Wednesday, 18 December 2013


It is just that time of the year that the wine shops love! Surpised? I am not! It is now that most wine shops get copious amounts of Champagne to satify our insatiable desire to drink! Yes and we drink like fish! Some have it a hobby, some have it as a job, some have it as a release valve but some are down right afraid of it! Few years back I said to someone, 'I drink Champagne daily'. The lady confronted me 'Are you French?' to which I jovially replied 'No I am an alcoholic'. So where is the line that divides the alcoholic from a mere consumer? Can I say I am in denial? How much is too much? Binge? Drink often but small amounts? Moderation (in excess)? I love Chamapagne! Does that make me an alcoholic though? To be more precise does that make me an addict? If love is the premise of my addiction in this case aren't we all addicts then? Don't we just simply love, or crave it when we dont' feel it? Or do we substitute it? I love that psychologist say 'as long as it does not affect your life' it is ok. But what if it does affect my life? What if it is my livelihood? What then? Would stopping my addiction result in a negative impact on my life by losing my job? There are other questions that necessary to ask. But these should do for this time of the year. As far as I am concerned these times will be a challenge to me as well. Social pressures are so that I will have to concede and drink during times I hate drinking. Yes, I loathe drinking during the day! Even more surprising may be that I actually hate being drunk! But I love drinking Champagne undisturbed; that is alone and especially when I am tasting something I have not had! I also hate drinking Champagne when I go out but few know about it and since most know me as the Champagne Guru, I still drink; but then how often do I actually go out? I love Champagne above all drinks! It is the most regulated, controlled and elaborate production of wine in the world and produces some of the finest wines on worldwide scale, unmatched and often exceeding the great wines of Burgundy. I love how balanced it is. the fact that the appelation of Champange controls the alcohol content which is just perfect for me. It might induce slight delirium but never too drunk! It is also very healthy but same is said about red wine. Give me a wine that has more than 13% alcohol and will never drink a glass of it! So perhaps it is true: 'it is not important how much you drink, but what you drink'. Oh! and, by the way, since the alcohol content is smaller it is quite important to point out that Champagne is 88% water! :)


No, there are no specific dogs in vintages. But I have to continue on my previous entry. I have addressed the issue with vintages before, albeit briefly, yet with a keen eye one could gage my point. So to clarify. For anyone who does not drink Champagne at leat twice a week, and even if the one does drink it as often, unless one choses to drink different vintage and different style of wine on every occasion, the likelyhood of experiencing the very fine differences in harvests and in house styles is very slim. Whilst the differences in house style are best manifest in the non vintage wine, harvest specific are always emphasised while the houses style is used a method of production rather than, the wine being the vehicle of it at the cost of the uniques of the specific vintage. It goes without saying that some specific harverst suit some houses more and some less. Naturally! Unlike with house styles, which cannot be characterised by a digit, vintages do have a technical parameters which determine its quality. In theory, and mostly in practice, weather influcences the two key indicators of quality of grapes. Those are sugar and acidity content. The more they are 'close together', in value, the better the vintage; classic example is 1990 where they are all around the value 10mmol (don't quote me on the value, I am not 100% sure, but I know I am quite right about that). The closest vintage to 1990, in technical terms, was 1996. The likelyhood of anyone having the chance to taste those vintages is very slim. But, 2002 is showing a good balance, and 2004 is great structure, quite similar to 1995 (1995 was ethereal to differentiate, whereas 2004 is just big and structured - this however, is very difficult to say now, as the commercial release of both the vintages was different and both wines had very different exposure to leas. I personally think that 95 was amazing when released earlier, and I wish I had had the opportunity to taste 2004 that had the same lees expose; but I am too late. It is crucial to realise that, as demonstrated on these two vintages, the commercial factors were different. Just for a brief ilustration, the 95 was released shortly after 2000 celebration and the demand for champagne in those years was massive and ever increasing. I have addressed the benefits of global recession before but here, speculatively, is what I suspect to be the case when we look at 2004 vintage and the need to keep it on lees longer. Since there was reduced demand for Champagne, the houses kept the vintages on lees longer not to reduce the price of Champagne, and in theory, when on lees, it is believed that the wines remain younger. But the exposure to dead yeast cells has an effect on the wine. The only real hope to get closer to the desired assessment is get a magnum but then, I have not seen 2004 in a magnum yet!). At any rate, the massive desire of catagorisation of vintages is just a unfair as is the catagorisation of Champagne houses. One historical anomally of Champagne vintages is that no year ending with the number 1 has ever produced a decent wine. 01/91/81/71 etc are regarded as dismal years, but to point out the variations in house styles (mostly the source of available grapes), Krug released historical anomally and that was 1981 vintage. So how a layman learna about champagne vintages and make his/hers own opinion about each harvest and its manifestations in wine? DRINK DRINK DRINK DRINK! drink often! This does not mean that the drinker should drink the same! Diversify! :) And yes drinking responsibly is vital! I disagree with just tasting! Yes if you manage to get a group of friends together and one knows more about Champagne than most you are likely to get something interesting out of it, but nothing beats your own desire to learn and drink. One bottle per person if you want to enjoy it, for half a bottle is never enough! That is like getting half an orgasm! :) Still the more you drink the more comfortable you will become, and if you are critical, it is perfectly fine to disagree with what others believe to be the best/vintage, champange!!! Merry Christmas. Peter

