(2019) A blend of 40% Chardonnay, 37% Pinot Noir and 23% Pinot Meunier, this seems meatier, less overtly summer berry fruity than the 2009 on the nose, but the palate shows dazzling acidity that seems more taut than the 2012. Really good intensity, thrust and focus here. Long, shimmering grapefruit zest acidity gives this real vitality too.
(2019) There is 50% Pinot Noir in this blend, Chardonnay having dominated previous vintages, with 36% Chardonnay and a relatively low 14% of Meunier. A powerful wine, this also spent seven years in the cellars before release. Real salinity, yeast and biscuit, candied lemon and lime. Lovely sweetness on the mid-palate, the thrust of citrus and salt surge through to the finish.
(2019) Deep and meaty aromas compared to the 2009, rounder, less sharply - crisply - lemony, but there is good thrust and fruit precision too, quite a bright orange character, then some delicate toast and spices. The blend is 41% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Noir and 26% Pinot Meunier. Excellent potential here if cellared for a few years.
(2019) Quite a deeply coloured rosé, lovely red fruits, summery raspberry and strawberry, strawberry shortcake, then the gorgeous freshness and zip comes through on the palate. Creamy mid-palate and that dazzling orangy freshness. The blend is 42% Pinot Noir (of which 13% of the total blend is red wine), 23% Pinot Meunier and 35% Chardonnay.
(2019) This is a terrrific Champagne from Bruno Paillard, an equal blend of Chardonnay from Oger and le Mesnil and Pinot Noir from Mailly, of which 20% was barrel fermented. It has been aged for 10 years in the Maison’s cellars, seven of which were on the lees. It was disgorged in September 2017, and has a low dosage of 5g/l. With very fine and persistent bubbles, it has elegantly brioche- and biscuit-like notes that sit among creamy and nutty aromas, but lovely fruit freshness too, a direct, crisp character even with the leesy and biscuity autolysis of age. In the mouth the rolling mousse has luxurious texture and firmness, the fruit is all about crunchy Asian pear and citrus, then the delicate hazelnut and oatmeal character comes through. The finish is long, elegant, and although dry, there is charm, ripeness and no lack of approachability. A very fine Champagne this, pin-point accurate and taut, yet in no way austere or difficult.
(2019) A terrific Blanc de Noirs from the 2012 vintage, 100% old vine Pinot Noir with around 8g/l dosage. Pale gold with a mass of miniscule bubbles, aromas are gently biscuity, something a touch peppery, but mostly about ripe orchard fruits, some floral hints too. In the mouth a powerful and concentrated wine, a great, rushing sweep of intense acidity that drives it across the palate, but then a more broadening core of grapefruit or blood orange, edging towards peachiness, a waxy lemon zest crispness developing toward the finish which is long and beautifully balanced. This feels very youthful and yet eminently enjoyable right now. No UK retail stockists at time of review.
(2019) In June 2019 Champagne Devaux's Cellar Master, Michel Parisot, presented a masterclass on the 'D de Devaux' range of wines to a sell-out audience at my Glasgow Festival of Wine. Each wine in this range is aged for a minimum of five years on the lees - seven years for magnums - including this Brut, disgorged in October 2017. A blend of 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay, it shows plenty of yeasty, biscuity autolysis, and a fat lemony fruit character beneath. Perhaps the 35% of reserve wines, aged mostly in large oak casks, helps with the creaminess and the hint of gold to the colour. In the mouth plenty of ripe, rosy apple and peachy fruit, a fine, bitter edge of grapefruit or Seville orange to the acidity, and the 8g/l dosage meaning this finishes with some fruit sweetness against an element of salty minerals.
(2019) A tiny domaine located in Cramant in the Côte des Blancs, farming grand cru Chardonnay vineyards since 1746, and a very early example of a 'grower Chamagne' house, bottling since 1907. Perlé is a rarely-seen but traditional style, bottled with around 4 bars of pressure rather than the usual 6 bars. This is 2013 base with 35% reserve wines, disgorged autumn 2017 and with only 5g/l of dosage, so Extra Brut. The mousse dissipates quite rapidly to leave a gentle effervesence, the nose pure and driven by clean Chardonnay minerals and white fruits, though there is a sense of creaminess and just a touch of yeastiness. In the mouth it is fresh, light, but concentrated, the acidity driving the wine, but with such lemon and lime juiciness runnning into that salty mineral tang of the finish. Arguably a little on the austere side, but so beautifully made and singing along with some pan-fried seabass.
(2019) When I tasted this wine early in 2018, I noted: "an austere reticence that is quite uncommon for a 2005”. One year on, the wine is beginning to build some fruit. Stylistic somewhere between 2004 and 2006. Medium weight, with a bouquet of crunchy red fruits, that picks up some tangerine zest on the back of the palate. This has good potential, although one to bury at the back of the cellar to allow the fruit to build. I wouldn’t broach the first one until 2022, should hold nicely for a decade beyond that. (SP)
(2019) The 2004 vintage has all the precision one looks for in the best vintages. Several years since disgorgement and still so light, primary and fresh. Supremely understated, yet there is so much complexity underneath the pretty, flowery veneer: cranberries, grapefruit, and a delicate note of raspberry. All of this is nicely braced by firm acidity. A classic Dom Pérignon that will age gracefully, slowly building in weight. Drink from 2021 until 2036. (SP)