2004 champagne horizontal

110 Taillevent London

Tasted January 30, 2020 by BenBlu with 326 views

Introduction

The champagne super group convened again, this time the task was to evaluate the 2004 vintage. Comprehensively. It turned out we had 42 champagnes from the vintage when all was said and done, a mammoth task over one dinner for 12 people. The wines were kind of single blind with the exception of the 6 we had for aperitif. Thereafter what was known was that it was going the Blanc de Blancs, then top white champagnes non BdB, then Roses and then the tail of others.

Flight 1 - Warm up non blind help yourself (6 notes)

White - Sparkling
2004 Louis Roederer Champagne Vintage Brut France, Champagne
92 points
Nicely open, good freshness and balance. Nice. Roederer vintage tends to do quite well with bottle age. Possibly room for improvement here with some more years in bottle.
White - Sparkling
2004 Lanson Champagne Gold Label Brut France, Champagne
90 points
Seemed quite mature, still freshness kicking though, sweeter touch, quite yeasty.
White - Sparkling
2004 Boizel Champagne Joyau de France France, Champagne
88 points
Green apples, cirtus, zesty entry - mineral, but then ends very short and a bit thin.
White - Sparkling
N.V. Laurent-Perrier Champagne Grand Siècle Iteration 22 Grande Cuvée France, Champagne
93 points
Engaging nose, bit of firecracker, reductive, mineral and good richness and toasty. Very good! 93+
White - Sparkling
N.V. Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée Edition 160eme France, Champagne
95 points
One of the stand out wines of the night. Lovely nose of roast hazelnuts, palate following through nicely, balance and richness. Will get even better with more age and in similar vein of great Krug NV #151. (clearly) Better than Krug 2004 vintage tasted later.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2004 Vilmart & Cie Champagne Premier Cru Coeur de Cuvée France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru
92 points
Gentle vanilla on the nose evidence of the oak treatment. Fresh attack of cirtus, depth and lingering sweet oak on a long finish. Good but ultimately a bit too simple and obvious.

Flight 2 - Blanc de Blancs (9 notes)

White - Sparkling
2004 Billecart-Salmon Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut Millésimé France, Champagne
91 points
Precise nose, cirtus, chalky, racy. Good but not as good as one would have hoped for this cuvee.
White - Sparkling
2004 Charles Heidsieck Champagne Blanc des Millénaires France, Champagne
93 points
Expansive yet clean, rich and hint of smoke. I liked this more than the group. Very good. 93-94
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2004 Taittinger Champagne Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut France, Champagne
96 points
On the nose this was something else and I immediately had this down for Comtes. My high hopes for this wine were confirmed and turned out to be one of the if not the WOTN. Toasty, nutty, salty. I love this and think this is going to be even greater with another 5-10 years in bottle. A screaming MUST BUY! Happy to have two cases but arguably one should be backing up the truck and stock up massively here. This is going to be in the vein of the great 1995.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2004 Pierre Péters Champagne Grand Cru Cuvée Speciale Blanc de Blancs Les Chetillons France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
91 points
At first puzzling - very brisk, airy, bit simple and sour making us think a not so good bottle. Got better with air though. Still a "hmmm".
White - Sparkling
2004 Ruinart Champagne Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs France, Champagne
93 points
Tiny bit of green notes. Mineral, gravely, liked it. Others liked it even more.
White - Sparkling
2004 Krug Champagne Clos du Mesnil France, Champagne
95 points
A privilege to encounter this wine again within a few months. This time blind I was able to spot it. This had stealth, crispy mineral zip, very dry and laser like precision. This will benefit from another 10 years. Frankly though, as good an impressive as this was my nod here goes to the more hedonistic Comte de Champagne. Bearing in mind that you can get 10 Comtes for one of the Krug Clos du Mesnil an easy choice for the non billionaires.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2004 Salon Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut France, Champagne
94 points
Buttermilk, saline, moreish. Better than recent disappointments with 1995 and 2002 vintage of this overrated and overpriced cuvee.
White - Sparkling
2004 Perrier-Jouët Champagne Belle Epoque Blanc de Blancs France, Champagne
93 points
Some nice floral fruitiness, flinty and smokey, a bit sweet. Actually a good performance of Belle Epoque, which I view in general as a perma-dog in performance and rate very low.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2004 Union Champagne de Saint Gall Champagne Grand Cru Cuvée Orpale Blanc de Blancs France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
92 points
Smokey, gravelly bit short finish but nice freshness. Good performance among heavy hitters her blind.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 3 - White (not Blanc de Blancs top flight) (11 notes)