Monday, 9 December 2013


I am not a dog! I may be, at times, regarded as a proper bitch, and in some instances far worse than that, but, I am simply a homo sapiens and as such I am very much a hunter that is predominantly ruled by the visual rather than the olfactory, just like dogs are.

In the wine world, noses and taste buds are far more important than eyes. I tend to look at everything. I sniff, like a real dog, I taste like a real wine professional, I consume the visual of Champagne like a proper Champagne consumer, but unlike most, I prefer, and encourage in others, to form, my, their, own opinion.

It is not in my interest to write now an entire essay dedicated to the industry of wine and how it makes money on Champagne but merely give an idea of what it is to be about and how it applies to my next entry.

I don't like being seen as a Champagne critic. I do, however, understand, why people see me as one. I am not paid for it, and as I have already said, my comments on Champagne are purely to encourage people to pick up a glass and smell it, taste it, enjoy it and I actively encourage any Champagne drinker to learn, and learn to appreciate Champagne.

But some don't have that interest. It is inherently difficult to objectivise something intrinsically subjective.

I will elaborate on all the points in the book but for now;

Recently, I had the new edition of Stephenson's 'Champagne and Sparkling Wine Encyclopaedia' in my hands and looked at the updates. I own a copy of the first edition, and I do credit Stephenson for a variety of reason to have embarked on cataloguing Champagnes and Sparkling wines, but I have always had a strong reservation towards, assessment of Houses of either Champagne and/or Sparkling wine makers.

I was quite surprised to read that Krug only received 98 (points?) out of, presumably, 100. Whilst I am not the greatest of fan of Krug, I would argue that Krug, irrespective of my pertinent reservations towards house, is one of the greatest Champagne makers in Champagne and in fact one of the greatest wine makers in the world.

Still the idea of 'boxing' Champagne houses of 'considerable distinction' into value digit is rather unfair to the maker and misleading to the consumer.

In truth, no sparkling wine can measure up to most great Champagnes, but that does not reduce the wine making abilities of the cave master. Just in case Mr. Stephenson needed a reminder, much depends on grape varieties, climate, sun exposure, style of production, market segment, method of production and other factors. Undoubtedly, his work educates, but only a hands on experience can truly assess wines, and while his experience is richer but that is not to say that he knows, or can speak for any consumer or for every consumer, that one house is particularly better than another.

But I had to agree with him, that to spend £2500 on a bottle of Krug Clos d'Ambonnay, is unjustifiable.

more soon!  :)

Thursday, 10 October 2013


Last Friday was the second time I drank this wine. I struggled to find the right wine for the evening but somehow I knew that it would likely be a Louis.

Anyway, I am going to get straight to the point.

The wine: I have emphasised my adorations towards this wine before. It is never just purely because it is Louis nor it is because it is a superb wine. Some vintages were down right disappointment, but occassionally something very unusual comes up. This was the case of 1988.

2006 on the other hand, was something unexpected for it had the sweetness and mellow simplicity of 89 Veuve La Grande Dame, along with soft white fruits of kiwi and white strawberries*, sweeter finish, hint of lemon sorbet and a very long but flattish finish (the finish just lasted and lasted and lasted). It was so good it made me forget the cardinal rule of all Chardonnay blends. I just delighted in every mouthful and clicked my tounge against my palette to enjoy the finish and the taste of the wine. I would like to think that by having such characteristics the 2006 was quite a warm year but 2003 was much warmer and the wine was much rounder.


