Friday, 9 September 2011

Grands Vins at Jacquesson - Protestant and Catholic!

les grandes foudres de fermentation
Upstairs from the cellars in the comfortably dry study we had a remarkable tasting of the innovative Jacquesson 730 series in which the aim is to express the best of the most recent vintage rather than replicate the non-vintage style of the grandes maisons, where consistency is supposedly paramount. These were followed by a tasting of Jacquesson's four lieux-dit single-vineyard champagnes in the great 2002 vintage.

Tasted 11.15 am 26 August 2011

Cuvee 734 (2006 base) - Pale elegant limpid straw with ripe golden lights. Lovely supple richness reflecting the warm summer; lifted by fine acidity, mais pas trop. Now that I'm drawing my bus pass, my tolerance of malic acid is low, so I love this wine - as I'm sure will many consumers **** 17.5

Cuvee 735 ( 2007 base) - youthful, resonating yellow-gold, a little more reductive and less expressive than the 734,  but with more structure. Linear and energetic, no surprise it's very much a sommelier's wine - the young guys were very enthusiastic. '07 a better year for Chardonnay than for Pinot Noir. A wine for crustaceans, moules, oysters and roast halibut, beurre blanc *** (*) 17

NB plans are afoot to bottle late-disgorged wines in this series after eight years sur lie

Corne Bautray 2002  -  Pure Chardonnay, from a high site in Dizy, lying over hard burrstone pebbles rather than the Belimnite chalk found on the Cote des Blancs. Evolving, elegant yellow gold. No dosage. Real core and structure, with a rather splendid austerity acting as as a white puritan collar worn over a durably built body.  Or as Thierry Desseuve hilariously labelled it - HSP: Haute Societe Protestante! a wine of great rectitude and gravitas. **** 18

Champ Cain, Grand Cru Avize 2002  - from the classic chalky lieu-dit of Avize's Les Fosses
 a great Chardonnay so very different from Corne Bautray - this has all the lace-like delicacy of a priestly surplice. Lovely Welsh gold hue, tint of green; finest bubbles; a superb minerality and freshness. A true beauty that has lost the puppy fat of youth, it shows a captivating medley of white flowers allied to terrific poise, richness, length and complexity in perfect measure . For cardinals and popes in their private moments. *****19

Vauzelle Terme, Grand Cru Ay 2002 Lovely limpid positive yellow of great Pinot Noir vinified as Champagne. Suffused with the gorgeous scents and flavours of peches des vignes. a perfect balancing acidity, gentle and integrated. fine to drink now but will last for many years. Pity there's so little of it. **** 18.5

J-H Chiquet, most eloquent of wine communicators

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