(2019) From a house on the up, its wines much improved over the last decade or so, this is a Chardonnay-dominated cuvée (50%), and has around 30% of reserve wines in the blend. That along with extended ageing for three years on the lees does nothing to blunt the wine's vivacious fruitiness and freshness, but adds enough biscuit and brioche to be truly satisfying. Nicely balanced in the mouth between nutty dryness (less than 8g/l dosage) and zipping citrus fruit and acidity, it's a dependable and widely available Champagne, so there will deals around.
(2019) Famously the oldest house in Champagne, founded in 1584, Gosset is a small, premium house and their Grande Reserve spends a full four years on the lees - way beyond the legal requirement. A blend of 46% Chardonnay, 39% Pinot Noir and 15% Pinot Meunier the blend has 12% of reserve wines from previous vintages. It's a fruity, bright and vinous style, miniscule bubbles leading on to a creamy mousse and flavours of spiced orange and fig. Some biscuity, toasty and smoky notes develop, but it maintains its fresh, zesty and cool elegance into a long finish.
(2019) With 40% of reserve wines in the blend, from harvests up to 15 years old, this is always one of the most complex of the Grande Marque Brut NVs. The wine is also unusual in that the 60% of the base vintage is made from one-third each of the three main Champagne grapes. It has a sumptuous nose, creamy, toasty, with fig and hazelnut, a hint of ripe peach then onto the palate where that toastiness is alluring, but the sweet nectarine of the fruit fills the mid-palate before excellent, shimmering acidity gives great accuracy to the finish.
(2019) Fabulous and a bit of a rarity, I confess this bottle came from my own collection where it had been cellared for five or six years, so although bottles on sale now will have a more youthful character, I couldn't help but include it in this round up. Krug Rosé is a blend of the three main Champagne varieties, from a wide range of years with a high proportion of reserve wines, and it is an 'assemblage', made by blending still Pinot Noir before at least five years ageing in bottle at Krug’s cellars. It has a moderately deep pink colour and a wonderfully expressive nose: strawberry shortcake aromas of berries and buttery pastry, floral highlights adding lightness. In the mouth more of those red berry and vanilla flavours, decidiely smooth and refined, the acidity making its presence felt ever so subtly, giving this an effortless freshness too. Majestic stuff. Most retailers are charging between £210 and £250 per bottle.
(2019) From magnum. A complex year with early budding but violent hail storms, but a very good summer and low yield. 69% Pinot Noir and 31% Chardonnay, disgorged December 2018 with 8g/l dosage. Creamy without the more developed hazelnut and coffee nuances of the 1983. Delightful richness, nutty apple and some exotic notes with glimpses of papaya and spiced orange. On the palate it has great length and that mouth-filling creaminess, there is some toast and buttery Brazil nut richness that fills the finish to join lovely sweetness of fruit and racing acidity. Fabulous wine. Price quoted at time of review for 75cl and not this disgorgement.
(2019) From magnum: a fine summer and mild autumn compensated for a difficult spring and delayed growing season. A blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay, disgorged December 2018 with 8g/l dosage. Fine copper tinged colour, this has a lovely creaminess and developed character, but is very fresh, quite custardy with a touch of coffee and hazelnut, a touch of truffle too. The palate has great freshness, a direct lemon character, a sour thrust of acid driving the lightly earthy, nutty richness. Price quoted at time of review is for 75cl, and not this disgorgement.
(2019) From magnum. The hottest year since 1962, but also rainy which helped soils in water deficit. Dry September suited Chardonnay in particular. 65% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay, disgorged December 2018 with 8g/l dosage. Quite a glowing golden tinge to this. Rounded, arguably slightly more attenuated, not the direct creamy elegance of the 1989, but has fine biscuity character, a yellow plum fruitiness, but the palate stretches with the rounded, sweet fruit mid-palate and again very good acid balance. Long and shimmering, though the 1989 wins for its exquisite length and balance. Stockist at time of review is for 75cl and not the same disgorgement.
(2019) From magnum, and tasted and scored blind. Spring frosts resulted in large losses and extremely low yields. There was a lack of cultivation in 1917 and 1918, the vineyards sited in combat zones. Cepage unknown, disgorged 1969. Deep, burnished colour. Clearly very old. Like and older white Burgundy, with waxed parcel string, nutty apple and hints of truffle and toffee. Fabulous sweetness and a trace of bubbles on the palate. The palate filled with sweet fruit, clearly very old, but there's a freshness here from magnum, a hint of buttery Brazil nut fat, and that sweet finish of both fruit and, I suspect dosage, but wonderful and still showing great balance. Turns out to be the 1918 vintage. Pinot Noirs from Bouzy and Aÿ, almost no Verzenay because Phylloxera had decimated the vineyards, Mesnil sur Oger for the Chardonnay. Not available to purchase.
(2019) The basics are the same as the Brut Gold, with wines from 2009, 2010 and 2012 and a blend of 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Meunier. The dosage is 33g/l. The wine arose from experimentation in the winery, even though the Cattier's realised that Demi-sec was a controversial style, it was decided the wine could be launched as a Prestige cuvée, made with sweetness at the lower end of the Demi-sec category (which begins at 32g/l). Slightly darker in colour than the Brut, it has a lemony and yeast nose, some biscuit and autolytic character, and doesn't immediately reveal that it will be Demi-sec. The palate is soft and rolling, sweet nectarine and marshmallow vanilla note, but the sweetness very nicely balanced. I'm not generally a Demi-sec fan, but I have to say this is a terrific interpretation.
(2019) A blend of 50% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier and 10% Chardonnay with a dosage of 8.5g/l. Quite a deep pink with a hint of copper. Very fine bubbles. There is obvious red fruit on the nose, dry cherry and cranberry, but there's a meaty autolytic character. Dry on the palate, plenty of lemony character and acidity, there is still a touch of the dry red berry character, but it finishes dry and citrussy and would drink well with salmon, duck, or even grouse in season.