Arras E.J. Carr Late Disgorged 2004

This is the Grand Vintage, kept back for over 10 years on lees. In this case I didn’t find the lees-ageing tones to be much more intense than in the 2008 Grand Vintage. Nor was it massively funky (although my taste was towards the end of the bottle, and some of the more funky tones can disappear over a few hours). There’s an almost crème fraîche-like richness of texture, with sea shells and white butter on sourdough. The fruit is bold and exotic, with charred grapefruit and mango, lime zest and a vein of sweet salted toffee and pith running through the finish. Positively outlandish, but fascinating stuff.

17.5

Date Tasted : 23/01/2020

/ 2004, Arras, Classic Blend, Tasmania

Krug Vintage 2004

In brief. The massive 2004 Vintage is just starting to uncurl and relax. Tremendous energy, perhaps entering an approachable stage

18

Date Tasted : 07/06/2019

/ 2004, Classic Blend, Krug, Uncategorized

Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires 2004

This is so alive, actively and relentlessly throwing out pure lemon zest, toasty brazil and fine oatmeal sweetness with spots of honey round the edges. I put ‘sweet crustaceans’ in my notes, which sounds a bit crazy. Beautiful ginger biscuit developing, but this still feels so young. It is a fine laser beam to the Blanc De Blancs NV’s chandelier. Brilliant.

18.5

Date Tasted : 12/07/2019

Bruno Paillard N.P.U. 2004

As with all N.P.U. releases this is 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir. The Pinot here takes a circle around the Montagne with fruit from Verzenay, Mailly and Bouzy, whilst the Chardonnay comes from Oger, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Chouilly. Alice explained that 2004 featured a long ripening period; the only one since she has been there, in fact, that has met (and exceeded) the fabled 100-days-from-flowering-to-harvest rule of thumb. This spends 9-10 months in old, small oak post-fermentation (also 100% in oak, as with all N.P.U. wines). It spent 12 years on lees, and was disgorged in September 2017 with a dosage of 3 g/l.

Tremendous intensity on the nose, opening up with caramelised quince and pear before intense dried apple and buttered brazil richness enters the frame. Lovely golden flavours of rich candied grapefruit and orange, sweet dried mango and this quite delicious sticky layer of nougat, licorice and coffee ice cream; not a shy wine! The palate has a great rush of toasted, honeyed nuts and citrus before a very lengthy grapefruit marmalade finish – fresh, for now, but this will darken deliciously. Memorable stuff – what a Christmas Dinner Champagne this would make (and you wouldn’t even have to worry about the red!

17.5

Date Tasted : 10/10/2019

/ 2004, Bruno Paillard, Champagne, Classic Blend

Bollinger R.D. 2004

The first thing to hit you is this tremendous creamy, saline freshness like oyster shells, crème fraîche and truffle. Behind this lurks the rich gingerbread-tinged orchard fruit, going towards more tropical mango and pastry. Intense and multi-faceted.

17.5

Date Tasted : 04/04/2018

/ 2004, Bollinger, Champagne, Classic Blend