Vintage Champagne Exploration
Bottles individually purchased: £568
One winemaker. One Maison. One expression. One year. If you want to truly understand what the essence of a Champagne is and the critical role climate plays, then start with a vintage.
Spanning six different years between 2008 and 2018, each wine displays its own distinctive characteristics, whilst remaining wedded to the weather of the year it embodies.
Notes on each vintage:
2008 – One of the finest vintages of the century.
2010 – A tough year with great variability results, largely based on location, processes and timing.
2012 – One of the great vintages of the last few decades – fruit forward and well balanced.
2013 – An initially underrated harvest that is now considered to be truly excellent and reminiscent of Champagne from a bygone cooler climate.
2015 – A vintage remembered for its high ripeness and dry, hot weather
2018 – A very sunny Spring and Summer created a bounty of grapes and the earliest harvest on record.
We kick off with a 50/50 Pinot Noir/Chardonnay from the staggering 2008 vintage, disgorged in 2019 after a full decade on the lees. Hailing from one of the most southerly villages in the whole of the appellation, this wine is understandably powerful, yet beautifully balanced, with a finish that is pure, generous and long.
Not declared a vintage but the back label states it's pure 2010, this wine is one of the prestige cuvées from the Maison. Made entirely from old vine Meunier it's wonderfully rich and toasty with a beautifully creamy palate and an amazing energy.
Moving on another couple of years we find ourselves at another lauded vintage, and it is represented by this Grand Cru Chardonnay. Vinified largely in steel with just 16% in oak, the wine is aromatic, rich and intense with loads of pink grapefruit and a sprinkle of sugar and exotic fruit. Fantastic!
Staying in the Côte des Blancs, we move on one year to a vintage that harks back to cooler climates that were commonplace in Champagne many decades ago. This Blanc des Blancs from a wonderful single-vineyard balances the freshness of the vintage nicely with lovely secondary notes obtained from oak vinification.
When you come across a really well made vintage Pinot Noir from Aŷ it's something to behold and this is an outstanding example. It's concentrated, powerful and fruity, but without losing finesse and elegance.
We've thrown in a bit of a curveball for the final wine in this collection. Georges Remy is renowned for his powerful Pinots but less known for his equally astounding Chardonnay. Every bit as bold, rich and engaging it makes for a great contrast to the two Côte des Blancs that accompany it in this case!