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decanter tasting 2000 vs 2002 1 juli 2015

We gathered a group of tasters in RJ’s tasting group to taste 2000 side-by-side with 2002 vintage. The result will be published in the next issue of Decanter Magazine Read about last years tasting,named ’Crème de la crème’. (mer…)

1996 Cristal Vinothèque by the magnum 2 september 2014

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) (mer…)

1964 Henriot ’Vinothèque’ 11 juni 2014

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.

champagne spring trip – day 3 – Deutz 6 maj 2014

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.

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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.

Deutz lunch-line-up

Lunch @ 16 rue Jeanson – Aÿ

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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. 

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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.

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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 'BdN VINOTHÈQUE'

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.

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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

champagne spring trip – day 2 – Diebolt-Vallois 29 april 2014

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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One of our members catched the cork with …. This bottles was disgorged à la Volée. But as You can see it went wrong … 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNfdUyPN6ms&feature=youtu.be]

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.

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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