Artisans du Champagne Trade and Press tasting at Comme.

A great tasting for the trade and press at Comme in Melbourne.
Comme foyer
Wines tasted were:
Continue reading Artisans du Champagne Trade and Press tasting at Comme.

Lanson 2002 Gold Label Brut

I don’t often do reviews of big house Champagnes since they do not really take my interest. But there has been lots of hype in recent press – and some retail specials also. About the $50 mark – so not a lot of money really.

The mousse is fine and  foaming – maybe a little too coarse for my liking but certainly very appealing. Nose has apricots, red fruits and quite developed aromas. For a 2002 – this seems quite an evolved ripe style. Palate continues the aromas. Certainly this is a nice Champagne but ultimately quite a short finish and not really that complex. Quite evolved style and not really that elegant and not that interesting.  Dosage is supposedly 12.5g/litre – which is way too sweet. Maybe a 14/20 if I had to rate it. Go and get a bottle of growers Champagne and enjoy some complexity.

Clos Saint Sophie – Montgueux

Here we have some photos of the 1.4 ha Clos in Montgueux. Previously grapes were all sold to Charles Heidsieck but now Emmanuel Lassaigne takes .4ha of Chardonnay. We tasted the vin clairs – wow – to be released in maybe 2016 or 2017. This wine will certainly turn a few heads. Amazing length and mineral concentration.

Champagne Tarlant – Oeuilly

Tasting with Benoit and Melanie Tarlant in Oeuilly.

BAM(Pinot Blanc, Arbanne and Petit Meslier). 2008 and reserve wines. Not yet for release – has great acidity and freshness. Will be very good with time.

Brut Zero Nature. 2006 and reserve wines. Ripe and round, creamy and minerally – a classic.

Brut Zero in magnu. 2005 and reserve wines. Quite toasty – still very pure. Long.

Brut Zero Rose. 2007 base and reserve wines. Lovely rounded smoky style – very nice.

Prestige 2000. Disgorged Dec 2011. 90CH 10PN. A rounded evolved style – cool and elegant. Very nice.

Prestige Rose 2000. Disgorged Oct 2011. Lovely elegant spice. Dosage 3g. 90CH. 10PN. Gastronomic style. Toast and apricot, hazelnut and citrus. Classic.

Prestige 1999. 70CH 30PM.Richer and more evolved, apricots, mushroom and sherry overtones.

La Vigne d’Or Meunier 2003. Dosage 2g/l. Quite ripe, nice acid backbone, complex style, again minerals and apricots. Nice wine.

La Vigne Rouge 2003. Dosage 1g/litrte. 100PN. Really nice weight, meaty style with apricots. Mellow round and soft. Evolved but elegant. Steep vineyard in Aisne Valley.

Cuvee Louis 2003 and 2002 blend. Tight and closed – great acidity. Very classic – rather nice.

Cuvee Louis 98 base with 97 and 96. Dosage 3g. Lovely softness and maturity. Honeyed and sherry overtones. Great balance – excellent.

Cuvee Louis 1996. Superb minerality – tight and young – needs some more time yet on lees.

Cuvee Louis 1990.  Magnum. Dosage 5g – disgorged in 1998 or 1999. Lovely complexity and finesse here. Long and supple. Great wine!



Champagne Gaston Chiquet – Dizy

Cuvee Insolent Base 2007 mainly Pinot Meunier dosage 8g
Round and fruity – easy drinking style – relaxed and open.

Blanc de Blancs d’Ay 100CH all from 2008 dosage 8g
Wow, here we have some beautifull acidity and freshness – citrus and chalk – entwined – great length- SUPERB.

Brut Tradition 2008 (75%)+ reserve wines. 45PM 20PN 35CH dosage 8g.
Pure and long – complex with white fruits – citrus – the 2008 base wine makes this something very very special. Excellent.

Cuvee Rose 40PM 30CH 30PN 2008 base. dosage 8.8g
Lovely smoke and spice here – hints of sour and sherbet – elegant and long. Superb.

Cuvee Reserve base 2005 dosage 8g.
Similar mix to Tradition but on an older base wine. Smoky and leesy with sherry and walnut. Confiture and dried fruits. Big wine and needs food to match it.

Millesime 2003 60PN 40CH dosage 8g
Concentrated – dried fruits – hazelnuts – unctuous. Long and powerfull.

Millesime 2004 60PN 40CH, dosage 8g
Amazing purity, minerals and chalk and citrus – with only a hint of red fruits. Great length – this needs timand will surpass the 2002 in overall quality. Better balanced and very classic. One of the great wines tasted this year. Stunning.

Special Club 2004 70CH 30PN dosage 8g
More finesse and purity than the vintage wine. White fruits and hints of floral make this maybe the best Club that Nicolas has ever made? Sensational.

Champagne Lilbert – Cramant

Tasting with Bertrand Lilbert in Cramant.

Cuvee Reserve Blanc de Blancs 50/50 2008/2007 dosage 7g.
Fresh acidity of 2008 gives this wine remarkable finesse and elegance. Pure and sophisticated – very long – really fine mousse. This makes up 80% of total production. 15 parcels of vines, 60% Cramant, 30% Chouilly and 10% Oiry. 10% of vins clairs are sold to Moet et Chandon.

Cuvee Perle 2007/2008 dosage 5g, 10% of production. Pressure is at 4 atmospheres.
Lovely minerality and chalk, citrus and hints of tropical perfume. Nice acid – long and persistent. More intensity than Reserve – more finesse due to lower pressure.

