FLIGHT1 – blanc de blancs
Vouette & Sorbée ‘Blanc d’Agile’
Buxières-sûr-Arces / Champagne / Frankrike / Vouette & Sorbée / importör: Vin & Natur / pris: 368 sek / 100CH
PRODUCER Yet another disciple of Anselme Selosse. Bertrand Gautherot makes biodynamic Selosse-like wines of pure grapes from 4 hectares in Buxières. New and old 400-litre oak barrels and dosage-free bottling. Astonishing similarity despite Aube being the production area. Brilliant testimony to the significance of winemaking. Blanc d’Argile is a special wine made from cuttings from Selosse’s vineyards at Avize and Dauvissat Valmur in Chablis. Rich Chablis influence but perhaps even more Selosse inspiration with a tang of dwarf banana, dried fruit, straw, Brazil nuts and oak. Intense and exciting. The rosé is Bourgogne-like and advanced. The only 4-star property outside Marne.
TASTING NOTE ‘A speciality of a wine made from cuttings from Selosse’s vineyards at Avize and Valmur in Chablis. Richly influenced by Chablis but perhaps even more inspired by Selosse with an aroma of dwarf banana, dried fruit, straw, Brazil nuts and oak. Intensive and exciting. Wonderful David Leclapart-like Champagne with pear dominance in a young stage. At the same time austere and archetypal biodynamic wine I hit right on when blind testing today.’ RJpoints 84(90)
Diebolt-Vallois ‘Fleur de Passion’ 2004
Cramant / Champagne / Frankrike / Diebolt-Vallois / importör: PrimeWine/ SB nr 90323 / pris: 599 sek / 100CH
PRODUCER Jacques Diebolt and his family are some of the nicest people I’ve met in Champagne, and the fact that they produce Chardonnay wines of world class doesn’t hurt either. Several producers in the village make supremely enjoyable Champagnes, but personally I think Diebolt gives the cru another dimension, especially with those wines that haven’t gone through malolactic fermentation, and which were harvested from the sixty-five-year-old vines in Les Pimonts or Les Buzons. There is a thought-provoking depth reminiscent of Le Mesnil, combined with Cramant’s creamy structure. Unfortunately, the demand for Diebolt’s wines is so great that they are forced to sell the Champagne far too early. Diebolt was an unknown name before the firm was awarded Champagne Producer of the Year in 1992 by the magazine Gault Millau, but since then the connoisseurs of the world have fought over their bottles. Jacques’s most recent inventions are Fleur de Passion some of the foremost young Champagnes I have tasted, and the ’53 and ’61 are already legendary. Terribly close to five stars because everything Diebolt does is perfect in its way. 2002 Fleur de Passion will become a legend.
TASTING NOTE ‘A new super-wine is born. Jacques Diebolt has put his heart and soul into the 3,000 bottles that are sold under this label. The philosophy is to copy earlier generation’s methods of craftsmanship: only the oldest vines, no malolactic fermentation, storage and fermentation in small oak barrels, lengthy maturation in the bottle. The result is astonishing. Vintages ’95, ’96, ’97, and ’98 are all exceptional wines, with a concentrated Chardonnay flavor that one only finds with Clos du Mesnil, Selosse “N” and a number of grand cru wines from Burgundy. Young and graceful with chiselled elegance and floral beauty. Some oakiness is starting to emerge.’ RJpoints 93(93)
Pierre Peters ‘Lés Chétillons’ 2004
Le Mesnil-sûr-Oger / Champagne / Frankrike / Pierre Peters / importör: Vinunic / RS / pris: 575 sek / 100CH
TASTING NOTE ‘One of the most terroir specific wines one can face. In my mind’s taste world it commutes character from dark chocolate fudge that can go towards the lighter creamy direction occasionally. While the fruit can go against stringent, but always intense lime, usually tangerine lozenges and in warm vintages apricot jam. Minerality is always identical chalky, but with different strong padding. This voluptuous vintage goes against dark syrup rival caramel and sweet tropical fruit.Mesnils wines takes a long time to mature, but the champagne from Peters offers from the outset an accessible fruitiness reminiscent of mandarin and a large portion of sweet toffee and almonds. As people age, they become majestic and deep as wells, filled with coffee and walnut aroma and a fleeting, vibrant exotic fruitiness. It is fascinating to see how constant this wine is. The 02; little young and shy, but I suspect that the terroir and the floral essence of fudge are around the corner. Even more greasiness and depth. Some bottles of English maturation already strange enough.’ RJpoints 88(94)
Veuve-Fourny ‘Clos Notre-Dame 1er cru’ 2002
Vertus / Champagne / Frankrike / importör: Nigab / RS / pris: 898 sek / 100CH
PRODUCER Since 1955 the Fourny family has made its own champagne. Nowadays Monique and Charles Fourny make delicious champagnes from their 6.5 hectares. Organic farming, old vines, and oak barrels are the keys to their rapid success. The oaky, utra-serious wines from Clos Notre Dame need to be given time! The hour that was accidently given to me was enough to show the beginnings of greatness in the 02. A touch of smoky barrel and concentrated organic loveliness! Close to 4 stars.
