On Friday night I was invited to witness the Grand Chapter of Ordre des Couteaux de Champagne at Stockholm City Hall. The place were the Nobel Prize Dinner takes place every year on the 10th of December. I was, together with other sommeliers, wine wirters and wine importers honored of being inducted as Chevalier de l’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne. My fellow Champagne colleague Peter Liem was inducted a few years back. Read his story.
After the ceremony a grand dinner was held at ‘Gyllene Salen’.
CREAM OF SHELLFISH, SOUP LOBSTER & CRAYFISH
DEUTZ ‘CUVÉE WILLIAM DEUTZ’ 1998 – by the mesthusalem | Aÿ | 55PN 10 PM 35CH | The property is among the most beautiful in Champagne, and even the wines are very distinguished. The style is laid-back, elegant, and sophisticated, with a medium body, crystal-clear fruit, and an exemplary mousse. All the wines are good, but the Cuvée William Deutz Rosé is something special. Their Vinothèque wines and the white William are also world class wines.
TASTING NOTE ‘A bit mean and apple-tinged up to now. The almost earthy stoniness of this vintage is not something that contributes to giving the wine charm, either. It will certainly improve well and truly, but it is hardly likely to be one of the great Williams, is it? The sudden strawberry maturity in the finish makes me ask the question.’ RJpoints 91(93)
LEMON CURED SCALLOPPS, CRAB SALAD & ARMORICIA CREAM
LOUIS ROEDERER ‘CRISTAL’ 2002 – by the mesthusalem | Reims | 55PN 45CH | Cristal is today the most sought-after cuvée de prestige, and has perhaps the most appetizing appearance of any wine in the world. Cristal Rosé is not only the most expensive rosé Champagne—it is obviously the best. In my opinion, this house is one of the four best in all of Champagne. Every vintage is stunning. Buy all the Roederer wines you come across!
TASTING NOTE ‘Roeder’s Cristal belongs to the elite of prestige Champagnes. It combines Bollinger’s and Krug’s heavy, nutty, Pinot-inspired style, with Taittinger Comtes de Champagne’s enjoyably exotic fruitiness and butter-caramel taste. My expectations were not entirely fulfilled since this wine plays in exactly the same league as the ordinary vintage wine and the Blanc de Blancs this time. Sublime and aristocratic of course, but not as full-bodied as the vintage wine. Wonderfully feminine elegance just a month later. Hoey and fantastic today. A bit closed in 2012 so wait.’ RJpoints 95(96)
FILLET OF VENISON, CREAMY PORCINI RISOTTO
POL ROGER ‘CUVÉE WINSTON CHURCHILL’ 2000 | Epernay | Christian Pol-Roger refuses to reveal the grape content after making a promise to the Churchill family. However, I think my guess of 70 percent Pinot Noir and the rest Chardonnay is close to the truth. | England has always been the main export market for Pol Roger, and when the wartime prime minister Sir Winston Churchill died the label of the Champagne was black-edged in memory. After a suitable period of mourning, the 1975 Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill was launched, in magnums only. The wine is made in a style they believe Sir Winston would have appreciated. His favorite vintages were 1928, 1934, and 1947.
TASTING NOTE ‘The favourite Champagne among Swedish wine journalists. I love the entire range of the firm’s products, from the regular non-vintage all the way to the Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill, and I guarantee you that every sound bottle you drink will impart a life-enhancing experience of pure joy. My spontaneous impression was that the nose and aftertaste were suffering from youth syndrom while the middle taste was stunningly concentrated and typical of Winston, with a translucent layer of orange-like fruitiness and a darker layer of liquorice. After more careful tasting I am inclined to agree with those who find dosage in youth rather disturbing, but I am very attracted by this multi-facetted beauty who arouses one’s interest and promises masses at the prospect of future rendezvous.’ RJpoints 90(94)
LAURENT-PERRIER ‘CUVÉE ROSÉ BRUT’ – by the magnum | Tours-sûr-Marne | 100PN | Laurent-Perrier is the biggest success story since World War II. The family firm was on the verge of going under in the early 1950s, but is now among the largest and most respected companies in all of Champagne. The nonvintage, rosé, Ultra Brut and the vintage wine are all faithful old servants.
TASTING NOTE ‘Skin contact and 100% Pinot grapes together make a successful recipe for rosé. A light colour and a nose which is hard to describe and could only come from a major house. Complexity and finesse but no personality. The mineral-rich flavour is relatively long and pure. In September 2006 I received my first really impressively weighty Pinot bottle. Hope it will continue to improve.’ RJpoints 83(88)
DARK CHOCOLATE MOUSSE, CLOUDBERRY COULIS & FUDGE
BOIZEL ‘JOYAU de FRANCE’ 1996 by the magnum | Épernay | 55PN 45CH | Boizel still has eleven bottles remaining from 1834, the year when the firm was established at Épernay. This particular treasure chamber is unique in Champagne in having several undisgorged wines from the nineteenth century. The cellars lie under the Avenue de Champagne, next door to the house where Christian Pol-Roger lives. Boizel has always been better known abroad than at home in France.
TASTING NOTE ‘Both the Chardonnay and the cuvée de prestige Joyau de France are of very high class in their respective categories. A pure grand cru Champagne of high class. But this bottle was to mature in the aromas for me. A lot of mushroomy and wild game notes.The taste is almost hard, but concentrated. There is also a smoky backbone and a long aftertaste of rich Chardonnay.To bad that the acidity is still not integrated in to the Champagne. Sorry , not my cup of tea …’ BJpoints 87(87)
Skål from Sthlm City Hall!