And since I did not want to spoil drinking, tasting and enjoying the wine with any food, after the last sip, I got a reminder of what effects straight Chardonnay has on me; acid reflux.

* white strawberries don't actually exist as official fruit. As a boy I used to pick unripe strawberries just before they were blushing and ate them in haste because I just loved strawberries and learnt to love the green ones more because they had a very 'green' aspect to them similar to kiwi fruit. The acidity was higher and there was no frangrance typical to strawberries.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013


There are so many hidden facts about Champagne which hardly ever make it to the surface. I will try and tell you as much as it is possible to digest but if you want the full story the details are all going to be in 'the book'.

It is hard to start with Champagne. The allure is just immense. When you think about it, you actually wonder why is it so?

I want to start with the most affordable Champagnes. Not the legendary tipples such as Dom Perignon, Cristal or Belle Epoque. But the bog standard (not sure I have ever had Champagne while in a bog) non vintage technically, and legally referred to NV.

NV is the most affordable, the accessible which makes it the perfect mode of expressing the style. A non vintage for any house not only requires a far amount of grapes to produce it but it is the vehicle of the expertise of the wine maker and the house style. The wines in themselves have various characteristics and this where the house needs to know how to blend them in order to achieve a consistent style. From these blends all other production develops. The vintages are inherently variable because no year is ever the same, but the NV has to be the same regardless of the year.

Every year produces differing quality of grapes and it is not uncommon that some vintage, while being abundant in grapes, the quality is inadequate. Legally speaking it is a requirement that certain amount of wine is stored as reserves. These wines are then used in NV to achieve the desired style, however, this increases the variable of error and diversity of individual blends.

So in the end it is often any houses greatest mission and pride of judgement to produce consistently high quality Champagnes and many house do want to be judged on NV.


Tuesday, 10 September 2013


You have no idea how long I have been sharpening my clause to taste this wine. Since I am about to write about it, it is more than obvious that I have already tasted it and had a full bottle on my own. It also marks a milestone in my Champagne drinking existence due to the fact that the list of Champagnes I have not drunk has been reduced to a few that are left. Those that remain on the list are Veuve La Grande Dame Rose (any vintage), Krug Clos d'Ambonnay and Clos du Mesnil. The first I am very enthusiastic about, of course aware of my potential disappointment but at around £270 a bottle I think I can bear the disappointment. With the latter two that is a different story. As much as I would like to taste them I am more than reluctant to spend £2500 for Clos D'Ambonnay especially because it is Krug. And for Clos du Mesnil? The £400+ may not really be that big an issue but what amplifies the scale of the 'issue' is purely the fact that it is Krug and not exactly has Krug had an untarnished record with me.

But back to Clos de Goisses; I cannot say I was overwhelmed by the wine. I liked the woody character, delicate texture and balance were just as expected; One fine champagne.

That's all.

I will try it again especially the 2002 and 2004 vintages.



'I have said once and I will say it again...' the problem with DP is the fact that it is DP. Is that bad? or is that good?

I am so beyond the good/bad bollocks. Yes my exasperation is beyond belief but it still does intrigue me to see how much I will like something.

My hype about DP has always been, to put it midly, practically non existent. Perhaps to show off, but never really felt the urge to taste it the minute new vintage came out. And naturally, it goes without saying that to celebrate 10th year of TICD, DP was not even considered as a possible candidate. 

But so it happened that 2003 release was the only thing available that was remotely worthy of the day's celebrations and since I had tasted my first DP when they released 1993 vintage, it made sense to justify it. So I coughed up the odd £100 and got a back up too.

I wondered what it would be like, given the spec of the vintage and not to mention the fluff from the brochure included in the box. The reality of it was typically simple DP. Slightly duller (naturally due to the very high sugar content of the grapes and no surprise that the base wines were acidified which in Champagne is quite controversial, not illegal yet hotly disdained amongst all Champagneois even though some practice it in secret).

The wine as such was a typical mellow DP with rounder finish and short longevity, a nice overpriced and overglorfied lemonade to which I can get used.


