Now this is good fizz

Daniel’s mother is visiting and we have opened a really good bottle of fizz. To be honest, I’m quite surprised how totally fantastic it is.

Vintage Champagne 1996, Alfred Gratien

This has a powerful cocoa nose, but there is a lot of sophisticated fruit there as well. This certainly smells big, but there is some real complexity and style to it. There are shades of maturity but still full of life. The Bollinger 96 the other day was much more mature, and much less beguilling than this. The palate has a nervy tension between power and beauty. Like an Italian sports car, this throbs with energy but still remains sleek. Real complexity and length. Drinking extraordinarily well now but unlike the Bollinger there is absolutely no rush to drink, it’ll be a brilliant star of livid intensity for years to come. A top bottle of fizz.