Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Epic Naughton Blanc de Blancs Tasting

The title really says it all. Myself, Pete and Pete got together and drank some truly stupendous and ridiculous wines. No rhyme or reason. It wasn't a birthday or wedding or wake. We just felt thirsty for the extraordinary, and optimistic that our lives would someday pay for such extravagances of youth

Pierre Peters Cuvée de Réserve Blanc de Blancs

Bright silver gold with feisty bubbles

Dusty lemons on the nose with conference pear and chalk.

Confit lemons form a great rich core to what is a beautifully balanced champagne. There's a soft chalkiness and gentle minerality that keeps that richness in check and brings good lift with lovely elegance. Hint of spearmint. Great stuff.


Pol Roger Blanc de Blancs 1959 (with some '96 to refresh)

Dark, Oloroso-esque. Mousse sadly departed.

Salted caramel on the nose, heady, dense.

The palate just arrives with that richness. Caramel, toffee, quince and roasted oranges with cocoa powder and a bit of leather. Butterscotch. Gripping, but not violently. Gentle, with hints of lemon grass. There's quite a lot that I can't describe about this, as it's just about feeling. The length is glorious and lifts some of the heavier, richer aspects up at the end. Sublime.


Krug Clos du Mesnil 1979

Just a hint of brass creeping into the gold. Vigorous bubbles, though still fine.

Nose of sweet, gentle creaminess. Roquefort and sweetened Brussels sprouts. Caramelised onions. Quite simply one of the most remarkable smelling champagnes I've ever tried.

Rich and robust palate. Lemon-soaked pears with the texture of quince and really rather luscious the way it's all delivered. Intensely buttery. It's not quite showing as much complexity as some of the others but it's a fabulous wine. Still incredibly youthful.


Salon Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs 1990

Such a lovely gold. Lazy bubbles.

The nose is rich, baked apples with cinnamon. After awhile the biscuit-iness becomes far more apparent.

Shortbread with raisins.
Just so pretty. Brioche and shortbread scented with lemons and orange flower water. The mousse is perfect, setting down a beautifully textured and structured wine. This is so good. Is this the wine of the night? Easily. Blissful harmony.


Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 1996

The most youthful colour. Lively bubbles.

The nose is young cheddar baked into fresh shortbread. Pinch of chalk dust.

Still so incredibly young on the palate. This will rise in years to come and may well turn out to be the greatest of the bunch, but at the moment it's just tightly knit chalk and citrus with a touch of pear and toasty biscuits. Tasty, but will be extraordinary - perhaps equalling the remarkable 1972.


Pol Roger Chardonnay 1996

Rich gold with just the odd fleck of green. Fine, but active bubbles.
The nose is lemon and chalk.

The palate is wonderful. Bursting, bright citrus fruit rolls in on that sexy mousse, while that grippy chalkiness lies underneath, keeping it clean. Incredibly drinkable.


Tasted at Naughton, 26/3/2011

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