Monday, 19 August 2013


It is now over ten years since I declared 'May today be The International Champagne!'. I did wonder if there had ever been one so I googled it and there was none. Years later, in fact only 2 years ago,  apparently it is celebrated in late October. Why on earth would you celebrate it then?

Anyway, that aside, I was going to celebrate the decade of celebrating.

I spent a week trying to find the right Champagne. I could not find the right one till literally, 5 to 12. And it was Cuvee Dom Perignon 2003.

And about that, later.


Wednesday, 7 August 2013


I am always asked: 'what is the best Champagne?'. I have addressed that question, albeit in a slightly convoluted fashion, in one of my previous entries, so I shan't bore you with that now. But I have never been asked is 'what is the worst Champagne?'. Perhaps we all know a bad one when we taste it or pay for it. Perhaps we see Champagnes as all great and thus we seek to find the better in all the greatness; I don't know, I am only speculating.

However, what I can conclude is that over a period of time there have been some shocking disappointments. Some wines were so disappointing and as it turned out that such disappointment was experienced in the entire range of the house that produced it. So I decided that I would write about those that stand out as the most disappointing Champagnes I have ever tasted:

1. Krug Rose
Seriously over priced tipple with lovely bluish/purple/pink hue but hint of spice on the palette but at £300
2. Krug Vintage 1990
Seriously overrated, with no longevity of the classic 1990 vintage so effortlessly demonstrated by Veuve's La Grande Dame; Krug is at at least £150 a bottle. Greatest disappointment was with 1995 vintage.
3. Dom Perignon Rose 1992
WTF? at £260 per bottle? No further comments!
4. Dom Perignon 1995
Such a disappoitment! Such a great vintage!
5. Krug Grand Reserve
Bollinger, Louis Roederer, Philipponnatt make more enjoyable non vintage at substantially lower prices (Krug is at around £100)
6. Moet et Chandon NV
I would not even bathe in it! Someone referred to it as the Coca Cola of Champagne and that Pepsi is Piper Heidseick. Principally don't drink it and have no idea how much it costs. But it is very popular in Oslo despite the fact that Pol Roger Vintage is cheaper, that Gosset is much cheaper, that Bollinger is much cheaper.
7. Cristal 2002
See special entry dedicated to this: Cristal Clear Disappointment!

As you can see they are all prety much high end bottles. The best of the best! Thus the price tags attached to them seems to reflect that, but then, you can also see that the higher the price the greater the expectation.
I am not exactly the richest man but the poor don't live like me.



Normally, from July 17th I go on Champagne holiday, that is that I don't drink it and I don't buy, but since I am approaching 10th anniversary of International Champagne Day I thought I could make an exception and dedicate more time 'to work'; and have a shorter holiday!

Anyway, it was not a deliberate intention but so it happened that one day I walked to a shop with wines and noticed how marvelous their selection had been. Then, I made that mistake of turning my head toward their Champagne selection.

Few minutes later, and in great delight that someone shared the same views and sentiments about wines, I was committed to buying something I had never seen before but had heard of (read about).

On paper this wine seem technically excellent. Multivintage blend of 96, 97, 98, aged in wood, plus 12 years on lees, 50/50 chardonnay and pinot noir and extra bottle age. Winner! With a price tag under £50 my elation was climbing very high. I say that but in reality I was impressed with how great the wine looked on the tech spec. 'I could have not thought of better!' I thought to myself, but only if I were to construct a cuvee of my own without tasting the specific base wines.

Complex, big, caramel notes with brunt bread (more like baguette rather than toast) hint of roundness resembling cream; all of which are expected. But then I tasted it.

While I was indulging in the opulent aromas of the wine sipping it was something different. I was shocked at how acidic the wine was. I nearly thought that the wine was acidified to such an extent that naturally the grapes were so inferior and there was no other way to make it drinkable. There are only two ways to tell with some certainty; one the speed with which you get drunk, two the hang over. Neither of which gave any indication validating the inferiority of the grapes.

So what was wrong? I don't know! Probably the maker!

Still wine worth tasting as it is a perfect example of technically perfect a Champagne can be, but then even paper perfect can manifest a massive error!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013


I missed out on 1996, 1999, 2000 and I am filled with remorse! So drawn to the astonishing price tag at Tesco I got a bottle of La Grande Annee Rose!