White - Sparkling
2004 Bollinger Champagne La Grande Année France, Champagne
93 points
Round and diplomatic. Good.
White - Sparkling
2004 Bollinger Champagne R.D. Extra Brut France, Champagne
93 points
Bit tighter compared to standard Grande Annee in glass before, lower dosage made me think this as RD correctly. Nice acidity and racy. 93-94
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2004 Bollinger Champagne Vieilles Vignes Françaises France, Champagne
96 points
Bottle 2062/4208. My third time with this champagne. Here blind the darker colour vs others was obvious and a bit of a give away. Getting better with temperature as this always does revealing lovely nougat tones. I loved this. Others were less convinced.
White - Sparkling
2004 Egly-Ouriet Champagne Grand Cru Brut Millésimé France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
88 points
Bit shut down and clipped finish. Made us think the bottle wasn't perfect. Weakest wine in the flight.
White - Sparkling
2004 Henri Giraud Champagne Grand Cru Argonne Brut France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
91 points
Oak oak oak. Yes it is obvious. Clearly identified by all blind. Very distinctive and I think I liked this. But there was a bit of consensus that it was a bit of a "cheap whore". Just too obvious. Probably lay down for 10 years and see if the oak integrates more.
White - Sparkling
2004 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut France, Champagne
93 points
Racy, mineral and then some nice richness from the oak with good depth. Not as good as Krug NV 160eme. And a weaker vintage for Krug or maybe it needs more time. Still a good wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2004 Dom Pérignon Champagne France, Champagne
96 points
Oh boy is this Dom 2004 coming along strongly as of late. I totally underrated this vintage of Dom 5 years ago. I already remarked a few months back when I tasted this that Dom 2004 is really starting to show right now. Here we got proof and in fact this was my WOTF and tied WOTN! An amazing bottle of Dom this - lovely reduction, wow, electrifying. The group all picked this up as Dom. I think this is the new 1995 and I love 1995. Go stock up on this while it's still "cheap"!
5 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2004 Pol Roger Champagne Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill France, Champagne
88 points
Oxidised, unintegrated. Left everyone displeased. Another weak showing by this cuvee sadly under blind conditions.
White - Sparkling
2004 Philipponnat Champagne Brut Clos des Goisses France, Champagne
92 points
Intense, dry, racy. Needs more time!
White - Sparkling
2004 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut La Grande Dame France, Champagne
92 points
Respectable performance of this weak cuvee. Quite balanced and diplomatic.
White - Sparkling
2004 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut France, Champagne
95 points
Red cassis and apple centre, a lot packed in there as if you took 1.5 glasses and reduced it to 1 glass - guessed Cristal. Very good showing. If a bit overshadowed this time by the Dom Perignon in the glass just before.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 4 - Rose flight (8 notes)

Rosé - Sparkling
2004 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut Rosé France, Champagne
94 points
Floral and airy, some strawberry. Very pretty but maybe not quite as convincing as other vintages of this great cuvee. Here I preferred the white Cristal tonight.
Rosé - Sparkling
2004 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut Rosé La Grande Dame France, Champagne
94 points
Dare I say that here blind actually one of my preferred roses. Bit of reduction, engaging, with some blood orange. Very good.
Rosé - Sparkling
2004 Bollinger Champagne La Grande Année Rosé France, Champagne
91 points
Others liked this a lot more than me. I find GA rose is not my style for some reason. hard to articulate - here an attempt - maybe lacking a bit of lust of life, feel it is a bit too vinous in a pedestrian way.
Rosé - Sparkling
2004 Dom Pérignon Champagne Rosé France, Champagne
94 points
Predictably strong performance but not as strong as the great "white" Dom tonight. Reductive, very precise. Very good and likely one for further ageing.
Rosé - Sparkling
2004 Laurent-Perrier Champagne Grand Siècle Cuvée Alexandra France, Champagne
92 points
Red berries, pretty but a bit simple. Sort of got lost for me in this large rose flight.
Rosé - Sparkling
2004 Pommery Champagne Cuvée Louise Brut Rosé France, Champagne
85 points
I don't like Pommery. Reminded why. For a prestige cuvee unacceptable. Rose is almost colourless. Easy to spot. But that of course is not the issue. The palate is just so unexciting that if it was a generic NV it would just about pass. But prestige cuvee in a good vintage? Nahhh...
Rosé - Sparkling
2004 Ruinart Champagne Dom Ruinart Brut Rosé France, Champagne
94 points
From magnum. Curve ball thrown by sommelier serving this to us twice (glass number 28 and number 30). Nobody got it. However I noted this both times quite pleasantly and ranked highly. Pure, concentrated, translucent in appearance, ethereal. Really good showing.
Rosé - Sparkling
2004 Perrier-Jouët Champagne Brut Rosé Belle Epoque France, Champagne
91 points
Rounding out a decent showing for Belle Epoque in 2004. Not spectacular but acceptable alluring rose here.

Flight 5 - Final flight blanc others (4 notes)

Here my concentration really went and I am not listing all the wines.

White - Sparkling
2004 Perrier-Jouët Champagne Belle Epoque France, Champagne
91 points
Middle of fairway, pleasant and fresh. Would be good for a standard vintage champagne but you do wish for more from a prestige cuvee.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2004 Bruno Paillard Champagne Nec Plus Ultra France, Champagne
88 points
It was getting late and I didn't like this.
White - Sparkling
2004 Gosset Champagne Celebris Extra Brut France, Champagne
89 points
Came out very late, I usually rate this cuvee and last year I would say the 2002 was my surprise champagne outperformer of the year. Here it didn't show so well. I actually like the standard vintage better from memory.
White - Sparkling
2004 Pommery Champagne Cuvée Louise Brut France, Champagne
87 points
Uninspiring.

Closing

Another wonderful evening and great privilege to examine a vintage with this group. Many very generous contributions indeed and thanks to all for that and to Peter for organising. Also 110 Taillevent in London is the perfect venue for this kind of event under the expert guidance of sommelier Christopher and his great team.

The conclusions were that 2004 is a good but not a very good vintage. The Blanc de Blancs probably overall did best. Generally the quality was quite close together, quite homogeneous.

My top wines of the evening were Comte de Champagne, Dom Perignon (given the still "modest" price tag these 2 are MUST BUYS!!!!), Clos du Mesnil, Bollinger VVF (this one not unanimous but for me great) and Krug NV 160eme (2004 base vintage of course).

Given the amount of wines tasted in the context of great company and food the notes here are of course short and directional only.

© 2003-20 CellarTracker! LLC.

Report a Problem

Close