TN: Champagne (Selosse, Gaston Chiquet, Dom Ruinart, Pol Roger, Billecart...)

Notes from a recent Champagne dinner…

  • NV Jacques Selosse Champagne Brut Initiale - France, Champagne
    Disgorged October 21, 2009. Light golden colour. Very yeasty and autolytic on the nose with earthy and complex aromas of creamy citrus, red apple and nuts. This really attractive and intense profile carries onto the palate with ripe and rich flavours of red apple, nuts, minerality and lemon cream. The mouthfeel is rich and creamy with muscular acidity and amazing depth. Very well balanced with a long minerally finish. This Drinking very well now. Outstanding. (94 pts.)
  • NV René Geoffroy Champagne Volupté - France, Champagne
    Tasted blind – light straw colour. Fresh and crisp nose with notes of green apple and citrus. On the palate this was very crisp and dry with loads acidity following the green apple and stony chardonnay flavours. This took some time to open up but when it did it was very enjoyable. This needs a few years. Excellent. 90+ (90 pts.)
  • NV H. Billiot Fils Champagne Brut Rosé Grand Cru - France, Champagne, Ambonnay, Champagne
    Tasted blind – light pink colour. Shy on the nose at first but after 10mins notes of youthful and juicy cranberries and strawberries came out to play. This was dry and trim on the palate with crisp cranberry flavours and high acidity. This bottle has been cellared for 2 years and I drinking well now. Excellent. (90 pts.)
  • NV Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut Rosé Sauvage - France, Champagne
    Tasted blind – slightly darker pink, almost orange. Funky nose with candied strawberries, mushrooms and some earth. Nose is very nice. In the mouth, this is surprisingly dry (after the juicy/candied nose) with tart grapefruit flavours and an aggressive and slightly angular profile. The palate was disappointing after the nose. Maybe this needs some time. Good. (85 pts.)
  • 2004 Jose Dhondt Champagne Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Mes Vieilles Vignes - France, Champagne, Oger, Champagne
    Tasted blind – Corked. NR (flawed)
  • 2004 Gaston Chiquet Champagne Spécial Club 1er Cru - France, Champagne
    Tasted blind – light yellow colour. Fresh nose of citrus, minerality with hints of floral and dough. On the palate very youthful and energetic with a creamy mouthfeel that’s framed beautifully by bright acidity on the lengthy finish. I thought this might be a BdB. Loads of potential here but this needs 3+ years at least. Excellent. 91+ (91 pts.)
  • 1998 Ruinart Champagne Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru - France, Champagne
    Tasted blind – light straw colour. Right of the bat this nose was singing with beautiful notes of yeast, toast, apples and citrus with loads of minerality and salinity. Very chardonnay-like on the nose and as Coop said this is “Grand Cru Chablis with bubbles in it”. In the mouth this was rich yet fresh with perfect balance and bright and crisp acidity. The finish is long, rich and lively with apple, spice and nut flavours. This was drinking so well yet there’s a ton of potential as well. Outstanding. 94+ (94 pts.)
  • 1998 Pol Roger Champagne Brut Vintage - France, Champagne
    Tasted blind – light yellow colour. Shy at first but after 30min opened up with nice developing aromas of baked apple, earth and hints of toast. Palate seemed more youthful than the nose with fresh flavours and bright acidity. Once this opened up it drank quite well but this should have even more to offer in a few years. Excellent. 91+ (91 pts.)
  • NV Elisabeth Goutorbe Champagne Cuvée Éclatante - France, Champagne, Aÿ, Champagne
    Tasted blind – Riper nose of apple, cinnamon, stone fruit and a hint of toast. Rich on the palate with sweeter flavours and medium acidity. Pear and creamy lemon on the finish. Very good. (89 pts.)
  • 1999 Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs - France, Champagne
    Light straw colour. Like the ’98 Pol Roger, this was tight at first and needed a solid 30min in the glass to open up. Fresh and very youthful chardonnay nose of citrus, flowers and salinity with just traces of autolytic notes developing after an hour in the glass. On the palate the youthful profiles carries on with crisp citrus and loads of acidity. This needs 3-4 years at least. Excellent. 90+ (90 pts.)
  • 2000 Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume - France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Quarts de Chaume
    Tasted blind – from 375ml. No formal notes. Medium gold colour, looking older than a 2000. Sweet nose oxidized apples and honey with decent acidity. This bottle is drinking well right now. Excellent. (90 pts.)

Looks like a great tasting. The Rene Geoffroy Volupte from 2006 fruit was a stand out at a recent dinner with the winemaker.

Nice notes and my kind of dinner with a blind Champagne theme. Im not surprised with the results of the Piper-Heidsieck rose; overall Im not a fan of their house style and was particularly disappointed with this rose. I love the Gourtorbe array of wines and this one especially is a winner.

Great notes. Thanks so much.

Thanks for the comments. This was the first time i had been to an all Champagne dinner and I think I need to start going to/organizing them more often. The organizer and host of this one did a geat job and it was one of the best themed dinners Ive been to in a while.