Vintage Champagne Exploration
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 years between 2008 and 2018, each wine displays its own distinctive characteristics, whilst remaining wedded to the weather of the year it embodies.
Thoughts on each vintage:
2008 – One of the finest vintages of the century.
2009 – Good grape health with particularly good Pinot Noir.
2012 – One of the great vintages of the last few decades – fruit forward and well balanced.
2014 – A year of alternating weather patterns saved by a hot September.
2017 – A challenging vintage with frosts, followed by a hot summer and then rain In August.
2018 – A very sunny Spring and Summer created a bounty of grapes and the earliest harvest on record.
Louis Brochet HBH 2008
We kick off the case with a proper old-school epic from the Petite Montagne de Reims. 50/50 Pinot Noir/Chardonnay with 3g/ltr. This cuvée comes from one of the best vintages of the century so far and, now that it's had some time, it's really showing some quality, with butter, shiitake mushrooms and brioche all coming to the fore.
Penet-Chardonnet Coline & Candice 2009
Another 50/50 Pinot Noir/Chardonnay blend but this time from the Grand Cru village of Very. It has a nose that blows you away followed by a super tropical palate with an impressive lift – rich, jammy with superb length. An unbelievable wine from start to finish.
Pierre Legras Monographie Brut 2012
Moving on a few years we find ourselves at another lauded vintage, and it is represented by this Grand Cru Chardonnay. Fresh and vibrant with lemon pith and lime, oyster shell, iodine, white pepper and lime juice – classic Côte des Blancs!
Paul Clouet Bouzy 2014
100% Pinot Noir from the legendary Grand Cru village of Bouzy, this is a real old school style; wonderfully vinous and structured, with a plump delivery of black fruit. There’s a lovely toasty weight, balanced with a delicate mousse and a glorious, creamy finish.
Caze-Thibaut Les Leriens 2017
The first three-grape blend of the collection – 45/45/10 PN/C/M – from the Vallée de la Marne, this wine has wonderful richness and complexity, with so many interesting elements vying for attention. An incredible wine from a brilliant young winemaker.
William Saintot Meunier de mes Grand Peres 2018
We finish this collection of Vintages with a small batch Meunier which pays homage to the winemakers grandparents, who started the story of this Maison. What a tribute this is; textured, salty with a lovely balance of fruit and a perfect lift of sweet oak on the finish.