I am now a believer. I`e finally been baptised by an “older” champagne that I actually enjoyed; in fact, it may be one of the best champagnes I’ve ever had.
Our blind wine tasting group recently held its almost annual Valentine/ champagne event at our usual venue, in the barrel room of the Santa Barbara Winery. All members are free to invite as many guests as they want and everyone is to bring an appetizer to share along with a vintage champagne.
Over fifty of us drank well and enough over the course of the 2+ hour event which was held early enough for those who desire to move on to dinner having time to do so.
One of the numerous bottles got my attention in particular as it was being removed from its carrying case. It got more of my attention upon tasting it:
1982 LOUIS ROEDERER CRISTAL BRUT- 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. 20% of the wine was aged in oak; after seeing the vintage, I`m skeptical about the color before it`s unpacked, but then it easily apparent we have a viable bottle here as it was not the gold brown I`ve gotten before; the nose had honeysuckle, citrus and honeyed, slightly nutty baked apple notes and the taste profile also included honeyed lemon merengue that was emulated in the texture; it was full bodied, rich and luscious and just glided over the palate to the back end building up a crescendo before reaching a grand climax.
To Francois, Ray and all of you who have written glorious notes about aged champagnes, I get it, although this was not from 1912 or 1927 as some of yours have been. In fact, this may have been a youngster in your eyes, but for me it was a magnificent demonstration of relative maturity with perhaps another 5 years to still reach its apogee.
A most definite cheers here,