Top Rated 2002 Champagne Tasting

Jan's Place, St. Paul, MN
Tasted Saturday, December 15, 2012 by rocknroller with 498 views

Introduction

This event was put together to try a number of the highest rated 2002 Champagnes side by side for a direct comparison. While they are still in their youth, many have shown extremely well, and this was a perfect way to sample them in a small group setting. The food pairings made by everyone proved to be an outstanding complement to the wines.

Flight 1 - Starter Champagne (1 Note)

Flight 2 - 2002 Champagnes (7 Notes)

  • 2002 Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Cuvée Rare 93 Points

    France, Champagne

    Pale gold color. Drank 1 glass over 1 hr. 70% Chard/30%PN. Nice nose with fresh air, dough, yeast, citrus, apple. This was rather delicate on the palate, medium body, lively, mineral, pear, citrus, apple, biscuit. Medium finish. Very nicely done.

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  • 2002 Vilmart & Cie Champagne Coeur de Cuvée 95 Points

    France, Champagne

    Medium light gold color. Drank 1 glass over 1hr+. 80% chard/20% PN, 100% barrique aged. This has just beautiful teeny tiny bubbles, distinct notes of earth and mint, followed by green tree fruit, and whispy mineral. Becoming floral with almost a sweet element on the nose. The palate is outstanding. Elegance and class, light body, but no shortage of complexity and flavors. Strawberry, cherry, earthy, pear, citrus, apple, and mint. The finish is very long, 90 sec+. loved it. My #3 WOTN, group #2 WOTN. 95+pts.

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  • 2002 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon 95 Points

    France, Champagne

    Medium gold color. Drank 1 glass over 1hr+. Very fine bubbles. Big nose with lemon chiffon, minerals, earthy, yeast, a bit of smoke, pear, apple. The palate is full bodied and powerful, and crisp, with intense flavors of pear, lemon peel, baked apple pie, and rounding out with a very long finish with oodles of crisp minerality. This developed a tropical edge to the fruit over time that was very nice. This has so much power, but it still carries it through with finesse. Just barely edged by the Vilmart, this was my #4 WOTN. 95pts.

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  • 2002 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut 97 Points

    France, Champagne

    Medium gold color. Drank 1 glass over 1hr+. 60% PN/40% Chard. Wow, another stunning showing for this wine. Beautifully floral, pear, earth, creme brule, yeast, strawberry, and mineral. And while the nose is stunning, the palate truly dazzles. wonderful creamy mouthfeel, almost viscous, light elegant, lemon peel, orange peel, strawberry, floral, minerals, pear and apple. The finish goes on and on, 90+ seconds. This captures the essence of intensity combined with finesse and elegance. Stunning, AGAIN! My and group WOTN. 97(+)pts.

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  • 2002 Ruinart Champagne Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs 96 Points

    France, Champagne

    Medium gold color. Drank 1 glass over 1hr+. Intense nose of orange marmalade, smoked almonds, tropical fruits, pear, cream, bread dough, sweet. This just dances across the palate, crisp acids, berries, rich and elegant, pear, nutty, almonds, mineral. This has the longest finsh of theentire group, easily 120 seconds. Young, but extremely expressive already. My #2 WOTN and group #3 WOTN. 96(+)pts.

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  • 2002 Taittinger Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne 93 Points

    France, Champagne

    Light gold color. Drank 1 glass over 60 minutes. Very tiny bubbles, tight, mint, floral, orange, citrus, yeast, dense minerality. The palate is mineral driven now, tight, light, citrus, tart, lemon zest, chalky. A little bitter on the finish. This did improve more in the glass, but it still was a disappointment given some recent glowing reviews. 92+ to 93pts.

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  • 1998 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut 93 Points

    France, Champagne

    Medium gold color. Drank 1 glass over an hour. Nose shows citrus, lemon, lychee, minerals, nutty. The palate is dense, almost klunky, very tart, citrus, some berry, hazelnut, very mineraly. This is really tightly wound and needs several years to come around.

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Closing

These are all very good wines. Some are showing better than others right now. Certainly the hope is that these will continue to evolve and develop more complexity over time. Hopefully we can repeat this tasting in 10 years and see.

WOTN Voting:

#1 WOTN: 2002 Roederer Cristal Brut with 17pts.
#2 WOTN: 2002 Vilmart & Cie Coeur de Cuvee with 12pts
#3 WOTN: 2002 Ruinart Champagne Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs with 9pts

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