TN: Top Cuvées from Bouvet-Ladubay

I’ve tasted and drunk a lot from the lower end of the Bouvet-Ladubay range, the Mlle Ladubay bottlings can give amazing value for money. But I haven’t always been impressed by the upper tier wines, especially the Trésor, which I have tended to think of as over-rated and a bit spoofy. Certainly last time I tasted it, it was dominated by weird, confected, buttery-oak-like aromas, and seemed to be trying too hard. But not on this tasting, when it seemed pure, fruit-rich and well-defined. As did the Cuvée du Millénaire, which I haven’t tasted before. I wish I could have bought more.

Bouvet-Ladubay Saumur Trésor Brut 2007: Lots of force behind the cork here, although in the glass this pale-straw coloured wine shows little bead. Not to worry, beyond the nose which has a lovely, smoky, dried-fruit character the palate shows a fine and creamy mousse, fine-boned, with a well defined core of acidity running through it. The fruit has that dried, slightly candied character found on the nose, with a touch of juicy sourness which I find very appealing, before rounding up in a fairly long finish. Great style and certainly good value. 17+/20

Bouvet-Ladubay Saumur Cuvée du Millénaire Instinct 2006: This wine shows a very delicate mousse in the glass, and a pale, stony-straw hue. A smoky nose follows on, more expressive than the Trésor, sweet with dried fruit character. Wonderful substance on the palate, creamy and direct, showing a little more flesh and more integrated acidity than the Trésor I think. Honey-stone fruits, white flower petals, overall this is an elegant, well-polished wine. Very good indeed. 17.5+/20

Two lovely wines - miles more value for money than last week’s wines, and in truth I thought - regardless of price - the intrinsic quality here was higher.

Have never tried the top stuff, but used to do a lot of the regular Cremant back in my retail days…!