still extremely youthful and vibrant. Pale color. The palate delivers with big red fruit, surely pinot dominated but with no heaviness. Not a hint of oxidation, but there are some complex and mature flavors of nuts and toffee. Great stuff. Staggering minus
A loud bang (my lack of control, but a lot of pressure under the cork). Very dark, almost amber. A single, moderate chimney. Deep nose, buttery, nail varnish, mushrooms, cream; brooding, stately and aged. Sweet-smelling. Mousse fairly sparse on the tongue. Reasonable fruit on the palate, with burned citrus, baked apple, Crisp and mouthwatering, despite its age. This bottle shows elements of all four I've had previously, but they are balanced, even reticent. The nose seems more mature than the taste. It's tasty stuff, but not the best. It's got acidity and gas to age a while yet, but I'm not sure it will benefit from this.
Opened with a moderate bang. Plenty of mousse. Dark honey colour. Powerful nose, a burst of fruit followed by the buttery pastry I've noticed before in this wine. Palate is good, complex, attractive and slightly exotic. The confectionary is balanced by fruit, with apples and pears, grapefruit, and even some tropical fruits - pineapple comes to mind - that are reminiscent (in my fairly untutored palate - of good sauvignon blanc. Quite aromatic, with a very long finish (I don't normally notice much of a finish in any wine, but this is well over half a minute long). Later, hints of everything from bread and cheese, to grapes and elderflower. This is by far the best example of this wine I have had. It has restored my interest in older champagnes to some extent. First-class.
*Note* - not under ideal conditions, not the same glass as before. Nose: acidic, forceful, white fruit, citrus, apple; also biscuit, pastry. Not unpleasant. Similar to the last bottle, though not so pronounced; fine, sweet though not sickly; somewhat buttery, pastry character, though tempered with fairly strong fruit (apple, whitecurrant); balanced and interesting; mature. I feel a tad guilty about opening another bottle so soon, but it is not - in my opinion - as good as the straight 1998 vintage, which is easily available, and I don't believe a wine should be preserved merely for its rarity. This is a fine, fairly old Champagne, but not an outstanding one in my opinion. It is a marriage of fruit and biscuity bottle age which, in the right example, is fine wine - but not exceptional. Do not be deceived by pedigree.
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