TN Peculiar champagnes

Quite a peculiar champagne tasting we had yesterday

Duval-Leroy Petit Meslier 1998 (93pts)
☝️It is the only Cuvée in Champagne produced with this extremely rare single variety. 1998 was their 1st vintage. Fruit comes from a vineyard in Venteuil in the Vallee de la Marne. Duval-Leroy produce less than 1K btls of this cuvee.
It showed developed amber color. Attack of ripe, even exotic fruits, floral and fully supported by fruity palate. Oxidative style develops with mature cheese and some rot. Surprisingly sweet on the palate which is a signature of Petit Meslier. Not sure about the dosage. It is indicated as Brut. Honey and was final. Definitely a discovery of the night. It was very friendly and inviting. Maybe too much for me.

Fleury "Cuveé Robert Fleury" Extra Brut 2004 (93+pts)
Brioche and cream aromas seasoned with linen seeds. Very reserved and reductive in the beginning. Vivid minerality: iodine. Wine is at perfect balance, elegant on the nose and rather rich with depth on the palate.
Fleury claim to be the first producer in Champagne to go biodynamic. At some point of time they were the largest biodynamic winemaker in the region with more than 15ha planted. Certified Demeter.
☝️The peculiarity of this cuvee is its unorthodox wine making. Fermented in old neutral oak barrels a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc.

Benoit-Lahaye Brut Nature Le Jardin de la Grosse Pierre 2010 (91pts)
Golden hue. Intense powerful aromas. Brut Nature. Lively, high acidity. Very vibrant. Low on a sulphur. Too sharp. Watermelon finish, but unfortunately quite short.
☝️This cuvee is a field blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Arbanne, Chasselas, Petit Meslier , Gros Plant, Teinturier and other varieties. Some of those are not longer allowed in the appellation. But this rule applies to the new plantings only. But in case of Benoit-Lahaye it's not the issue as their vineyard was planted as early as in 1923 in Grand Cru village of Bouzy in the Montagne de Reims region. So some of the vines are 90+ years old which is a rarity in Champagne.P1040315.JPG P1040313.JPG P1040310.JPG P1040301.JPG P1040298.JPG
 
Location
London
“Remarkable” colour certainly! At least the 98/04 have some age to justify the colour but a 2010?
Not entirely sure the notes on the B.H. tally with a score of 91, but I have no concept of how these scoring systems work so I’ll just scratch my head here.
 
“Remarkable” colour certainly! At least the 98/04 have some age to justify the colour but a 2010?
Not entirely sure the notes on the B.H. tally with a score of 91, but I have no concept of how these scoring systems work so I’ll just scratch my head here.

All ratings are mine. Of course that is subjective, but pretty well reflects my preferences.
 
Funny how ones tastes evolve.
About 10 years ago I would be chasing these champagnes down to taste alongside Selosse and Henri Giraud which were at the time amongst my favourites.
Nowadays just the odd ripe Bolly sets my warning senses going.
Thanks for sharing Stas.
 
Funny how ones tastes evolve.
About 10 years ago I would be chasing these champagnes down to taste alongside Selosse and Henri Giraud which were at the time amongst my favourites.
Nowadays just the odd ripe Bolly sets my warning senses going.
Thanks for sharing Stas.

I remember when we first met at fizz 'n chips, you disliked the reductive style of Comtes (couldn't get past the struck match). :p
 
Colin at Uncorked organised a fascinating single varietal tasting three years ago, which included the 2005 Duval-Leroy Authentis, which was fresh enough. I think aging this for 20 years is pushing it! This previous tasting also included such curiosities as 2008 Champagne Moutard Vieilles Vignes Cépage Arbane Brut, although one omission was Cedric Bouchard La Boloree (100% Pinot Blanc) which by far the best of the unusual variety Champagnes I have tried.
 
I agree, Paul, though I'm a big fan of Bouchard, and consider his pink to be one of the region's finest (alongside Prévost Facsimile, Bérêche Campania R, and ors). Those last comments doubtless ring warning bells regarding my peculiar tastes. I am genuinely lucky to be able to enjoy both oxidative and reductive winemaking, within reason of course. The tasting looks fantastic, Stas, and I count any tasting that educates me as fantastic.
 
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