TASTING NOTE ‘In the Clos Notre Dame has been cultivated grapes since 1167. Organic farming, old vines and oak barrels are the key to their rapid success. The oaky and ultra serious wines from Clos Notre Dame needs time! An exciting array of champagne from 50-year-old vines and 100 percent old oak barrels. Aalmost stony mineral character and a dry tight uniform classic feel on the tongue. The vintage elegance shines through and opens up a depth of singular power. When aeration is the wine more complex and to say that the wine is promising is an understatement. Smoky oak and concentrated organic beauty! RJpoints 87(90)
David Léclapart ‘l’Apôtre’ 2005
Trépail / Champagne / Frankrike / importör: Franska vinlistan / SB nr 90069 / pris: 1 190 sek / 100CH
PRODUCER David Léclapart is an autodidact, a biodynamic artist who works according to the Selosse Method and the teachings of Steiner. His conviction that loving handling always pays is hard to object to when one sees what masterpieces he creates in harmony with nature. His tinder-dry, refreshing wines have a bite and sting like few others while at the same time they are crystal clear, pure and silkily mellow. He hates sulphur and therefore he allows malolactic fermentation to occur naturally. Dosage is something he would absolutely never use. The wines, from three hectares at Trépail, are stored in oak barrels for fifteen months, with the exception of the Amateur, and are never filtered. The Amateur is a blend from 6 situations in the village. The Artiste is a blend of Billy and Côte des Prés and the prestige wine Apôtre comes from La Pierre St Martin, a vineyard that was planted by David’s grandfather in 1946. The wines are always from one vintage (1999 the first), but to discover which one has to look at the figures on the back of the bottle. The grape varieties are never mixed but the grape is given all the space as it needs to shine brilliantly on its own. It is a loving pleasure to follow David’s journey to the top.
TASTING NOTE ‘An un-dosaged wine from old vines. The wine is dense and super-concentrated, reminiscent of a Corton-Charlemagne and Meursault with its creamy and dark chocolate, buttery nuttiness and fluffy essen-like layering intensity. Sweetly today, monumental 2017.’RJpoints 93(96)
Jacques Selosse ‘Version Originale – Dégorgement 20 avril’12′
Avize / Champagne / Frankrike / importör: Franska vinlistan / RS/ pris: ca 850 sek / 100CH
PRODUCER The charismatic Anselme is influenced by his time at the Lycée Viticole in Beaune, where he studied together with several famous winemakers from Burgundy. Anselme was determined to attempt to make a great champagne using Burgundy methods. His father Jacques already owned some of the best strips of land in the Côte des Blancs, full of old vines, so Anselme did have some excellent basic materials to work with. Today Anselme owns four hectares in Avize, one in Oger, one in Mesnil, one in Cramant, 1 in Ambonnay, 1 in Mareuil and one in Aÿ. The land in Aÿ is right next to Bollinger’s Côte aux Enfants Anselme has made an oak-fermented Blanc de Noirs from these grapes. All of Selosse’s thirty-five Chardonnay locations are vinified separately in small Burgundy barrels bought in from different barrel makers. Anselme, the perfectionist, does almost everything himself. The old vines—average age thirty-eight years old—are pruned to the maximum in order to minimize the yield. The grapes are harvested later than most and are individually picked. After the pressing, the juice is tapped into 225-liter barriques (20 percent new barrels), where it stays for a year. Once a week Anselme lifts up the sediment with a steel rod in order to further enrich the wine, in a traditional Burgundy process called “bâtonnage.” Selosse categorically rejects malolactic fermentation, which means his rich wines have a bite that is unbeatable. The wines are then stored up to eight years in the bottle before being disgorged. Just as with Krug, all Selosse’s well-kept wines need at least six months’ bottle age after being disgorged in order for them to be accessible. The dosage is always very low, and only fruit sugar is used to maintain the wine’s natural balance. Selosse’s wines have given Champagne a new dimension, with their unique, vinous, Chardonnay style. The magic man from Avize has swiftly become Champagne’s cult grower number one, after having been chosen as France’s top winemaker in all categories by the magazine Gault Millau in 1994. Despite the fame, the price is resonable. All wines are magical. Thanks for existing Anselme!
