to this day. Now Bollinger is run by Jérôme Philipon, who control over 144 hectares, providing 70 percent of the grape supply. The winemaker today is Gilles Descôtes. Besides the house’s exceptional vineyards, they also use very expensive vinification methods. All the vintage wines are fermented in small, aged oak barrels and are never filtered. Malolactic fermentation—which would probably take place very late in the process—is not encouraged either. The reserve wines are stored at low pressure in magnums. Bollinger make the heaviest and most full-bodied champagnes of any house, and their wines always have a smoky and hazelnut-y complexity that is very hard to beat. The vintage wines are among the very best, but the question is whether the rare and fantastic Vieilles Vignes Françaises, made with grapes from non-grafted Pinot vines, can reach even greater heights. All wines highly recomended.
The bus left from Hotel L’Assiette Champenoise for Champagne Diebolt-Vallois @ 84 rue Neuve in Cramant. A huge tasting of Fleur de Passion and vintages down to 1953 Vinothèque conducted by Jacques Diebolt himself.
RJ ON DIEBOLT Jacques Diebolt and his family are some of the nicest people I’ve met in Champagne, and the fact that they produce Chardonnay wines of world class doesn’t hurt either. Several producers in the village make supremely enjoyable Champagnes, but personally I think Diebolt gives the cru another dimension, especially with those wines that haven’t gone through malolactic fermentation, and which were harvested from the sixty-five-year-old vines in Les Pimonts or Les Buzons. There is a thought-provoking depth reminiscent of Le Mesnil, combined with Cramant’s creamy structure. Unfortunately, the demand for Diebolt’s wines is so great that they are forced to sell the Champagne far too early. Diebolt was an unknown name before the firm was awarded Champagne Producer of the Year in 1992 by the magazine Gault Millau, but since then the connoisseurs of the world have fought over their bottles.
RJ ON FLEUR de PASSION Jacques’s most recent inventions are Fleur de Passion some of the foremost young Champagnes I have tasted, and the ’53 and ’61 are already legendary. Terribly close to five stars because everything Diebolt does is perfect in its way. 2002 Fleur de Passion will become a legend.
2008 DIEBOLT-VALLOIS ‘FLEUR de PASSION’ | Cramant | Champagne | France | 100CH | RJ 92(96)
TASTING NOTE Pre-release-tasting. Despite its extreme youth a great wine today full of beautiful pear-dominated fruit and delightful oak-oriented Montrachet tones.
2007 DIEBOLT-VALLOIS ‘FLEUR de PASSION’ | Cramant | Champagne | France | 100CH | RJ 92(96)
TASTING NOTE Pre-release-tasting. Pre-release-tasting. Slightly more rustic and today it feels more oaky than normal at this stage. Here are some nice acidity and one for the vintage impressive richness of extract, but the balance is not what would be expected.
2006 DIEBOLT-VALLOIS ‘FLEUR de PASSION’ | magnum | Cramant | Champagne | France | 100CH | RJ 90(94)
TASTING NOTE Considerably weaker oak influence than usual. Throughout the entire experience is a steel like purity and a delicate youthful aroma of yellow plum and yellow apples. Beneath the surface lurks a depth of vanilla and spices . Certainly this enjoyable, but given how rare these bottles are, they should be stored at least five years after the launch to convert the volatile floral unit to classical nuttiness.
2005 DIEBOLT-VALLOIS ‘FLEUR de PASSION’ | Cramant | Champagne | France | 100CH | RJ 88(93)
TASTING NOTE Naturally a very difficult wine to assess when we kidnapped it on its third birthday. The structure and the rich, fluffy fruitiness make me convinced that this essence-like wine is going to be wonderful. Rich and fresh. Slow development for being a 2005.
2004 DIEBOLT-VALLOIS ‘FLEUR de PASSION’ | Cramant | Champagne | France | 100CH | RJ 92(93)
TASTING NOTE Young and graceful with chiselled elegance and floral beauty. Some oakiness starting to emerge. Suddenly grand and a year later rocky and mineral salty.
2002 DIEBOLT-VALLOIS ‘FLEUR de PASSION’ | Cramant | Champagne | France | 100CH | RJ 94(96)
TASTING NOTE Extremely young and floral with a massive oakiness and great seriousness at present. Tough acidic. Beautiful roundness started to develop summer 2010. Later more toasty, almost pinot-like smokiness.
1979 GUY VALLOIS ‘BLANC de BLANCS CUIS’ | Cramant | Champagne | France | 100CH | RJ 90(90)
TASTING NOTE Disgorged Dec10th’04. One of the vintages that Jacques has bought from Guy Vallois—in other words, a pure Cuis disgorged by Diebolt during 2003 and dosed with three grams of sugar. Up until now, the wine has behaved completely differently on the occasions I have tasted it. The first time, elegance and floweriness were the focus and the points were way over 90. The second time, the Champagne was unattractive and slightly clumsy, with certain coarse mature notes, despite a medium-deep color and good mousse. The trilogy of ’85, ’79, and ’76 is fascinating because the wines are still undisgorged and they truly allow the taster to see how individual bottles develop after this much contact with the yeast residue.
1976 GUY VALLOIS ‘BLANC de BLANCS CUIS’ | Cramant | Champagne | France | 100CH | RJ 93(93)
TASTING NOTE Disgorged Jun17th’05. This is a great wine that comes from Guy Vallois in Cuis, but which has been disgorged and dosed by Jacques Diebolt and thus carries his name—that’s how strange the laws in Champagne are. The wine is deliciously butterscotchy and exotically rich with tons of browned butter and créme-brûlée tones. Big and impressive, as you would expect from this warm year. In regular bottle a bit up and down but in magnums really great and consistent.
One of our members catched the cork with …. This bottles was disgorged à la Volée. But as You can see it went wrong …
1961 DIEBOLT- VALLOIS ‘VINOTHÈQUE’ | Cramant | Champagne | France | 100CH | RJ 97(97)
TASTING NOTE I’ve been present several times when a producer has opened a new bottle of the same vintage because he wasn’t satisfied with the first. Jacques, on the other hand, is the only one I know who opens a new bottle in order to show how bad the wine can be! At its best the ’61 has a fantastic, almost Pinot-like nose of truffles, decaying autumn leaves, barrels, and boiled vegetables, while the other he opened was more like mushroom soup. The structure was impressive in both, however.
1953 DIEBOLT- VALLOIS ‘VINOTHÈQUE’ | Cramant | Champagne | France | 100CH | RJ 96(96)
TASTING NOTE This bottles was disgorged à la Volée. One of the best Champagnes I have tasted. Drunk newly disgorged, undosed, in Diebolt’s cellar. The wine was made in oak barrels without malolactic fermentation. The color was brilliantly, beautifully golden. The bubbles continued to wind their way up the glass two hours after the wine was poured. The nose was given the maximum numbers of points! The entire wine was like a grand symphony by Sibelius—full of sadness, joy, nature, and romance. The freshness and playful ease, combined with the wine’s length, were exceptional, but the nose’s complexity was probably the most impressive part of the Champagne: coffee, treacle, bergamot oil, brioche, walnuts, limes, and passion fruit were the clearest aromas. A disappointment at the Millennium Tasting. Large bottle variation.
|15 champagne lovers | 10 champagnes | 10 vintages | 150 glasses|
New week, new Champagne list @ The Champagne Bar by Richard Juhlin.
We gathered some members from Richard Juhlin Champagne Club this Thursday to taste some mature Vueve Cliquot’s. The Tasting took place @ The Champagne bar by Richard Juhlin in Stockholm.