Wednesday, 25 February 2015

NON CHAMPAGNE ENTRY.

As you probably know Champagne uses, predominantly, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunieur as their basic grape varieties to produce their legendary drink. I have been following Champagnes for over 10 years, and aside the wines from there I have always, although with a slightly more tepid enthusiasm, various expressions of the aforementioned varieties. I spent some time in Slovakia and tasted some of the wines there. Pinot Noir is extremely popular though I fear that it has reached its excellence as the producers are able to produce 'nice, good wines'. I also must conclude that it is unlikely to pass that anyone will develop a truly exquisite wine with an outstanding character that will stand out in the entire world of wine; amongst wine professionals and amateurs alike. Chardonnay wines however, can be quite oily or just too ripe or too round but this could be due to MLF which unless avoided will always give the wine slight feminine character, with hints of cream. I found one sparkling wine which I thought was quite impressive. Regrettably not at its best, but the composition of eighty per cent Chardonnay and twenty Pinot Noir was a classic expression. And naturally it was quite an interesting one! Although I think that the product was rushed on to the market to meet some, non-existent demand, but more like push it onto the market to offset the production cost. I only conclude those point because the taste of the wine was similar to grapefruit with slight bitterness and that the wine was very fruit driven on the nose. In case of the former this is indicative of young vines and in case of the latter it is a result of short exposure to sediments. But I was impressed! I certainly taste worse Champagnes. I would like to see how this wine develops over the next few years, so I will keep a watchful eye. :)

LE MESNIL - BLANC DES BLANCS

Oh here we go again. It has been a while since I wrote something for which I do apologise to my beloved reader. Every since I got a smart phone I rarely used the laptop that I used to have and thus did not really use a proper key board. I admit that my Champagne intake diminished too, but I cannot say I have been entirely sober. The usual dilemma is often exacerbated by an expectation that I am trying to meet, in fact more candidly, exceed. It is my curse to have drunk so much. It is also the curse of drinking so much that what once seemed thrilling now seems ordinary. I see no point in digging deep to discover why that is so, because what I am about to say is that I discovered an extremely reasonable but very nice, and at long last a 'classic' Champagne. A stroke of folly, or luck, made me chose a bottle that looked rather dull. I bit the bullet and I was very impressed. Because the village is so famous for its big Chardonnays I was expecting something with weight and quite ripe with good balance of sugars and acids. It was still a non-vintage so I had my raving reigned in. On opening, all my expectations were met. The wine was big, bold, balanced, with character, aged in oak, elegant, seductive and marvellous to drink. I sighed of relief that this was, at last, A CLASSIC Champagne. Toasty notes mingling with candied fruits, yet on the palette lively acids added to elegance, making it luscious. I have not had one for a while so I think I should go back, get a bottle and see how I feel about it now. p.