TASTING NOTE ‘The same wine as Extra Brut with a new name. As yet, a little too young, but with an enormous integral power and fantastic acidity. Too oaky for some. Some bottles fully matured.’ RJpoints 93(94)
Paul Déthune ‘Blancs de Noirs’
Ambonnay / Champagne / Frankrike / importör: Vinlistan / RS / pris: 350 sek / 100PN
PRODUCER This Ambonnay domain is among the loveliest and best cared-for in the whole of Champagne. Every bloom in the garden is looking at its prettiest. The new roughcast on the façade is half-covered by gorgeous ivy whose colours stylishly match the metamorphoses of the seasons. The wines from the 7 hectares in the village are more or less biodynamically produced. Everything is just as immaculately cared for inside the tasting room. It is a joy to sit by the fireplace in front of a roaring fire with the jovial Sophie Dethune who nowadays let Pierre make the wines. That this well cared-for domain is the work of a woman is perhaps not so unexpected after all. Dethune ferments and matures her wines to an ever greater extent in old 205-litre barrels, with excellent results. 60% go on export and Clicquot is the main customer for grapes. The wines have acquired a power and dignity that they lacked before and the better ones are truly impressive creations. One thousand bottles of the highest quality are made from Ancienne in the style of Egly-Ouriet using 205-litre oak barrels. The 99 is super-rich with almond, nougat and initially just a hint of mint chocolate. The taste is powerful and monumental with caramel, dried fruits and beeswax. And a dark, thunderous, booming echo lasting for a minute.
TASTING NOTE ‘A welcome wine in the portfolio as breathing juicy fruit beneath the surface, but sublimely dances supported by fresh acidity and rigorous elegance.’ RJpoints 82(86)
Henri Giraud ‘Code Noir’
Aÿ / Champagne / Frankrike / importör: Bravin / SB nr 77635 / pris: 769 sek / 100PN
TASTING NOTE ‘A slightly richer and more mature form of Hommage where every drop stored in small oak barrels. Aromatic very similar to the one just mentioned, but fatter, longer and more voluminous in a Bollinger-like fashion.’ RJpoints 84(87)
Egly-Ouriet ‘Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes’
Ambonnay / Champagne / Frankrike / Egly-Ouriet / importör: Carovin / SB nr 77105 / pris: 995 sek / 100PN
PRODUCER This firm was established in 1930 and nowadays Michel Egly owns 7,7 hectares at Ambonnay, a third of a hectare at Bouzy and one and a half a hectare at Verzenay as well as 2 hectares Meunier in Vrigny. The average age of the vines is 35 years, with 60 years for the prestige wines. The wines are phenomenally great and rich. The grower is very close to gaining five stars through his fantastic development in recent years. Probably the foremost grower of Pinot Noir in the entire Champagne region nowadays. His much sought-after Blanc de Noirs Vielles Vignes comes from grapes from Pinot vines grown in 1946. They give this wine extra weight and density. The fruitiness is massive and soft, and the potential for maturation is enormous. He succeeds better and better for each issue. Nowadays this is a Selosse-like, exotic, oaky and biodynamically influenced giant among champagnes. The taste layers are fantastically generous and many-headed. Very close to 5 stars.
