Got together with a few others for a 1990 Champagne dinner at Marea. Service was great as always and the food was just off the charts. Not a whole of surprises on how the wines showed. The following is a brief summary.
Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque Mag
Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque 375mls x 2
The contrast between the two formats was vast but I’m relatively sure the halves had seen some poor storage at some point in there lives. The mag was very youthful, but also a straightforward wine with nothing to excite me. The halves were a tired example of the same wine. Good and Fair minus
La Grande Dame
La Grande Dame Late Disgorged
There is no difference between the two labels and once the bottle is removed from the owc, there is no way to tell the two bottles apart - which is ridiculous.
The original release La Grande Dame was initially more expressive and open than the late disgorged version. However, the fruit was more intense on the latter. Over the course of the evening, the Late Disgorged LGD opened up a bit and was a clear notch above the original. Excellent minus, Excellent
Not as glaring a difference between the two, at least out of the gates. The '90 Roederer is definitely an over achiever compared to some other vintages. I like the '90 Cristal, and it did gain in the glass but I think it is overpriced at $400 or so a bottle. Putting the price tag aside, it is a good high quality Champagne. Excellent Excellent plus
Pol Roger BdB
Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill
The contrast between these two is glaring. The BdB is fully mature and a soft wine without much structure. The SWC is surely pinot dominated and is a powerful wine with tons of acidity and structure. But, there is plenty of fruit upfront to support the acidity. Stills needs some more bottle age to show its best. A bottle consumed from the same case a few weeks ago was a bit more expressive. Great fture for this wine. Very Good and Excellent plus
This was the one flight I was surprised by. Based on past experience I was expecting the Ruinart to win the battle of these two BdB’s. However, It was the Taittinger that started out showing more fruit, more structure and then continued to improve as the evening went on. This bottle of Dom Ruinart was solid, but it didn’t have the next gear that the CdC had. Staggering minus and Excellent
Philipponnat Clos des Goisses
I anticipated the Goisses to be my favorite of the evening and it didn’t disappoint. Was a couple of other peoples favorite wine as well. Pure fruit with a touch of chalkiness to it but it’s balance of power and elegance is what made it my favorite.
Krug was a powerhouse of a champagne only rivaled by the Pol Roger SWC in that regard. Still an infant with surely a long life of great drinking ahead of it. The Guinea Hen definitely helped smooth out the rough edges that time will surely also help.
The first bottle of DP was controversial only in whether it was corked or had some other flaw(s) to it. Second bottle was a sound bottle showing the round creamy DP style. There some variation to '90 DP but this second bottle was a top example. Staggering plus, Staggering minus, Staggering minus.
DP Rose Oenotheque
I’m sure it was just the different setting, but this seemed much less youthful and purely fruit driven than the bottle I had a few weeks ago. Much more elegant and defined on this night.
Fun night with a couple of the usual suspects but several new Champagne recruits were in attendance as well. I wish I was going back to Marea again tonight - I enjoy it that much.