Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention...

Tasted the 1999 Philiponnat Clos de Goisses. Very little to enjoy about this wine right now. Unless you like highly sulphurous, closed, single vineyard champagne. Clos de Goisses is supposed to be amongst the most long lived of champagnes, requiring every bit of 25 years before it starts to reveal its true character and pedigree. I don't have any other experience with the wine and this was only 1 oz. of a single bottle - but man, was it ever underwhelming.

It’s a champagne type of week

Funny thing, I basically drink no champagne for a few weeks, maybe a sparkling wine or two but that’s it. And then a week like this one, where we tasted a bunch of direct import champagnes at work, I enjoyed a bottle of Elisabeth Goutourbe with some sushi, and have plans to drink a few more bottles with my parents up in Calistoga this weekend. No, I’m not complaining, just observing my tendency to neglect champagne and then go on something of a binge.

Though we tasted quite a bit, the champagnes that stood out to me most were Bruno Michel’s. Juicy, succulent and seemingly impossible not to enjoy. In a self-imposed effort to limit the pimping of my wares, I’ll just put down a few TNs for Bruno Michel’s tasty champagnes. .

Bruno Michel Blanche Brut NV
Enamel and old oak fermented 50-50 blend of Chard and Meunier. Bright, clean white grapefruit with a drier finish than last year’s batch (which had some ’03 in the blend).

2000 Bruno Michel Clos Cuvee Clement Blanc de Noir
100% Meunier (70 year-old massale selection vines) from the 9 Arpents plot of their vineyard in Moussy. Fermented in oak. Nice Meuni damp forest floor aromas. Intense black cherry and that amazing ability of Meunier to stick to your palate and not go anywhere, while still showing loads of freshness. My wine of the day.

Bruno Michel Premier Cru Blanc de Blancs NV
Clean, bright citrus and sparkling Clementine tangerine, the type of intensity of flavors as well as delicacy that few (if any) wines deliver like good Blanc de Blancs champagne

UPDATE: Just wanted to dispense a bit more info about Mr. Michel (or Mr. Mayor - he is the mayor of Moussy). He is Jose Michel's son, so he learned from one of the best, and certainly one of the most successful champions of the Pinot Meunier grape. He farms organically. The blanc de blancs is actually from a single vineyard in the 1er cru village of Pierry, Les Brousses, from massale selections planted in 1964.