The second-to-last Champagne-BYO of the previous year took place between Christmas and the New Year, on invitation from G. Champagne is a common theme when those who are active at the Swedish forum finewines.se (a warning before you click: it’s in Swedish…) are involved, and all of us were folks who’re active there. When a general BYO is anounced at finewines.se, where good and interesting types of wine are welcome, we usually see at least one-half Champagne. In this cased, Champagne was the theme, and all but one were small grower Champagnes, probably because our host announced beforehand that his bottles would be from small growers. It turned out we had two themes as part of the lineup: three wines from Savart and two from Ulysse Collin, both high class small producers who have established themselves at their current level in the last couple of years.
2007 Savart Dame de Cœur
100% Chardonnay, disgorged June 2012.
Nose with yellow apple, some notes of winter apple, smoke, some modelling clay, mineral, and a hint of herbaceous notes. Dry and firm on the palate with mineral, high acidity, good concentration of fruit with yellow apple, grapefruit, hints of winter apple, aftertaste with a lot of grapefruit. Rather young, but approachable now. 91(+) p
Dame de Cœur is Savart’s high class prestige Champagne.
2005 Savart Dame de Cœur
100% Chardonnay, disgorged March 2011.
Nose with yellow apple, some notes of winter apple, som honey, some mineral and smoke, some spice, with time some oak notes emerge. Dry on the palate with mineral, apple, good acidity, spice, somewhat developed notes, a hint of bitterness, and aftertaste with mineral. Some more nuanced notes emerged after some time in the glass. A bit lighter on the palate than the 2007. 89 p
As far as I understand, this was the first Dame de Cœur that was produced. The vintages 2006-2008 have without doubt showed better than this 2005, which is good, but performs more on the level of “regular vintage Champagne”. I assume this was a time of learning, but I also guess that the somewhat firm, mineral-driven and elegant (current) Savart style wasn’t too easy to express in a vintage with high grape maturity like 2005.
2004 Savart Calliope
60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir.
Nose with yellow apple, some red apple, a hint of winter apple, some honey, mineral, some modelling clay. After a while some bready notes emerged. The palate is dry and shows mineral, apple, citrus, other yellow and light-coloured fruit, good concentration, high acidity. Rather young, but drinks well now. 90 p
Calliope is the “old” prestige cuvée of Savart, of which 2007 was the final vintage. During the short time when both Calliope and Dame de Cœur have been produced, Dame de Cœur has generally come across as better and with greater potential for development, but this time I preferred the 2004 Calliope to the 2005 Dame de Cœur. It probably plays a role that 2004 is a slightly better and more fresh vintage than the 2005. The style of Calliope is a bit more traditional, with some bready and developed notes, while the style of Dame de Cœur more clearly reveals its origin with a modern small producer, with its firm and pure impression.
2009 Ulysse Collin Les Pierrières
100% Chardonnay. Disgorged 2013.
Light yellow colour. Rather powerful nose of citrus including zest, mineral, and with some oak character. Palate with powerful concentration, notes of citrus, quite pronounced stony mineral notes, a tiny hint of bitterness, quite high acidity, and a long and very mineral-packed aftertaste that almost goes on forever. Young, 92+ p.
2008 Ulysse Collin Les Pierrières
100% Chardonnay. Disgorged 2012.
Light to medium yellow colour. Rather powerful nose with citrus, yellow apple, some mature fruit notes with some winter apples, mineral, and some oak. Palate with powerful concentration, notes of citrus with zest and ripe lemon, high acidity, and a long citrus-dominated aftertaste. Rather young, but drinks well now, 93 p.
To me, the relative character of the 2008 and 2009 is mostly inverted compared to what I expect from these vintages. Here, it is 2009 that show higher acidity and more mineral, while 2008 is more dominated by fruit! I had the same impression when I tasted them separately, and the impression was confirmed when I had the opportunity to taste them side by side. Both are very, very good!
2006 Ulysse Collin Blanc de Noirs
100% Pinot Noir. Disgorged July 2010.