TASTING NOTE ‘Grapes from Pinot vines cultivated in 1946 give the wine an extra weight and concentration. The fruit is rich, soft, and dense, and the potential for cellar storage is huge. He is succeeding better and better with each issue. Nowadays this is a Selosse-like, exotically oaky, organically influenced giant of a champagne. The flavour layers are fantastically generous and multi-facetted.’ RJpoints 94(95)
Egly-Ouriet ‘Millésime’ 2002
Ambonnay / Champagne / Frankrike / Egly-Ouriet / importör: Carovin / SB nr 91270/ pris: 925 sek / 80PN 20CH
TASTING NOTE ‘Super concentrated power and superb tart finesse. A brilliant grower’s wine that, with all the clarity one could want, exhibits Ambonnay’s greatness and beauty. One of the most interesting growers in Champagne has done it again.’ RJpoints 90(94)
Egly-Ouriet ‘Les Vignes de Vrigny 1er cru’
Ambonnay / Champagne / Frankrike / Egly-Ouriet / importör: Carovin / RS / pris: ca 450 sek / 100PM
TASTING NOTE ‘If you have never tasted Prévost in Gueux then you should taste this wine. Very similar style. Inspired by Selosse, to put it mildly. Pure Meunier with biodynamics and new barrels. A lovely combination in the right hands and a new stylistic contribution in the already abundant flora of Champagne.’ RJpoints 87(90)
André Clouet ‘Un jour de 1911′
Bouzy / Champagne / Frankrike / importör: Vinunic / SB nr 74145 / pris: 549 sek / 100PN
PRODUCER Pierre and Françoise Santz-Clouet own nine hectares in Bouzy and Ambonnay. Chrming and full of ideas, their son Jean-François is striving toward Bollinger in style and quality. Sometimes he succeeds. These wines have rapidly enjoyed great success. The rare vintage wines come from old vines right next to Bollinger’s ungrafted vines in Bouzy. The labels look old-fashioned—either you love them or hate them. The wines, on the other hand, are hard to dislike. Unfortunately the great success has led to overproduction of Grande Réserve, Brut and Rosé so one star is lost because of that. All the other wines are as great as ever.
TASTING NOTE ‘A prestige cuvée made with exactly the same label that was used in 1911. The idea is that only 1,911 bottles will be produced every year under that name. The first version is a blending of 25 percent 2000, 25 percent 2005, and 50 percent 2002. The grapes are selected from places within Bouzy that give a great deal of mineral and elegance. The color is light. The fruit is intensely fresh and surprisingly light and Chardonnay-like. With storage, this wine will certainly remind one of Cristal, as opposed to the vintage wines, which more resemble Bollinger, their grape-blending notwithstanding.’ RJpoints 90(93)
Larmandier-Bernier ‘Vieilles Vignes de Cramant’ 2005
Vertus / Champagne / Frankrike / importör: WineTrade/ RS / pris: ca 600 sek / 100CH
PRODUCER The firm owns 9.5 hectares at Bergères-lès-Vertus, Chouilly, Cramant, and Vertus. Pierre Larmandier makes some of the purest Chardonnay Champagnes around today. The family has owned a few hectares of extremely old Chardonnay vines at Cramant for a long time, and during the 1990 harvest Pierre decided to make a select Champagne exclusively from these eighty-year-old vines. The result is a Champagne that will be legendary. Nowadays vinification is 100% biodynamic. All his wines gain from keeping for ten years – or maybe even longer in a good cellar! The 2006 Vieilles Vignes Cramant has been of the finest and ultra-sophisticated sort from the start. Perhaps rather too much stone and banana when one approaches it in the loveliness of its youth. But anyhow an unmistakeable creaminess and a classic, qualitatively high level throughout the entire experience.
TASTING NOTE ‘I believe that all the great wines in the world have something in common: a superior intensity in the nose that comes from their unique soil. This Cramant Champagne is such a wine. The nose is incredibly elusive, with an explosive, indescribable floweriness. Even though it is a little shy now, it’s lying there under the surface, waiting to explode in all its beauty. The flavor is extremely long, tight, and focused. Buy all the bottles you can get your hands on and put them away for your grandchildren!’ RJpoints 89(93)
Salon ‘Cuvée S de Salon’ 1999
Le Mesnil-sûr-Oger / Champagne / Frankrike / importör: Johan Lidby Vinhandel / SB NR 90421 / pris: ca 2 200 sek / 100CH
PRODUCER Salon is the most sought-after Champagne among connoisseurs. This magnificent wine is so rare that only a few people have had the chance to taste the quintessence of Le Mesnil.
