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This is a gigantic wine, but it’s so well structured and refined, so beautiful, you can drink it now and fall in love with it. It’s perfectly balanced, enormously complex and not too sweet; the highest-scoring California sparkler we’ve ever tasted, blending rich toasty notes with well-ripened fruit. This fabulous wine should come together, mellow and gain…
The Bollinger R.D. (recently disgorged) is Bollinger’s answer to a prestige cuvée. Keeping the wine long on its lees (this was disgorged in June 2006) yields a wine that is very much in the rich Bollinger style. This is a beautifully balanced wine, with acidity, intensity and structure in perfect harmony. It is still so young, and certainly could age for years.
The latest release from Salon, this just explodes in the mouth with mineral, steel and flint. The tiny mousse has flavors of yeast and just a touch of toast. It is rich, but so austere and structured. Like many Salon Champagnes, this will age for 20 years or more.
Even at 10 years, this is still just setting out. While it doesn’t have the immensity of the 1996, it has a great intense grapefruit, pear and fresh apricot series of flavors that come through with toast, ripeness and a suggestion of almonds. 7–8 years aging.
Disgorged in 2009, this is a toasty wine, rich and concentrated. The idea of long aging before disgorging the yeast cells is to build up the unique complexity of the wine. In this Bollinger has succeeded magnificently. An opulent wine, with aging potential for 10 years or more.
This 20-year-old Champagne, just released by Moët, is beautiful, ripe, toasty, the fruit translated into almonds, French toast and searing, intense mature acidity. Disgorged in 2007, it is just now at its peak.
The iconic Roederer Champagne, Cristal’s latest release, brings a perfect balance of richness and age worthiness. It is full of apple flavor, and the mousse is very fine and almost imperceptible. As so often with a beautifully blended wine like this, a few minutes breathing brings out extra complex flavors. It certainly should age over five years and more.
A triumph, really. Held back for 14 years and just recently disgorged, it’s fantastically rich and complex, just oozing the most delicious orange, butterscotch, yeast and toast flavors. So silky, so sweet in fruit, and yet with a dry finish. Stands out in any tasting of the best sparklers. Hard to imagine a California bubbly better than this.