New Year’s Eve bubbles

On New Year’s Eve, we had a dinner with Champagne only. We contributed different bottles and made our way through four bottles: three to one dish each, and a fourth at midnight.

Champagne 20121231

Aubry Le Nombre d’Or 2000
Consists of all seven allowed grape varieties in Champagne, mainly Pinot Gris and Petit Meslier, but also Arbanne, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

Bright yellow colour with golden hints. In the nose ripe yellow fruit, yellow apples and partially winter apples, bready and toasted notes, with a slightly sweetish impression and some honey. Slightly more than medium bodied, ripe yellow apples on the palate, some apple compote, rather spicy, medium acidity. Foody and probably fully developed. The acidity is a bit on the low side. 88 p.

Served with a lobster sallad.

The grapes originate from Ville-Dommange, Pargny-lès-Reims and Jouy-lès-Reims, all situated to the southwest of Reims. I wasn’t aware that the four odd grape varieties were grown also in Montage de Reims, because all champagnes with these grape that I’ve seen before have been from Aube, i.e. the southernmost part of Champagne. So this was an interesting acquaintance. According to their website, Aubry started to plant the less common grape varieties in 1989, and harvested the first grapes 1993 and 1994, respectively. Their term for this is À la recherche des cépages perdus. 🙂

Bollinger La Grande Année Rosé 2002
62% Pinot Noir and 38% Chardonnay, disgorged March 2011.

Copper-tinged orange colour. Nose with wild strawberries, red apple peel, some maraschino cherries, very discrete spice and leather notes, some mineral. Slightly more than medium bodied, fruity palate with yellow and red apples including apple peel, good acidity, some spice and mineral, finishes with apple and wild strawberry notes. Young, 91 p, should have potential for a higher score.

Servered with veal.

I must say that this wine was more fruit/berry-dominated in its aromas than I had thought. The white Bollinger LGA 02 is not this fruity, since it shows some oak barrel and discrete oxidation notes. I have tasted LGA Rosé 02 at least two times before in 2010-2011, and I don’t remember it quite like this from those two times. This example was definitely good and worked with the veal, but I would have scored it higher those times.

Moët & Chandon Nectar Impérial (Sec)
Today 45 g/l dosage. Purchased February 2011, the bottle could be older because it was part of a stock clearance sale of a German wine merchant.

Bright yellow colour. Nose of ripe yellow fruit, some dried fruit, developed notes with mushroom and some bread. Off-dry on the palate, ripe yellow fruit, balanced acidity, mature notes. 84 p.

Served with waffles, raspberries and whipped cream. Also turned out to work rather well with chocolate truffles (unlike dry Champagne).

That’s right folks, I admit drinking “sweet” Champagne. If you serve such a wine to certain Champage geeks of the Extra Brut/absolutely no dosage caucus, they would rather gnaw off the hand holding the glass than drink its contents. 🙂 Initially, there was a suggestion to choose Asti for dessert. An excellent choice for a fruit dessert, but I thought we might just as well be consistent in our wine choice all the way through. I think this bottle must have been noticeably older than the date of purchase, because the mushroom note is typical for Pinot Noir with some maturity, and all non-vintage Moët wines tend to be sold young. (At least today, Nectar Impérial contains a slightly higher proportion of Pinot Noir the Brut Impérial does.) I believe that the bottles today have Demi-Sec somewhere on the label, but this one said Sec, but it definitely tasted Demi-Sec (=sweeter) to me.

Henri Giraud Hommage à François Hémart
70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay

Nose of yellow and red apple, some hints of smoke. On the palate green and some red apple, mineral, high acidity. 87 p?

At midnight.

Surprisingly green-apply for a Champagne dominated by Pinot Noir and with grapes from Aÿ, but this was late at night, so possibly some nuances were lost while rockets filled the sky.

The Swedish version of this post can be found here.

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