TASTING NOTE ‘Recently the oak barrels have been thrown out, but that hardly affects the flavor, as the Le Mesnil Chardonnay grapes take up the most nutty and toasty aromas you can imagine, without even having seen an oak cask. Salon’s two plots in the village are always the ones where the leaves come out first, which shows that the microclimate there is exceptional. The average age of the vines is around fifty years old, and the other 75 percent of the grapes needed are chosen each year from the best growers in the village. Salon demands longer cellaring than any other champagne. The wines do not go through malolactic fermentation and have a razor-sharp acidity in their youth, which carries the wine to unparalleled heights through the years.’ RJpoints 90(94)
Jacques Selosse ‘Substance – dégorgement jul’12
Avize/ Champagne / Frankrike / importör: Franska vinlistan/ RS / pris: ca 2 000 sek / 100CH
TASTING NOTE ‘A new name for the Solera wine from Selosse. First Origine, then Substance—why not just call it Solera? There is, of course, a certain difference, because the wine changes slightly from year to year, depending on the youngest and most recent vintage used as an addition. The wine is still somewhat oakier and younger, but has a very clean and pure tart base to stand on. It would be wonderful to have a tasting with all of the different Solera blends made by Amselme, ever since the ’87 was poured into the steel tank in which all the wines are mixed. Better and better!’ RJpoints 95(95)
Jacquesson & Fils ‘Dizy Corne Bautray’ 2002
Dizy/ Champagne / Frankrike / importör: Vinunic / RS / pris: ca 1 500 sek / 100CH
PRODUCER Jacquesson—founded in 1798 in Châlons-sur-Marne—was one of the first Champagne houses. It didn’t take them long to become a famous firm. Their reputation wasn’t hurt either when Napoleon, visiting the company, bestowed a gold medal on Jacquesson in recognition of their beautiful cellar. America became their foremost export market recently old Jacquesson bottles were found aboard a wreck named the Niantic. By 1867 Jacquesson had already sold one million bottles, but after Adolphe Jacquesson’s death a sharp decline set in. Leon de Tassigny took over in 1920 and bought the fine vineyards they own today in Avize, Aÿ, Dizy, and Hautvillers. Still, the quality didn’t reach the level of the 1800s. For a long time the company played second fiddle, until Jean Chiquet bought the noble house in Dizy in 1974. Today, the company is run by his two determined sons: Laurent (vintner) and Jean-Hervé (businessman). When I first met Jean-Hervé in 1990, he told me that they were aiming for the very top. All new investments were made with quality in mind. The second pressing was sold, the proportion of reserve wine and oak barrels was increased, a greater amount of grand cru grapes was bought in. Today, this costly venture is beginning to bear fruit. The nonvintage is brilliant, and has now been given a number to differentiate it from the other blends. The pretsige cuvées are now among the best every year. Moreover, they have some of the oldest commercially available Champagnes in their D. T. series. In the future, several exciting mono-cru wines will be launched, so keep your eyes open. The Chiquet brothers won’t give up until they reach the absolute top. Jacquesson is one of the most interesting houses today, giving fantastically good value for money. I am so impressed by their latest release that I awarded them 5 stars!
TASTING NOTE ‘Corne Bautray is located on the way to the top of a hill above Epernay and greatly impressed with the harvest of 1995, and they made a cuvée from it. (2000 was the first commercial version). The vines, 9,000 were planted in 1960 on one acre and grown in relative thick topsoil. The soil consists of a layer of soft clay filled with gravel to a depth of three meters, providing good drainage. Summer 2002 was warm and sunny with cool nights, resulting in a generally dry year, much like 1976. The harvest started 18 September 2002. Vinification: Vinified ini 40 hl oak barrels, stirring the lees (battonage) and then complete malolactic fermentation. Racking (soutirage) in two batches before bottling without filtration was 3 June 2003. Matured eight years on its lees before disgorging 9 February 2011. No sugar added (dosage). The result was 4,684 bottles and 306 Magnum.’ RJpoints 92(94)
Jacques Selosse ‘Rosé -dégorgement oct’12’
Avize/ Champagne / Frankrike / importör: Franska vinlistan / RS / pris: ca 1 200 sek / 100PN
TASTING NOTE ‘Powerful and full-bodied on Selosses unmistakable style. This Rosé Champagne has a very high acid and radiant length. The aroma has a hint of strawberry flavor, pears, passion fruit, brazil nut and the usual oriental spices. Gets better every year. Great orange color from Eglys Pinot in Ambonnay.’ RJpoints 95(96)