The last days of July I had a visit from Bisty with family, who had left Belgium do a grand tour of Sweden. Bisty is active on Cellartracker, and his tasting notes can be found here. He is definitely guilty of having increased my interest in Champagne during the time I lived in Brussels, in particular smaller producers and visits to smaller producers. Because of that I thought it appropriate to open a couple of bottles, from smaller growers only, for dinner one of the nights. We had one Champagne in a rather standard style from a producer we had visited together, two 2008s from more “peculiar” (and less standard-styled) producers of very high quality, and then a magnificent bottle from the wizard in Avize.
J. J. Richard Carte d’Or Cuvée de Réserve NV
40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Meunier. Bought May 2011 at the producer.
Appearance: Light yellow
Nose: Yellow apple, other ripe yellow fruit, some honey, discrete flowery notes.
Palate: Ripe yellow fruit, including apple, some impression of sweetness of fruit, good acidity (but not really high), fruity finish.
Summary: A pleasant Champagne, in a “standard style” compared to the others, with some hints of development, 87 p.
A bit more on J. J. Richard below!
David Léclapart l’Amateur 2008
100% Chardonnay, formally non-vintage but the vintage year is specified on the back label using the code “L.V08”.
Appearance: Bright yellow
Nose: Apple, cider and apple core aromas, apple vinegar, citrus, hints of flower, mineral, “dry” impression, in a way a quite odd nose.
Palate: Very dry, apple, cider notes, citrus, good concentration, mint, some lemon liquorice, mineral.
Summary: More substantial than expected (probably a reflection of the vintage), with typical notes for a developed Léclapart. 90 p
I recently wrote about a couple of other Léclapart Champagnes tasted this spring.
Cédric Bouchard/Roses de Jeanne Inflorescence Côte de Val Vilaine 2008
100% Pinot Noir, disgorged April 2010, formally non-vintage but the vintage year is specified on the back label using the code “V 08” together with the month of disgorgement.
Appearance: Light to medium yellow
Nose: Ripe yellow fruit, yellow apple, peach, some honey, almond, flowery with white flowers. More honey notes than the Leclapart.
Palate: Definitely dry, yellow and red apples, good concentration, some spice, rather high acidity.
Summary: Almost blanc de blancs style despite being a blanc de noirs, 91 p.
Jacques Selosse Lieux-Dits Aÿ La Côte Faron
100% Pinot Noir, disgorged 23 February 2011.
Appearance: Golden yellow
Nose: Yellow winter apple, oranges, dried fruit including white raisins, spice, oak notes, perfume. A big nose and a lot of elegance!
Palate: Big concentration and full-bodied, sweet and ripe yellow fruit, yellow apple, peach, good acidity, some spice, fine balance and quite elegant.
Summary: A great wine, 95 p.
This Champagne was included in the line-up in spring 2012, when we tasted the three vineyard wines then released by Selosse against Jacquesson’s vineyard wines. At that time, I liked this wine the best among those from Selosse, and I liked it just as much now – yummy! The Pinot Noir Champagnes produced by Selosse, and unfortunately the volume is small and they are very challenging to find, have always impressed me greatly.
The bottle from J. J. Richard brought back some memories from our visit in May 2011. On the label the producer is specified as J. J. Richard & Fils, but it is the same producer as Champagne Richard-Fliniaux in Aÿ, only a different brand. We were told that Richard-Fliniaux Carte Perle is the same as J. J. Richard Carte d’Or, but with a different label. On location, we happened into a discussion with our host about Richard Juhlin’s Champagne Guide, in its 2008, which one of us was seen having brought along. We had rented an apartment at the premises of this producer and arrived in Aÿ at closing time, so we ended up sitting and talking to our host for a while and tasted some of his Champagnes. He wasn’t quite happy with his profile in Juhlin’s book and point out some factual errors. One of those was their name, specified as “Fliniaux, Richard”, while it actually is Richard-Fliniaux, two surnames merged with a hyphen. It will be interesting to read Juhlin’s new book A scent of Champagne, due to be published this autumn. Initially, it seemed it would be published late 2012, but that never happened. I’m interested both to see what layout it will have and the extent to which the producer profiles have been updated. I hope that it doesn’t just consist of almost the same text once again, without major updates. I’ll probably review the book after it has been published.
The last couple of weeks have been quite Champagne-dominated on the blog, since I’ve also posted some tasting notes that have been laying around for a while, so I guess bubbles are coming out of the ears of regular readers. In the near future, expect a blend of Bordeaux (Sauternes, dry white and red), Loire, Rhône and Tyskland, both based on some upcoming tastings in August and on notes that have been waiting for a while to end up as blog posts. We’ll se at which rate these posts appear, since there’s also some non-vinous work to be done once in a while.
The Swedish version of this post can be found here.