In Sweden, no Champagne is as well known as the “Gula Änkan,” the Yellow Widow. The house was founded in 1772 by Philippe Clicquot.
nv POL ROGER ’BRUT RESERVE’ | EPERNAY | 33PN 33PM 34CH | aprox 389 SEK | TASTINGNOTE ‘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. Some of the best bottles of nonvintage Champagne I have tasted have been well-stored Pol Roger. The ability to age with grace despite its Pinot Meunier content is the wine’s best asset. After a bad patch they are back on track again.’ RJpoints 75(85)
2000 POL ROGER ’CUVEE WINSTON CHURCHILL’ | EPERNAY | ASSEMBLAGE SECRET | aprox 1 295 SEK | TASTINGNOTE ‘Not at all exciting when it was released. The tones are here but in an unusually weak form. Will time provide enough evolving to provide the desired push? Oh, yes. Already very worthy of its label. Nice smokey complexity. Fat and already matured.’ RJpoints 94(94)
nv LOUIS ROEDERER ’BRUT PREMIER’ | REIMS | 62PN 8PM 30CH | aprox 399 SEK | TASTINGNOTE ‘Up to 20 percent of the oak-aged reserve wine is used in the nonvintage Champagne Brut Premier. Roederer has no set recipe regarding malolactic fermentation the personal qualities of the wine differ from case to case. Roederer is without doubt a brilliant Champagne house with an exceptional portfolio of wines. The nonvintage Champagne is brilliant. Invariably praised, nonvintage Champagne with a high proportion of reserve wines that had been stored in big oak barrels. Four years in the bottle before disgorging only the first pressing is used. For several years, an appley, storable, and decently good nonvintage Champagne. Today, a Cristal-like Champagne with outstanding finesse. Fantastic in magnum.’ RJpoints 83(91)
2006 LOUIS ROEDERER ’CRISTAL’ | REIMS | 60PN 40CH | aprox 399 SEK | TASTINGNOTE ‘I quake at the thought of how much Cristal is going to be stolen from the cradle at nightclubs and fashionable restaurants in the rich parts of the world. But this version is just fantastic from the start. A colossal power and beautiful rumbling pinot maturity. It’s like chewing on the ripest grapes from Aÿ and Verzenay. At the same time ultra stylish down all the unmistakable cristal essence, peach and mango sweetness, pineapple coconut, vanilla and unreal sprightly acidity and citrus flowery. Many similarities with 2002, but with a clearer pinot touch.’ RJpoints 95(97)
nv BOLLINGER ’SPECIAL CUVEE ’ | AŸ | 60PN 15PM 25CH | aprox 439 SEK | 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.’ RJpoints 81(89)
2004 BOLLINGER ’LA GRANDE ANNEE’ | AŸ | 60PN 40CH | aprox 899 SEK | TASTINGNOTE ‘Richer and greater than I had expected. The oak maybe a little too obvious, but in the process of integration. Nice fresh fruitiness, delicious unobtrusive vanilla tones and a crisp minerality that in the current situation overshadows the mushroom tones.’ RJpoints 93(94)
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)
It is not often one have the possibility to taste a vertical of all vintages made by the wonderful Fleur de Passion. Burt now it has happened twice in a couple of months. My dear friend ‘Miss Champagne-Marina’ invited me to this fabulous tasting this Saturday @ Vinkällaren Grappe in Stockholm.