Millesime 2006 dosage 5g – pure Cramant fruit.
Huge length – floral and stone fruit overtones with pine nuts.All finesse – with subtle mousse – an aloof style – all class – needs time in the cellar- bracing acidity. Great wine.

Bertrand disgorges using a machine but with no ice. He says he saves 1% less wine waste than by using the freezing method.

Champagne Henriet-Bazin – Villers-Marmery

Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut. All from 2008 at 5g dosage. From Verzenay Pinot.
Really vibrant and fresh,  hints of red fruit but still very mineral and spicy. Quite superb.

Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru Blend of 2006/2007 dosage 8g.
Sophisticated and pure – white floral and citrus. Nicely mineral. Very nice.

Selection 1er Cru. 60PN 40CH blend 2008 and 2007 dosage 8g.
Nicely fruity, perfume and exotic overtones. Nice.

Blanc de Noir Grand Cru. dosage 8g blend 2008 and 2007.
Now we see some real power and red fruit length. Classy.

Marie-Amelie 2006 100CH from 50 year old vines. No malo, dosage 8g.
Quite a persistant style – toast – ripe – mineral. Good.

2006 Carte Or 1er Cru 60PN 40CH dosage 8g.
Real finesse here – minerals with hints of red fruits. Very good.

2006 Grand Cru 70PN 40CH dosage 8g.
Powerfull and intense – all in great balance. Superb.

Champagne Coessens – Ville sur Arce.

Jerome Coessens has taken up the family vineyards to make his own Champagne from a single parcel of Pinot Noir.

Blanc de Noir. dosage 10g, from 2008 only.
Pale green color, lovely spice and chalky complexity – very fine mousse – made all in tank – very elegant style – not too fruity. Very nice indeed.

Brut Nature 100% 2006.
Mineral and spice – very pure – citrus and a hint of red fruits – not dry or hard – restrained and focussed. Superb. The next Brut Nature will be a blend of 2009 and 2011.

2006 Millesime Extra Brut. dosage 5g.
Chalky spice with hints of cocoa, vanilla and citrus.Pure and long. Superb.

Les Sens Boises. in oak 80% malo dosage 7g
Lovely vanilla and white floral overtones, salty and mineral, really complex.The fermentation starts in tanks and then gets transferred to barrel immediately. Super wine.

Rose saignee 2007 dosage 10g.
24 hour maceration, sour cherries , pale orange / pink color. Really finesse driven. Very nice.


Champagne Eric Rodez – Ambonnay

Cuvee Crayeres 60P, 40CH blend of 2007 down to 2002. 25% oak dosage 6g – partial malo 80%.
Marvellous weight and freshness – minerals and spice – great length here – maybe the best version of this so far. For a base cuvee- this is quite extraordinary.

Blanc de Blancs 100CH from 2006 back to 2000. 60% in barrel. dosage 5g
Perfumed and very spicy – unusual to see a pure Chardonnay from Ambonnay – all southern exposure – partial malo of only 30%.

Blanc de Noirs 100PN, from 2006 down to 1999 reserve wines. 35% malo dosage 5g.
Quite a feminine style – lovely red fruit purity – great length – unique. Superb.

Brut Zero 30CH 70PN from 2004 down to 2000 reserve wines. 25% partial malo – dosage 0.
From an older base wine – but similar to the Crayeres – flavour profile is really quite different – really spicy – with floral and dried fruit overtones.Excellent.

Rose 45PN maceration for two days, 30PN, 25CH, dosage 5g, 75% barrel from 2006 back to 2000 reserve wines.
Here with have red fruits, sour cherries all in balance with the Chardonnay component adding some real elegance and finesse.

Millesime 2004. 50PN 50CH 80% in barrel – dosage 5g- partial malo 15%.
A powerfull wine, camomile at the start, apricots and white flowers. Certainly a great vintage and probably better than the 2002. Great length and complexity. Superb.

Cuvee Grand Vintages 30CH 70PN solera from 2004 back to 1995 dosage 4g, 100% barrel no malo.
A very pure expressive nose – minerals with cocoa and coffee notes – hints of sherry – long and intense. Amazing! Standout.

Mystery wine – NV rose from blend 1995, 1993, 1992 and 1990. Dosage 10g.
Disgorged 10 years ago.Caramel and honeyed elements, mushrooms, red fruits, salty chocolate overtones – superb.

Champagne Ledru – Ambonnay

Some wines tasted a la volee with no dosage of course.

2006 Brut Nature – purity and finesse – hints of citrus and apricots.
2007 Goulte Nature – really quite superb – 100PN – unctuous and red fruity but not heavy. I prefer the Nature over the regular dosaged cuvee.
2008 Rose Saignee – wow – the acidity of 2008 works so well in counterpoint with the subtle tannins.

Extra-Brut 2008 base, 85PN 15CH, dosage zero.
Wow the purity and minerality here is an absolute standout, there is a hint of red fruit and hazelnut but never overpowering. SUPERB

2002 Brut Nature 85PN 15CH
One of my favourites of all time, great length and lovely spicy red fruits, confiture, hints of apricot – very complex. SUPERB

Brut 2009 base dosage 8g 85PN 15CH
Complex but a little too rich for me – I prefer the extra-brut.

2007 Millesime 85PN 15CH dosage 8g
Large framed – complex and weighty – honeyed and apricots. Very good.

2007 Goulte 100PN dosage 8g
Really very fine and handles the dosage very well. Mineral and pure – stone fruits – apricots. Superb.

Rose assemblage 2008 base 100PN dosage 8g
Sour cherries – salty – chalky – toasty – perfect balance – very good.