I had to cycle around London to find which Tesco actually stocked it. I must confess that it felt nice to be chasing a single bottle but once I found it, worry engulfed me that it would be corked. I have always had a minor reservation towards Bolly's vintages as Rose and with a grunt, my expectations stayed relatively low, but the anticipation was rife!

My diary has the following entry:

'The colour is salmon pink, with a minor orange and brown hue. The mousse is exquisitely fine as if it were not grande mousseaux but more cremant. I would like to say I am smelling griotte cherries but I am more inclined to say that there is a strong presence of raisins soaked in rum with a dash of strawberry sirup (and raspeberry but only just). There is also a slight hint of burnt glucose, of cream and of sponge cake. There is something 'green'. On the palette it was slightly restrained with pronounced mirabelles and classic Bollinger plum. 3rd glass later (half a bottle) the wine opened up and the hints became ever more distinct and defined leaning towards brioche, honey and slight undergrowth.'

Bollinger in its blurb accompanying the bottle wrote that the wine would age well, which I am not sure how exactly that was intended but with much lower than ideal acidity, and fairly high sugar content in grapes its extended aging potential is debatable. I won't write it off just like that, however, I will say that the aromas could and will develop into something very spectacular. But then is Rose not supposed to be drunk fresh?

Nevertheless a GREAT wine! and a bloody good bargain!!!



It looks like sobriety is increasingly fashionable. 'oh I don't drink' is the new I-am-so-cool-for-being-able-to-deal-with-reality-unaided that ethanol containing beverages are gradually shunned. However, the sale of Champagne rocket. Mumm once declared that 'in recession (hard times) Champagne is the first luxury to go'. I am not sure that it holds true anymore, but my point is truly and yet, still, purely about consumption. The days when I consumed copious amount of Champagne and clad it in the garb of slight delusion of assessing consistency in styles, had, in retrospect, at least that to conclude. I have dramatically reduced consumption based on the conclusion that yes the styles of various producer are very consistent and decided, following a private conference with my liver and kidneys, that it is time to review and reassess the original strategy of monitoring consistencies.

In other words; I am 10 years older now and I can't drink as much as I used to, which of course I don't mind because, naturally, I prefer being sober rather than drunk. But I have developed a strong antagonistic attitude with my body which, naturally, without prior consultation, decided that after certain amount of ethanol enriched drink the recovery process will double. God knows I have tried to disprove that but I later realised that that would be a fight I was going to lose. Still, the failure had a profound effect on me. Fiscally, I suddenly ended up with considerably more cash. I actually experienced again what it used to be like to fall asleep rather than unconscious and I have shed a few pounds. Not that I have ever been obese or fat; on the contrary! I have always had a lean physique, but for a few months I started to feel that on the sides of the waist something strange started have a movement of its own, and worse, but still not too much, I developed ab flab that had a temperature of its own, colder than the rest of the body. Several months later, the words of Kate Moss resonate like the bells of a church: 'Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels'; the relevance of the statement is applied selectively because her passionate interest isn't overly calorific where mine generally is.

I used to see bottles of Champagne with price tags attached to them, now, with the extra cash I don't see those tags anymore, but what beams to my face is the amount of calories which in itself is not that big a deal, but conversely, the problem amplifies once the calories are translated into minutes on the treadmill at the gym. And it is there where all bottles of Champagne are equal!


p.s. I could nto resist and with the extra cash I bought something lovely....but that is next.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013


I have no interest to deprive you of my stories with Champagne and I have absolutely no interest to deprive myself of Champagne, but I have considerably reduced my intake. Yet again, and the last one lasted nearly two years. Still there are plenty of stories which are in drafts and some thoughts on Champagne do need a sober head and apparently sobriety is very becoming. Well...

Veuve 2004

I have to borrow words from Richard Juhlin to start raving about this tipple. Though the loan is not in relation to the same wine, nor the same vintage let alone the same house but they are still the best. 'I am always curious what this house releases'; still paraphrased and in essence not really a Juhlin's phrase but the train of thought originate there.

I have raved about Veuve's vintages before but this one was nothing short of a miracle. Strangely, my brother and a friend of mine could not disagree more! Neither of liked it while I had my nose stuck in glass inhaling the aromas or real caramel and cream. A little unusual for Veuve vintage, but then every vintage is different.

