Happy New Year to all Elitistreview readers! The Editor and I decided to celebrate the start of 2013 with a Champagne producer who is new to us, but of good reputation. I also haven’t had any 2004 vintage fizz up until now so it’ll be nice to sample both a first taste of a new grower and a new vintage.
Chartogne-Taillet are an old family of Champagne growers based in the prestigious village of Merfy. Yes, I grinned too. It’s on the Montagne de Reims which is quality substrate for vines. This vintage release is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay – even though it’s thought of as Pinot-country, Chardonnay grown on the Montagne de Reims is delish! The origin and blend hold promise. When I’d encountered the name Chartogne-Taillet I also learned their production was absolutely miniscule, so when I saw a bottle of vintage at a reasonable price I thought, “Got to be worth a punt!” Let’s see if it is:
Champagne Brut Millesime 2004, Chartogne-Taillet
Hairy bums this is a rich, complex nose of style and class! It’s reasonably scaled but has a light directness to the fruit that stops it from getting too overblown. It certainly has mineral aromas, something I love to detect in fizz – that’s a sign of real quality work in the vineyard and winery. This certainly smells properly good. And it tastes bleeding marvellous – hooray! There is one hell of a lot going on here: creaminess, breadiness, roundness, ripeness, precision, coruscating mineral purity, loads of things! It’s slightly more than medium bodied, but with the fine stoniness and nipple-tweakingly delicate mousse this just seems like you could drink it all night. If you did you’d have one hell of a lot to think about until you became incapable of thought, but what a thrilling, charming, engaging, delightful experience getting totally newscasted on such a drinkable and seriously fine wine would be. This was not expensive, and it is at the purple end of quality; I’d be tempted to get myself three bottles and really immerse myself in the process of getting trollied on it. But I wouldn’t, because I feel this wine has excellent cellar potential with, I imagine, only more layers of complex delight to show in the future. If I get more of this it goes in the cellar.