Delectable aromas waft through the air, along with laughter and the sound of glasses clinking for a toast. You’re invited to the party. Featuring amazing, majestic flavours. Food prepared with both skill and passion.
Some days I love my profession more than other days! I just got offered a bottle of 1921 Pol Roger ‘Brut’ (Disgorged 1977) …
This Friday night at The Champagne Bar by Richard Juhlin mr RJ passed his 9 000 tasting note!
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)
The history of champagne is full of enterprising widows. Louise Pommery was already a widow at the age of 39 and she probably would have proudly smiled in her grave if she had found out that she was going to give her name to the prestige champagne that was created in her honor in 1979. Pommery, currently owned by Vranken, was founded in 1856 and is today one of the largest champagne houses with their 5.6 million bottles a year. Given that most equivalent champagne houses launched their prestige champagnes during the 50s and 60s, it is a bit surprising that they waited until 1979 before the giant in Reims stepped onto the prestige stage. The reason is said to be that the monegasque Polignac family for a long time was against this novelty, stating that the vintage wine was already perfect.
To read the full article You need to be logged in to champagneclub.com
During this weekends Nordic Magnum Dinner in Stockholm I brought an old time favorite: 1996 LOUIS ROEDERER ‘CRISTAL VINOTHÈQUE’ magnum | Reims | Champagne | France | Louis Roederer | 60PN 40CH | RJpoints 97(98)
The still wines of Champagnes, vins clairs, very seldom leaves the cellars of Reims. and equally seldom outsiders from the Champagne industry have the opportunity to taste them. Under the guidens of Chef de caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon I had the opportunity to go through rhe parts that ends up in the final blend of Brut Premier.
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|