Paul Déthune Extra Brut Grand Cru NV, 2015 Base

Quite direct and powerful with ripe apricot, red apple and redcurrant fruit, sweetened with honeysuckle and creamy fresh fig. Tangy lemon curd lurking in there too. The palate is focussed and direct once more – this is a young wine. Nevertheless the Pinot fruit and subtle oak influence offer up more than just fruit here, with savoury, almost earthy dried leaves and allspice. There is something a tiny bit metallic/chemical here, which I can’t decide if I like or not. A little yoghurt and a more of that tangy lemon curd hang around very enjoyably on the finish. The low dosage does suit the wine, even if it is probably a more complete package in standard Brut form with a bit more age behind it

16

Date Tasted : 25/08/2018

Marguet Shaman 14 2014

A few shades of apple here – blossom, posh apple juice and gently caramalised apple tart. The fruit shows some different sides though, with some lovely summer berries and honeyed apricot too.There’s a buttermilk sweetness which points to some oak influence, and some clove/juniper/fennel seed spice complexity too. However that side of things is nicely toned-down and the wine feels pure and fresh. Intensity and real length of ripe acidity. It’s quite rare that I find a zero-dosage wine that feels absolutely complete and settled to my palate, but the generosity of this style achieves just that.

16.5

Date Tasted : 04/01/2020

/ 2014, Champagne, Classic Blend, Marguet

Taittinger Vintage 2012

So clean – lemon tart, fresh red apple with dried apple and thyme. Grapefruit peel, a touch smoky. Lovely progression of acid. Subtle but fine.

17

Date Tasted : 24/09/2017

/ 2012, Champagne, Classic Blend, Taittinger

Taittinger Vintage 2002

More tatin, ripe apricot and milk chocolate here. Open and generous with honey, marizpan and touch of pineapple. Showy but has balance and refreshing length. Great.

18.5

Date Tasted : 19/09/2018

/ 2002, Champagne, Classic Blend, Taittinger

Pol Roger Vintage 2009

A bit quiet here – sweet fresh strawberries behind sharper apple notes. Not so much persistence. (This seems harsh seeing as I’ve tasted this wine before and enjoyed it. Perhaps it just wasn’t showing so well today?)

16

Date Tasted : 24/09/2018

/ 2009, Champagne, Classic Blend, Pol Roger

Louis Roederer Vintage 2012

After the reserved Pols, this just seemed so expressive. Intense orchard fruit, quite potent with meaty, savoury Pinot in evidence. Still a lot of apple freshness – no malo. Delicious.

17

Date Tasted : 24/09/2018

/ 2012, Champagne, Classic Blend, Louis Roederer

Dom Perignon 2009

A touch smoky/flinty with forward fruit. Still tightly-packed, a little creamy with ripe fruit towards lime/grapefruit/peach. Electric energy on palate, great length and acid persistence

17

Date Tasted : 24/09/2018

/ 2009, Champagne, Classic Blend, Dom Perignon

Dom Perignon Dom Perignon 1996

This is still so youthful. Such depth of creamy, fine bakery aroma, both savoury and sweet. Citrus cake, seville orange and candied fruit. There’s a sense of roundness, then a real rush of acid energy on the palate. Super

18.5

Date Tasted : 24/09/2018

/ 1996, Champagne, Classic Blend, Dom Perignon

Charles Heidsieck Vintage 2005

Meaty, toasty lemon curd, with vanilla and cream. Ripe candied citrus too, and a lovely, textured almond sweetness on the palate. Punchy

17

Date Tasted : 24/09/2018