I enjoyed the champagne on a happy occasion, but preferred the 1990 and the 2000 I have had recently. It opened a bit flat, which was unexpected and made me wonder if it was not stored properly, though I purchased from a reputable store a couple of years ago.
Second Sunday Group: 2005 Chateauneuf-du-Pape (Barb's): Another courtesy of Neil. Lighter color than the Heidsieck. Apple, vanilla creme, almond, white flowers and lemon blossom notes. Racy acidity; flavors of stone, mineral, almond, citrus and honeycomb with orchard fruit and stone flavors carrying on the long finish. Fine bead. Excellent. 95-96 pts.
Knocked the socks off the Cristal 2005. This has so much more substance. Really good nose of yeasty brioche and apple/pear fruit. Real great body and substance in the mouth, rich and coats the mouth with its gloriously heathy fruit. Probably even better with food and due to its richness maybe a bit too much as an aperitif. Still certainly cannot complain if served this at any stage of the day or night. Wonderful. Thanks Basil!
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(Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon) Light lemon yellow color with few, tiny bubbles; yeasty, lemon foam, light herbs, white chocolate nose; very tasty, yeasty, white chocolate, mineral, lightly honeyed, tart lemon palate; long finish
(Dom Perignon) Richard thought the Dom Perignon was slightly corked; regardless, I wasn’t thrilled with it, and I felt I got a good evaluation of it. There was manure, petrol and herbs, in a stinky, gassy and herbal way. I don’t know, I just didn’t speak its language even though I wanted to.
(Moët et Chandon Cuvée Dom Pérignon) There is a good pressure behind the cork, nevertheless it holds quite a rigid shape once removed from the bottle. In the glass, this still has a pale straw-gold hue, and a swirling torrent of bubbles soon settles down to a fine but still plentiful bead. The nose is divine; don't get me wrong, I know this cuvée can hardly be described as a micro-vinification, with (probably) millions of bottles produced each vintage that it is released, but I still find the aromatic character here divine. There are little reductive elements here, and long with that notes of almonds and cashews, both tightly reined in and very defined, with lemon and stone fruit freshness, and a structural sense suggestive of polished stone. The palate is just as lovely, with the lift from a quite seductive but still lively mousse, and bright and precise acidity. There is fruit, but with a gently crystalline element. A good sense of finesse here, but there is no denying the slightly bitter, pithy grip that lies underneath it all. Long and grippy. I think this is quite fabulous. Most importantly, if not already clear, although good to go now this is still bright and beautifully composed, and well set up a few more decades in the cellar yet.
(Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon) Bright light yellow color; very yeasty, briney, lime nose; refined tart lime, tart orange palate with minerals and high acidity; medium-plus finish 92+ pts. (needs 2-3 more years)
(Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon) Light medium yellow color; subtle lime, yeast, mineral and mandarin orange cream nose; tasty, tart citrus, peach and grapefruit palate with balance; medium finish
(Dom Perignon) If there is one thing you can count on in this world, it’s that you will find Dom Perignon in every major city in the world. What do they make of that stuff now, 4 million cases a year? Just kidding, Nicole, and it was good to see a familiar face on the wine list to start things off, 1996 Dom Perignon to be exact. Toasty, lean and racy, there was a bit of a white Burgundian, smoky complexity to the nose in this 1996 DP, along with distinct corn oil aromas. I have had a lot of variation with the ’96 already in its short life, but this was an excellent bottle, with flavors of rainwater, musk, toast and yeast. Of course, it had the vintage’s fantastic acidity, but the wine was just a touch square at the moment, a squareness that I am sure time will undo
(Moët et Chandon Cuvée Dom Perignon Champagne) A local wine merchant stopped over for dinner and what better way to start the evening than by taking my first look at this, the highly lauded 1996 vintage. An attractive golden hue in the glass, with a plentiful bead. The nose, though, is just gorgeous, already quite open and evocative, much more than I would normally expect from Dom Perignon at this youthful age. There are notes of precisely presented hazelnuts and cream, crème brûlée, wrapped in clean citrus tones. A firm mousse with an open nuttiness, but more impressively a fabulous presence on the palate, backed up by great acidity. This already has a lovely character, but is well set up for future development, and should be a truly stunning Champagne with time.
(Dom Perignon) we were quickly marveling at not only the quality of the 1996, but also about how they make close to one million bottles of it when a vintage is declared, and how that has to translate into about $50-75 million for the company each vintage. Not bad. The 1996 DP was a good way to start the trip and reminded me that if I had to stock up on one vintage of Champagne for the long haul, it would be 1996. The DP was fresh, racy and full of minerals with lots of zip and zest and a stone-faced personality. The wet rock and youthful mineral flavors were delicious, and the acidity left no doubt that this wine would shine for a long, long time. There was still a delicacy to it, and while it was not rich up front or in its fruit qualities yet, the finish left no doubt that this is an all-time classic for DP
(Dom Perignon) very fresh nose (of course) full of stones, taut citrus, dust and pinches of anise and minerals. There was an intense, taut center flirting with pungency but not really pungent, more like intensity. Man, do I love the 1996s - the zip, zest and zoom of the vintage are tremendous and better than 1990 in my opinion. Bernard agreed with that opinion, calling the balance and acidity .a notch above.. The 1996 had great acidity, and flavors of citrus, anise, bread, stones, minerals and raindrops. There were additional flavors of limestone and seltzer on the finish. Dan picked up on its "straw" flavors, and it got stonier with time. The 1996 had an unmatched verve for the evening
(Dom Perignon) So lacy and elegant. Almost the definition of finesse. Tremendous concentration of light citrus fruits and brilliant integration of acid, bubbles and fruit. Obviously young but I'm not pouring mine out.
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