We have for a long time tried to get hold of the Comtes de Champage with age. Which has been a dilemma when the company historically had to improve the finances of the company as they sold a lot of Taittingers grapes to others. Whereupon also sold out almost everything they had in the cellars. Since 2002, however, Taittinger started to build a new reference oenothèque of Comtes de Champagne. Here we have a situation similar with Cristal. Buy everything you come across, and early. If you do not plan to pay quite a lot for your mature Comtes de Champagne, of course.
On the 9th of September 360 bottles of 1995 Charles Heidsieck ‘Blanc de Millenaires’ was released.
1995 Charles Heidsieck ‘Blanc de Millenaires’ | Reims | Champagne | France | SBnr 99445 price 1 399 sek | 100CH | BJ 95(95
TASTING NOTE ‘Charles Heidsieck’s cuvée de prestige is a constant winner at blind tastings all over the world. I’m less impressed by the deep yellow drink with its fine but rather miserly classical nose and buttery Chardonnay flavor. So silky-smooth and with such intensive nut toffee! The toastiness is there, but lying swimming in an oily nectar which prevents it from really making its way forward as it does in many other vintages. Pretty mousse and uplifting charm.’
Read more about our last Visit @ Charles Heidsieck – Reims.
The Italian Glassware & Tableware Company, Italesse presents Richard Juhlin ‘Optimum’, the dream of perfection – The history of the RJ Optimum glass is founded on a dream. Possibly Italesse’s greatest dream ever: to create the perfect Champagne glass. Based on the intuition of Italesse, the RJ Optimum took shape thanks to the collaboration of Richard Juhlin, one of the top international Champagne experts, and Claesson Koivisto Rune, one of the most appreciated design firms in the world. More than a simple glass, the RJ Optimum is sure to become an icon for Champagne enthusiasts.
Designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune
A new project dedicated to the world of Champagne realized with an extraordinary team composed of designers Claesson Koivisto Rune, the worldwide Champagne expert Richard Juhlin and taking advantage of Italesse 35 years experience in the field of Premium Glassware. Not to forget the relationship with some of the most prestigious Champagne Maisons developed during the last two decades.
THE PROJECT – that will be formerly presented during an event planned on November 20th at Le Jardin Les Crayères in Reims – consists in a very sophisticated glass conceived for the perfect tasting of Champagne. Studied in every single detail, the glass is the perfect combination of functional details and minimal shapes to offer a unique tasting experience for both Champagne experts and novices.
Italesse closed the year 2014 with a main event in the company’s history, perhaps one of the most important and ambitious projects ever undertaken: the presentation of the perfect glass for tasting Champagne.
A challenge from a technical, formal and design standpoint which Italesse has dealt with through an extraordinary work of synergy between Richard Juhlin, the ‘nose’ for Champagne par excellence, the trio of designers and architects Claesson, Koivisto and Rune, the minds behind of the world’s most celebrated design firms, winners of numerous awards, including the Red Dot Design Award (Best of the Best 2013) and Designer of the Year 2013-2014 (Elle Decor) and, of course, Italesse, a company with over twenty years of experience working side by side with some of the more prestigious Champagne Maisons, able to develop technical know-how of an extremely high level.
A concentrate of expertise that has breathed life into Optimum, a glass studied down to the smallest technical and formal detail in order to turn the tasting experience into a truly memorable sensory experience.
Following the strong indications provided by Richard Juhlin, extremely able in cataloguing Champagne tastes, fragrances and shades thanks to his one-of-a-kind olfactory sensitivity, Claesson Koivisto Rune have managed to complete the arduous task of ‘translating’ the technical suggestions into an ideal stem glass, featuring perfect proportions and essential lines.
THE GLASS The Richard Juhlin Optimum is the ideal glass for Champagne. It possesses a delicate and precise equilibrium between height, bowl diameter and piqûre that render it the perfect technical tasting instrument. The dramatic curve at the base of the bowl gives the glass a distin- ctive, contemporary edge. Perfect for professionals and amateurs. Conceived by Richard Juhlin, the ultimate Champagne expert.
The skilful balance of the height and width of the bowl, the closing of the glass rim – proportionally studied with respect to the bowl angle, the depth of the piqûre and of the perlage point, the sublime quality and lightness of the glass, perfectly distributed, guide the aromas and fragrances of the Champagne towards the nose with the right intensity, for unparalleled tasting.
Richard Juhlin has moreover optimized the serving level of the Champagne in order to obtain the maxi- mum sensorial experience.This line – called the Richard Juhlin Line – is available in a special edition of the Champagne glass.
At the taste test, Richard Juhlin was enchanted by his own creature. The Optimum glass, in fact, offers the experience of state-of-the-art tasting, ‘the Champagne opens up perfectly, I can taste all of its com- plexity and delicacy’, stated Richard Juhlin.
Lastly, the unique design, which can be seen in the sunken curve at the base of the glass, makes Optimum an icon for Champagne lover, beyond fads, combinable with any other line of wine and water table glasses and stem glasses, elegant and minimal, formal and modern.
PERFECTION IS IN THE DETAILS The skilful balance between height, mouth diameter and bowl width, for perfect ta- sting. And then its design rendered unique by the intuition of the inward curve.
MOUTH DIAMATER The rim is proportional to the height and angle of the bowl. It is closed just enough to allow the champagne to direct the fragrances and aromas perfectly towards the taster’s nose.
