Zachys Power of Packaging - Jan 2016 (Smith & Wollensky (48th & 3rd Ave)): What a spectacular year for champagne 1996 was. There's all of this nuance to the wines from that vintage that make it just a bit better than others. This one was toasty and spicy (I think it's the spice in the vintage that adds interest for me) and in a very nice window. Enjoyed more than the Armand de Brignac Rose and a bit less than the '90 LGD, but enjoyed all the same.
Wine Group at home: Golden straw colour. Just a gentle mousse now. Aromas are terrific. Toast, honey, caramel, fig, lemon. Palate still has some freshness. After some time the oxidative notes come through. It's a thoroughly delicious wine.
Passage en cave: 85 mois; degorgement: Juillet 2004. subdued mousse, very fruity, oxidative appley nose with a touch of honey; ex balance. Rich and delicious taste but slightly over the hill. very long
Passage en cave: 85 mois; degorgement: Juillet 2004. Great bottle, fantastic wine! Enjoyed between main and dessert. Frankly a dessert in its own, but could have handled both the beef and the dessert cake. Of course it it nearing its end, but not sad when it can still be enjoyed at this level.
Null pop ved åpning. Veldig moden nese av epler og hint av sherry. Svak mousse, men meget bra konsentrasjon og syren tar ikke overhånd her. Lang finish. Dette er forsåvidt ganske godt, men burde nok vært drukket for noen år siden. For dere som har noen i kjelleren, hent de opp nå! Edit: ser noen har hatt veldig bra flasker i det siste, så kan være flaskevariasjon.
Wine Bash of the Year 2012 (Jade Palace, Forum Galleria): Quite a few posters have written that this seems to be going downhill. However, en magnum tonight, this was a world away from being tired - if anything, it seemed way too young to drink. A very rich Champagne, it had a big, expressive nose of oxidative apple and white meat aromas at the fore, then a core of preserved lemons and figs, dried flowers and a touch of honey, leading into a nice minerally streak running through the bouquet - a very broad, rather complex nose. The palate, however, while clearly developed, still carried a lot of the stern, youthful acidity of the 1996 vintage, with a firm, tingly, even sharp backbone running through otherwise ripe, rich flavours of red apples, figs and lemons. Still really tight, this only picked up some nuance and complexity towards the finish, where the ripe fruit petered out and some lingering touches of herb, mineral and dried flowers emerged alongside the bright acidity and citrus fruit. Even two hours in a glass did not budge this much, allowing for a touch more fleshy white fruit to show up, but not much more. All in all, this was a good Champagne, full of character, especially for those who like the Egly-Ouriet style, but in this format, it will need at least 5 to 6 years more.
Jesus B @ 28-50 (28-50, London): Quite a deep dull gold in colour. Rich nose, not oxidative. A touch of ginger and gentle oatmeal. Rich, rounded and broad across the attack and mid palate. Nice acidity towards the finish. Lacks a bit of substance on the finish but very nice indeed. ****
Not as bad as recent posters have indicated, I think. Colour is turning yellow, somewhat brownish apple , but the bubbles are still lively, and the wine is quite vibrant and deep. It has a decadent tone, quite rich with out being sweet at all. Lacks maybe a little bit of depth, and all though very good, I had expected even better from one of my favorite producers in a favorite year of mine. Drink up. (With the family in Kandestederne) 91 points.
Rather advanced and oxidative, dominated by butterscotch and marzipan flavours over baked apple fruit, the effervescence is quite gentle here and the flavours aren't particularly fresh or precise. Drink up if you have 'em.
This wine continues to drink on through its maturity plateau, now tipping downward. There's plety of toast and nuts to go along with a more subtle citrus and apple fruit. Once the wine gets a bit of air it takes on a more baked apple and sherry profile. Very enjoyable wine but drink up.
Deep gold color; this bottle was very mature. Not that there is anything wrong with this but it was also missing the structure and flavor that made it so good in the past. It just seemed faded. With the food it had a brief shining moment but it didn't last. Other Champagnes from this vintage are still very young at this point but based on the 8 bottles in my lot this wine should be consumed sooner rather than later. Disgorged July 2004, lot 75.
There was clearly a little oxidation here, but it did not detract from the appeal of the wine. Some bread, but mainly red berries and apple, with an extended finish. As others have commented, probably a good idea to drink in the near future, but a beautiful wine.
Has pre-mox hit Champagne? I might have thought so, except these seem so consistently advanced. I agree with the others. This showed nicely but way too evolved. Time to finish up. What a shame. Anyone know what happened?
This bottle drank consistent with the last one (6/13/2009). Again, this seems far more advanced than other 96s I've had. A delicious wine, but I think these need to be consumed sooner rather than later.
Deep gold with very fine mousse. Nuts, bread, and apple on the nose. Bright, citrus, apple, and some sherried flavors. Overall, this was very delicious, but slightly more advanced (age-wise) than I expected.
Shockingly, this bottle was near perfect with zero signs of oxidation ... meaning that it once again proved the "only great bottles" statement. Crisp green apple, a touch of dough, and excellent length. This bottle was the best I've had so far -- I'd go so far as to call it the "Riesling of Champagne" Delicious!
