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Björnstierne is the lecturer for sparkling wines & champagne at NSU Norsk Sommelier Utdannelse, who’s running sommelier schools in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim & Copenhagen. For step 2 the students tastiong the following champagnes:

2004 Guy Charlemagne

2004 Charlemagne ‘Mesnillèsime Grand Cru’ TASTING NOTE Originally mellow and enjoyable with a strong dominance of soft peardrop acerbity. Under the sophisticated mellowness there is vigour and the fickleness of spring borne up by fresh, crispy acidity.’ RJ82(88)

Agrapart 'Terroir Extra Brut'

nv Agrapart ‘Terroir Extra Brut’ TASTING NOTEWell well! This is a proper explosion. Very creamy and impressively compact with Cramant as its lodestar. Full-bodied, nutty and syrupy. With such voluminous structure, it ought to be designated as vintage.‘ RJ85(89)

2005 Taittinger 'Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs '

2005 Taittinger ‘Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs ‘ TASTING NOTEA truly wonderful wine from the start. As usual, they succeed particularly well in warm, acid-weak vintages, when the neighbors’ wines often appears flat and publicly simplistic. Despite the fact that the acid is not particularly accentuated here either, the vineyards aromatic citrus fresh touch, manage to leave a fresh uplifting side to the creamy fat smoothness. The finish is certainly chalky and elegant, but it raises to heavenly heights with a 76-like butterscotch soft, warm, sweet flavored embracing pillow. Magnum is still undeveloped and crispy.’ RJ 94(97)

gatinois1.1

Gatinois ‘Brut Tradition’ TASTING NOTE ‘Dark copper colour, faint nose of leather and plums. Good, acidic, pure and one-dimensional flavour of red apples. Very powerful right now.’ RJ 76(80)

Egly-Ouriet 'Brut Tradition Grand Cru' IMG_0321

Egly-Ouriet ‘Brut Tradition Grand Cru’ TASTING NOTE A copy of Bollinger’s nonvintage Champagne. Chocolate, hazelnut and ripe apples. A broad, masculine fleshiness and vigor. Better and better with greater depth, elegance and Selosse-like barrel quality and organic style. Avoid the youngest and most recently disgorged specimens of all.’ RJ 83(87)

Laherte 'Les 7 Extra Brut'

Laherte ‘Les 7 Extra Brut’ TASTING NOTE ‘Contains all seven varieties. A bit wayward, but pretty exciting rustic intensely fruity champagne. Here are unfortunately the cava-like tones that these grapes can have. Draws against scorched rubber.’ RJ 66(70)

 1998 de Saint Gall 'Cuvée Orpale Blanc de Blancs'

1998 de Saint Gall ‘Cuvée Orpale Blanc de Blancs’ TASTING NOTE Yet again, a brilliant prestige wine from the cooperative in Avize! This Champagne’s whole appearance exudes class and refinement—a polished elegance and harmony that I usually associate with the big Champagne houses’ prestige cuvées. The nose is concentrated and complex, almost like a Dom Pérignon Blanc de Blancs—if one existed. Toasted, fine aromas of bread and coffee are beautifully braided together with citrus notes in a creamy, simultaneously acidic attire.’ RJ 91(91)

2004 Bollinger 'La Grande Année'

2004 Bollinger ‘La Grande Année’ TASTING NOTE Richer and greater than I had expected. The oak maybe a little too obvious, but in the process of integration. Nice fresh fruitiness, delicious unobtrusive vanilla tones and a crisp minerality that in the current situation overshadows the mushroom tones.’ RJ 93(94)

1998 Henriot 'Cuvée des Enchanteleurs'

1998 Henriot ‘Cuvée des Enchanteleurs’ TASTING NOTEMany of you contacted me and were outraged when I rejected my first oxidative bottle. Now I know better. Here’s a bold silky concentration and completely harmonious style. No roasting and maybe a little bit too soft for really long life, but clear similarities with the 1998 La Grande Dame.’ RJ 93(94)

2006 Louis Roederer 'Cristal'

2006 Louis Roederer ‘Cristal’ TASTING NOTE ‘Just fantastic from the start. A colossal power and beautiful rumbling pinot maturity. It’s like chewing on the ripest grapes from Aÿ and Verzenay. At the same time ultra stylish down all the unmistakable cristal essence, peach and mango sweetness, pineapple coconut, vanilla and unreal sprightly acidity and citrus flowery. Many similarities with 2002, but with a clearer pinot touch.’ RJ 95(97

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