Pale pink colour with some orange tinge. Nose with red apples, some winter apples, wild strawberries, some herbaceous notes, spice and mineral. The palate is powerful and spicy, with mineral, some winter apple, and a hint of bitterness. Powerful but slightly disjointed palate, rather good. 88 p
Not at all of the same class as the 2008 and 2009 Les Maillons, which is Ulysse Collin’s current blanc de noirs. On the other hand he hasn’t been active that long, and I believe this was the first (or second?) vintage of blanc de noirs, so he’s highly excused if this vintage was still part of his period of learning.
2006 Georges Laval Les Chênes Brut Nature
100 % Chardonnay. Vineyard-designated wine from Cumières, 890 bottles produced.
Light yellow colour. Rather powerful nose of yellow apples, some apple compote, a light oxidation note and mineral. Palate with yellow and some red apples, high acidity, very pronounced mineral note, and a long mineral-dominated aftertaste. Very mineral-dominated palate! Rather young, but drinkable now, 91 p.
2008 Marguet Les Crayères
70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir. Disgorged May 2013. Vineyard-designated wine from Ambonnay.
Light yellow colour. Nose with yellow apples, some red apples, citrus, some winter apples and mineral. The nose changed quite a lot with time in the glass. First I found some bready notes, and then the fruity notes just mentioned dominated and some herbaceous notes appeared, and after additional time some oak and spice, including pepper, could also be felt. Palate with quite good concentration, apple, citrus, high acidity and noticeable minerality. Young, 90+ p.
Apparently the first vineyard Champagne from Marguet, but more seems to be on its way. This ambition, and the style of this wine, places Marguet among the new generation of small growers. Egly-Ouriet also produces a vineyard wines from Les Crayères in Ambonnay, but that wine is produced from 100% Pinot Noir. Unfortunately, that wine is produced non-vintage, otherwise it would be very interesting to taste the same vintage of these two wines next to each other.
2002 Tarlant La Vigne d’Or Blanc de Meuniers
100% Pinot Meunier. Disgorged 2010.
Medium yellow colour. Nose with ripe yellow apple, other ripe yellow fruit some honey, developed notes with winter apples, rather noticeable spice. Fruity palate with powerful concentration, yellow apples, other yellow fruit, high acidity, rather ready to drink. 91 p
Quite good for a Pinot Meunier!
Egly-Ouriet Brut Rosé Grand Cru (half bottle)
Older label style without disgorgement date indicated, probably from early 2000s or possibly late 1990s.
Orange-pink with some bubbles. Nose with oranges, pronounced oxidation notes with a Sherry-like impression, and red berries. Palate with red winter apples, good concentration, good acidity, mineral, some spice. 89 p?
More fresh than expected, since the cork seemed somewhat tired and came out with almost no resistance. This wine proves that you don’t always need to be the biggest fan of what you bring yourself to a BYO, because some of the participants were clearly more positive than me to this wine. Perhaps they were fascinated by an old rosé produced in a style that was powerful enough to take quite a bit of oxidation.
2003 Gosset Celebris Rosé
68% Chardonnay, 32% Pinot Meunier, 7% red wine.
Orange-tinged deep pink, a lot of mousse. Nose with red apples, mineral, blood grapefruit, noticeably spicy, and discrete oak notes. Palate with powerful concentration, spice, red apples, red berries, good acidity, and mineral. Ready to drink, 92 p.
The 2003 character – a year with very hot summer, high grape maturity and lower acidity, when many Champagne houses didn’t produce any perstige wine and in many cases skipped the regular vintage Champagne as well – can be noted in the concentration and in the fact that this wine comes across as ready to drink. This means that it comes across as a little older than it is, once we factor in that it’s a prestige Champagne. But I can definitely not complain about any lack of acidity or mineral character, since this wine has a lot of freshness and good balance. I can’t remember that any of those who tasted thought this was a 2003.
Fellow blogger Johan C. wrote here – in Swedish – about the same tasting. The reason I still include the link is that he included closeup pictures of the individual bottles.
My Swedish version of this blog post can be found here.