A Fantastic Champagne Tasting

1. Dom Pérignon 1996
2. Bruno Paillard 1996
3. Krug 1990
4. Veuve Cliquot La Grande Dame Rosé 1990
5. Krug Collection 1989 
6. Krug Rosé

The night got off to a start with Dom Pérignon 1996. Speculations of huge production and wild bottle variation aside, the best experience so far tells of a wine with a tightly wound core of fruits, showing occasional glimpses of greatness but unyielding most of the time. The nose is more developed now. Bright lemony notes have given way to sweet ripe apples with hints of honey. The great has finally arrived… Rich solid flavours filled the middle palate with firm acids that have lost their rough edges through time. Rounded and simply delightful! One cannot help wonder how its greater sibling Oenotheque 96 will be like…

It appeared to be a tough fight for Bruno Paillard 1996 initially. But the quality of this wine was quite astounding. It was medium bodied, packed and showing nice candied apple flavours on the palate. The intensity and finish was just slightly shy of the Dom. Always a delight to be surprised!

The appearance tells it all - deep golden yellow. Without a doubt, the Krug 1990 has evolved into a monster of a wine. Pronounced oxidised tones, the nose is dominated by lavish oak, vanilla and dried coconut with a faint touch of roasted coffee beans. Super-charged, expansive, rich, with palate-staining flavours (note, rarely used on a champagne), this is knocked out stuff. While it is enjoyable now, the oak needs more time to integrate and developing, adding complexity to complement the raw power.

Veuve Cliquot La Grande Dame Rosé 1990 was orange red, like freshly-cut, juicy grapefruit. Living up to its namesake, the wine has aged tremendously well, forceful and strong yet graceful and subtle. On the nose, faint red berries, oxidised apples, caramel, honey and spices. The palate is full and rich with fine and creamy mouse. Amazing stuff! 

It is a shame that the Krug Collection 1989 was slightly corked.

The Krug Rosé is a wine that begs for time. On release (with a minimum of 5 years in Krug’s cellar), it remained very primary with toasty oak still dominating both the nose and palate. The palate is medium weight, very firm and taut. But flavours are subdued and not revealing.


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