Met up with birthday-boy Mads for a glass of Bourgogne at Gaston Wine Exploring in Sthlm. Since he is a Bourgogne fanatic we started with a bottle of Hudelot-Noellat ‘Vosne-Romanee Premier Cru Les Malconsorts’ from 2011. But since it was his birthday we needed some bubbles as well. The sommelier FL served us a bottle blind’.
TASTING NOTE Bull’s eye! Michel Faucconnet has captured all of the distinctly acidic character of the ’96s, with additional smiling charm from the pure, feminine ’93, as well as the creamily beautiful ’95. Exquisite harmony and balance. Handsome toasted notes, crackling aromas and mousse, refreshing attack, and a strong imprint on the palate that remains some few hours later in the glass. The blenden is ’93 (20%), ’95 (20%) and ’96 (60%). A big Grand Siècle! ‘ BJpoints 94(96)
GRAND SIÈCLE The house’s real trump card is Grand Siècle — a wine that beautifully carpets even the most fastidious palate. A wonderfully complex, world-class Champagne. The latest blend is not really one of my favorites. Grand Siècle is one of the most wonderfully complex champagnes in the world. Grand Siècle is made by a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the former always something more dominant in the cuvée. The grapes in Grand Siècle is picked from twelve Grand Cru vineyards, including Ambonnay, Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Mailly, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Verzenay included. Only grapes from the finest locations in the vineyards have been selected to produce this champagne, which has been produced with wines from three different vintages
LAURENT-PERRIER 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 house was founded by Monsieur Laurent, a cooper from Chigny-les-Roses. His son married Mathilde Perrier, a stubbornly ambitious woman who really established the house. World War I strained to the limit the house’s chances of survival, as several of the appointed heirs were killed. Marie-Louise de Nonancourt bought the firm just as World War II broke out, and her son, whom she had groomed to run the company, was killed in that war. Her other son, Bernard, survived despite playing a leading role in the Resistance, and later returned home to take over the business. Today, Laurent-Perrier is part of a holding company that controls several other famous wine-producers in France, including the Champagne houses Salon, Delamotte, Lemoine, and De Castellane. Laurent-Perrier themselves own only 100 hectares but have contracts with growers covering around 800 hectares. The chef de cave Michel Fauconnet is known for his clinically clean cuvées, where oxidation is avoided at all costs. L-P is widely praised for their fruity and elegant cuvées. The nonvintage, rosé, Ultra Brut and the vintage wine are all faithful old servants.