This was my first encounter with 2004 and I was impressed just as I was impressed with Bollinger's La Grande Annee.


Thursday, 11 April 2013


Sniff sniff and I found this gem again. 3 years later after my first tasting of the same wine it was with enthusiasm I wanted to taste the difference of those years; and in a magnum!

The first magnum I had, turned out to have a story of its own as en route to a friend's house I was assailed by six hooded youths who wanted to steal my phone and when asked to hand it over I refused. Of course I refused I was in the middle of a conversation trying find a way to my friends house! Seconds later, which seemed like minutes, one of them grabbed my arm and insisted I gave him my phone. I pulled my arm away and started to run. Fortunately I outrun them but I managed to trip and splashed on the middle of the road with my precious cargo bouncing off the road at least twice. 'Oh F..., I hope it won't break' was my immediate concern and fortunately it did not. I collected myself then the magnum and fret. My life and the life in the magnum rescued with 4 sexy scratches on the glass and an unsexy tear in my new jeans.

Sniff sniff but now a week later after tasting the second magnum, but from my bed with a pretty nasty cold unable to taste anything, with lips the size that could compete with Naomi Campbell I am left with memories to recount the second encounter with this life in a magnum.

So the first magnum March 2010 had a very fine mousse which understandably was a result of the age. The nose was strongly toned of an overbaked almost charred baguette. I did hope for very well baked 'apple strudel' but I got something else instead. Nevertheless, I was very impressed with the wine. The mousse was delicate reminiscent of La Grande Dame but will less intensity of flavours of red apples that is signature of Veuve. Unlike the 89 (naturally) this wine had such great acids!

March 2013, my expectations were based on the 2010 tasting and who new I was in for a surprise. Bang, the mousse was big as if the wine had not even in the bottle for over 10 years! What happened to the charred baguette? Fruit fruit fruit, life with great vigour, zesty acids and no sign of aging! Minerality on the nose with occassional of hints of bread. WOW!

Is 95 a year full of surprises? Strangely, I think it might be as Bollinger release R.D. 1995 again. Well, I best get paid to drink it. :)

Although, Veuve 95 drank in 2013 was not an overwhelming wine in itself, what was fascinating was the variation from 2010. Veuve vintages are fortunately slightly underpriced but they often deliver beyond expectations. So, as I have said before on a few occassions watch out for these!

Thursday, 24 January 2013


It is about time I wrote something on here! Though I cannot say that I have been bored, my only excuse that I have been writing too much and too many email yet none about Champagne.

I do admit that my Champagne intake has hardly dimished.

I have been following every vintage of Bollinger since 1990 harvest which of course had ideal characteristics and great longevity. The youth of the wine was best manifest in Bollinger's RD 90. The next best year was 95 which was a relief to everyone in Champagne that finally something truly structured came about. I fell in love with 95. Then came 96. On paper it looked just as ideal as 90 but it had one minor problem and that was a complex acidity where some houses declared that 96 was difficult without MLF (malolactic fermentation). I tasted 96 at Bollinger and my first comment was 'just like 90 save the MLF'. The person  who was showing me around was shocked that I could spot it.

Anyway, years 97, 99, in VVF also 98, 2000 and I followed like a true stalker! Nearly at every bottle I sighed with disappointment. Don't be fooled! The disappoitment was a natural result of not discovering something sensational becuase 90, 95, 96 were completely sensational if not surreal! In general all La Grande Annee are great but there come times when they reach heights that very very few Champagnes can match and there are genuinely fewer than 5 in the last 10 years that I have tasted (that is 30 years of vintages).

Came La Grande Annee 2002 and I thought: 'oh will there ever be something sensational again?'. 2002 did not impress me. It was great a typical bollinger but....I had to have it and I was obliged to drink it.

And then arrived the 2004 harvest and my God I shouted: 'Finally!' and yes, I finally had my sensational Bollinger Grande Annee back in my life!

So the point is, even though 2002 was proclaimed the best since 1996 it is yet to develop to something the 2004 is already showing. And I am not going to be far from the mark by saying that these two vintages will be referenced in tandem just as 88, 89 and 90 were regarded as trilogy. I did leave out 2003 as that was a year very special and very unique.