Disgorged July 2004. Medium straw gold color. Medium bead. On the nose, this shows some fresh baked bread notes, yellow delicious apple, and jasmine. On the palate, this is well integrated and seamless, with sweet yellow apple, plum, fresh baked bread, jasmine tea, and yellow flowers. This is still fresh and shows no signs of age at this point, other than complete integration of flavors and structure. Great for drinking now.
The first time I had this wine (2006?) it was fantastic -- incredibly well integrated oak, precise acidity (very "96"), lovely fruit on the midpalate, and incredibly fresh. I've had the wine twice in the last 2 months, once from 750ml and once from Magnum, and in both formats, the wine is beginning to oxidize slightly. Sadly, the oak, acidity, and fruit have started to dis-integrate and become separate parts of the wine. Bottom line, a very pleasurable and hedonistic bottle -- and it's definitely "drink up" time.
One of the most complex Champagnes I've had with a flavour profile that brings a dry Sherry to mind - creamy and yeasty with toasted nuts, dried white fruits, baked apples and faintly oxidative, malty notes. Full bodied with a round, rich mouthfeel, fine bubbles and a long finish.
Disgorged September 2004. Brioche, orange peel and lemon aromas. Long, bold and full flavoured palate, with some acidity in the background keeping it from being too full-on. Absolutely delicious. Much less advanced that a bottle had in the last couple of years that was great but not as fresh.
Considerable yeast character with dark brandy-like autolysis notes. Rich, deep nose and flavors offset by considerable bright acidity. Totally, assertively dry! Betsy says her best Champagne experience so far. Maybe a little overly dry and acid for me (an I normally think of those as preferences!).
Vintage Champagne (Grape Radio - Tustin, CA): I thought this was an excellent champagne, although some people in the room seemed turned off by it, thinking it cooked. I, on the other hand, felt the bottle was prematurely aged, but not damaged in a significant way. Rich and concentrated notes of coffee beans, caramel, and toffee. Bold and yeasty on palate.
This was completely new to me. I've taken trips to Champagne but never encountered this wine. A brownish yelloy colour suggesting a complexity of Selosse and even Krug. On the palate it's mature, bready... leaves you hanging for quite some time. Good acidity complementing the other features very well and in my opinion this wine is at its best right now and maybe for one or maybe two years to come.
This bottle seemed further along in maturity than previous bottles. There has been some bottle variation in the case we purchased - some have been younger with high acids and others further along. It was a deep gold in color with green apples and sherried flavors. Delicious.
TTG#7: Hamina Comes to Town (and we all drink good wine) (Keyaki Grill at Capital Tokyu; La Fève Wine Bar (Tokyo)): Deepish color with a fine mousse of less than expected volume. Nose first shows rich and deep white plum and apple with a serious dose of the sweet (almost cloying) autolyzed character that shows up in so many younger large-scaled pinot-driven Champagnes. Finally, a little bit of light honey comes out on what is a big but pretty closed nose. Palate tells a similar story with big pinot body and hints of cherry fruit. A bit of toasted nut comes out on the sweetish finish. Give it time!
Dinner in Canberra (Canberra, Australia): This wine was showing a fine bead with good mousse. Has a rich and powerful nose of brioche, toast, yeast and some oxidative characters. To me, the palate is almost the opposite, exhibiting great freshness and zing, with awesome length and depth of flavour. I suspect it is drinking close to its peak already, no need to hold onto this before enjoying it.
Quite deep gold, and very oxidative on the nose. Is this a representative bottle? - the NVs I have which are based on 1996 have been quite different in character. Anyway, when fizzed up, I rather like the tangy butteriness which I find unpalatable in still wines.
Very strong vibrant mousse, deep amber/gold Rich honied sultana and apricot attack, but lurking beneath is massive acidity, albeit integrated. A long life to live. Quite an unusual style, the honied mature attack moving onto more citrus notes via a fresh green apple. Excellent, potential 96.
The mid-gold colour gives an impression of maturity, which is reinforced by a surprisingly rich, full, mature flavour. It is yeasty and nutty, with sultanas and plenty of acidity to remind you it is still young. The most developed 1996 I have had, and my sort of Champagne. dg
Dinner with the Nygaards (Rotisserie Jules, South Kensington, London): Gold in colour, darker than one would expect, and also on the nose more mature than other 1996 vintages Champagnes. Mousse is fine but not very fine. Scones, toast and ripe fruit on palate, quite expansive and mouthfilling. An interesting evolution that seems to go in reverse to normal - starts with toasty, mature notes and evolves into a zesty, lemony finish. Very nice and a uniquely intellectual Champagne.
First off, I have little experience with bubblies... This is very nice, and to my taste better than the 96 Dom. Nice citrus, pine nuts and dough in the finish. A bit acidic, though bigger body as time progressed. Lovely. 91 pts in the pleasure zone.
Wow, this wine was major. Good color which shows evidece of elevage on lies and a wonderful nose of butter, red fruit, some walnut and yeast. In the mouth it is very elegant, round and long with a finish on a hint of minerality. My favority champagne of the flight. Great!
Very good again. This one was more temperature sensitive and seemed a bit younger than the previous bottle. There is a lot of acidity in this champagne. I have the next one scheduled for 2006 as I think it will benefit from short-term aging. Very good champagne at a decent price point on release.