Gaston Chiquet Special Club Vertical

Tasted July 11, 2021 by WhatsSamSipping with 43 views

Introduction

I had started picking up some of these bottles because they seemed good value to me. Though the more I saw what vintages he made Special Club bottles it made me want to taste them alongside each other. Chiquet seemed to be choosing the toughest/oddest years to make Special Club and that seemed interesting. So I brought the last five released vintages together and tasted with some colleagues.

Flight 1 (5 notes)

White - Sparkling
2013 Gaston Chiquet Champagne Special Club Brut France, Champagne
This was very straight-laced on its first pour. A zesty nose leading to a palate of juicy citrus and toasted brioche. The acidity wasn't ripping. It was calm and consistent.

Tasting it again an hour later it had become more vinous. The citrus fruits seeming more whole and the yeasty notes fading into the background.
White - Sparkling
2011 Gaston Chiquet Champagne Special Club Brut France, Champagne
This was the bottle I was most interested in trying as 2011 was probably the worst year of the decade and few producers made vintage wines, let alone ones for Special Club.

There seemed to be less pressure on this which may be because of poor storage at some point in the bottle's life. It also could have just been bottled at less pressure. The resulting texture was very soft, not a bad thing, but seemed unusual. Lots of rich buttery tones to the aroma and palate. The acid also seemed low so the wine seemed opulent. A creamy texture with honeyed citrus fruit.

Tasting it later the sweetness of the wine had compounded. The vanilla and butter flavors seemed more obvious and less stitched into the whole of the wine.
White - Sparkling
2009 Gaston Chiquet Champagne Special Club Brut France, Champagne
This seemed quite indicative of the vintage. Lots of plump fruit and sweet citrus. Though there was some tartness underlying these big flavors.

Both the 2011 & 2009 had a robust golden color. Made it look a little Sauternes-like.

On second pass the Chardonnay in the blend became more dominant. Started to taste more like a rich still Chardonnay.
White - Sparkling
2008 Gaston Chiquet Champagne Special Club Brut France, Champagne
The 2008 vintage was just fantastic. Even on the first sip it seemed a lot better than the other wines we had tasted up to this point.

This is also the only wine of the bunch where the blend was changed. 60% Pinot Noir & 40% Chardonnay.

The richness and savory qualities of the Pinot were apparent from the get go. Though the acidity made it quite lithe. Definitely the most alive of the bunch.

Certainly could age it for much longer but really lovely now.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2007 Gaston Chiquet Champagne Special Club Brut France, Champagne
This was the big surprise for me. Walked a wobbly line between richness and lively acidity. The Chardonnay was on display with lots of citrus and undertones of honey and almond.

It had the most developed secondary flavors. Sure, it was the oldest of all the wines but its shape and development were a surprise.

While the '08 was the best of the evening this was certainly a dark horse.

Closing

Gaston Chiquet really showed affinity for Chardonnay in this tasting. Everyone agreed the '08 was tasting the best a lot of people were talking about the '07 & '11. So while the '08 was most satisfying it is hard to say which wine was most compelling. Food for thought.

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