Tuesday, May 13, 2008

1985 Renee Collard Cuvee Reserve Millesime - Meunier at its best?

One of my co-workers, who buys champagne and sherry for the store, likes to say that in champagne, top-notch Pinot Meunier can make better Pinot than Pinot Noir itself. From my limited experience with his wines, and by repuation, Renee Collard proves this to be true. His oak aged, non-malo champagnes are deeply flavored and vinous, earthy and complex. They are typically composed mainly of Meunier with a bit of Chardonnay.

I enjoyed the 1985 Collard a few weeks ago after crashing my bike on Valencia St., while making an ill advised move from the torn up bike lane to higher pavement one lane over. My intent was to head out to Terroir and share the bottle, but oh well, a flat tire and crooked headset discouraged me from venturing any further. When I arrived home, I decided to crack open the Collard anyway; I was set on drinking that champagne and a minor bike crash was not going to stop me. No siree bobby. The champagne showed intense golden hues and aromas (you know how some aged chardonnay and champagne have that golden aspect to appearance, aroma, and flavor). There was a wonderful truffle note that emerged after time and was especially apparent the next day - I drank a glass with an omelette and salad. On the palate the champagne was very vinous, as is the rep for Renee Collard. Cidery, spicy, and chock-full of juicy black cherries. It was good but not mind blowing on day 1. On day 2 more flavors revealed themselves, especially a strong walnut husk aspect to the finish. So it looks like I might have enjoyed this bottle more in another five years. I'll have to accomodate my British taste in Champagne and buy another one to put it away for a while.


Steve L. said...

Is the Collard fermented on its own yeast? If not, it might have trouble clearing inspection at Terroir's front door.

Brooklynguy said...

where did you find this for sale, anyway? i've been loving the meunier lately. bedel is my latest love.

Joe M. said...

Steve, while I do not know this for a fact, I would be VERY SURPRISED if the '85 Collard Cuvee Reserve was not fermented with its own yeasts. Massale clones, super traditional champagne making, a style that really is more in keeping with the 19th c than today's stuff. Gotta be indigenous yeasts there.

Bklyn -

I bought it where I work - as far as I know we are the sole US importers for the wine. We are long sold out, but if you like I can give you a heads up should we get more in on another container.

Brooklynguy said...

appreciate the offer, but i doubt i'll take you up on it, given shipping hassles, etcetera. what's the retail price, by the way?