BOWL WIDTH The maximum diameter of the bowl means an optimal quantity and surface area exposure of champagne to the air. This is the ‘Juhlin line’, the ideal measurement for releasing champagne aromas and fragrances in the best possible manner.
PERLAGE POINT & PIQÛE The bowl depth is conceived to favour perlage in the centre of the glass, for perfect tasting. Inside the piqûre, on the bottom, there is a circular ring comprised of numerous small micro-etchings on the glass surface: this is the perlage point.When the champagne is poured into the glass long bubble chains are produced (known as perlage) and the effect is long-lasting.
BOWL HEIGHT Perfectly balanced dimensions along the entire height of the glass, both at the bottom, in terms of the depth of the piqûre, and in the angle of the cheminée, i.e. the angle at which the bowl gradually closes. A technically impeccable sha-pe: the generosity of the “Juhlin line” enhances the virtues of champagne, while the significantly taller cheminée ensures the right distance for ta- sting, concentrating the aromas and fragrances of the champagne to the perfect intensity and channelling them harmoniously towards nose and mouth.
INWARD CURVE The extreme delicacy of the glass that sinuously coils towards the stem designs a light, gentle cur- ve and gives the RJ Optimum a unique iconic identity.
LAUNCH The glass will be sold in launched in Sweden on the 4th december @ Asplund.
SHOPS The glasses will be available in the shops from the beginning of december 2014:
Stockholm: Deconation, Systrarna Voltaire, Asplund, NK, Royal Design
Hamosand: Johanne Svanberg
Karlstad: Feeling Interior
PRICE Retail price per box of 6: RJ Optimum ‘no line’ end-user SEK 599. RJ Optimum ‘Juhlin line’ end user SEK 659.
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)
Robert Parkers only 100 point Champagne?
20 years today, Björnstierne got married at Strömsholms Slott. Why not celebrate in grand style with a real favorite champagne?
Champagnehistorien är fylld av driftiga änkor. Louise Pommery blev änka redan vid 39 års ålder och förmodligen skulle hon ha lett stolt i sin grav om hon fått veta att hon skulle komma att ge namn åt prestigechampagnen som skapades till hennes ära 1979. Pommery som idag ägs av Vranken grundades redan 1856 och är idag ett av de största champagnehusen med sina 5,6 miljoner flaskor om året. Med tanke på att de flesta likvärdiga champagnehus lanserade sina prestigechampagner under 50- och 60-talen är det lite förvånade att man väntade ända till 1979 innan giganten i Reims klev in på prestigescenen. Anledningen lär vara att den monegaskiska Polignacfamiljen länge var emot denna nymodighet då man ansåg att årgångsvinet redan var perfekt.
1998 TAITTIINGER ‘COMTES de CHAMPAGNES’ | Reims | Champagne | France | Taittiinger | 100CH | RJpoints 93495)
TASTING NOTE ‘Not even the importer knew that the new vintage was on its way when they found a magnum 98 among their bottles. It is clearly a bit wrong to start tasting a new vintage in a magnum since the size of the bottle makes the wine even less ready. So far this is a fresh, lemon-crispy package of mineral without the slightest “Comtes” maturity. Store!!! All right, not as sharp any longer, some toastiness started to appear during the spring of 2007, and butterscotch plumpness in the spring of 2008.’
2014 is the year for a lot of celebrations – a lot of friends are turning 50 this year. We started to celebrate the Swedish National Day the 6th of June with a grand bottle:
1964 HENRIOT ‘VINOTHÈQUE’ | Reims | Champagne | France | price €850 | 60PN 40CH | TASTING NOTE Absolutely stunning Champagne! One of the most magnificent wine experiences I have been through and probably the most delicious wine I had drunk in the last five years. The balance is outstanding and the nectar equally nougat saturated and the nut roasted fruit essence is lovely. BJ 98(98)
RJ ON 1964 ★★★★★ | This wonderful vintage is often compared with 1966. The 1964s have today, with few excep- tions, a scent of mint chocolate, bergamot oil, freshly baked bread, and a rich toffee as well as a concentrated taste at the peak of their life cycle. If you want to try old champagne, but are not willing to take a risk, the 1964 might be the safest bet. The flower-filled prestige champagne Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque made its debut with this vintage that is still the house’s best. Dom Pérignon is another choice this year next to Louis Roederer Cristal, and Heidsieck & Co Monopole Diamant Bleu.
RJ ON HENRIOT Joseph Henriot is one of Champagne’s most powerful men. After having been the boss of Veuve Clicquot for many years, he returned to Henriot in 1994. Today the firm is run by his modest and extremely competent son, Stanislas Henriot. Winemaker is Laurent Fresnet. The Henriot family were established as growers in Champagne by 1640 they started their own Champagne house in 1808. The firm’s strength has always been the high-class vineyards they owned in Côte des Blancs. Today they only own twenty-five hectares of vineyards in Chouilly, Avize, and Épernay. The total proportion of Chardonnay obtained from the firm’s fine contracts with growers is more than 20 percent; it dominates the house-style with its clean, elegant, fresh citrus fruit. The Henriot family has always had strong ties with Charles Heidsieck, and still shares offices and wineries. With Clicquot, on the other hand, they share a cellar. The firm’s biggest export market is Switzerland, where Henriot’s dry, classic, slightly discreet Champagnes are a great success. The firm did well at the Millennium Tasting. Personally, I like these elegant classics more and more. Some of the most drinkable wines in the world has got the Henriot Label. Very close to 5 stars.