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Blend: 52% Chardonnay. 48% Pinot Noir all from Premier and Grand Cru villages: Chouilly, Mailly, Cumières Blanc, Le Mesnil sur Oger, Verzy… The nose opens with a fresh and soft appeal, followed by a delicious complex combination of aromas: butter, soft spices dried fruits with grilled almonds and with ripe citrus and apricot notes. A touch of fresh mineral character dominates with some subtle evolved points. On the palate there is a fine fruity yet vinous element, lively yet perfectly balanced. Flavours of spice, dried fruits and ripe fresh fruits over caramel abound tied together by the firm mineral back-bone.
A great example of how large yields do not necessarily mean poor quality in Champagne. As a reaction to the previous year's low yields, the vines produced one of the largest crops on record. The growing season proceeded without major difficulties but the bumper crop called for bud thinning. August brought about cooler weather and some rains, increasing the risk of rot. The massive crop, averaging 13,990 kg/ha, was picked from September 18th onwards. The quality was a pleasant surprise; vibrant wines with appropriate intensity, refined charm and refreshing lightness. This vintage impresses me more and more, and I feel tempted to give it the full five stars. It comes with a rare balance of freshness, lightness, yet fine aromatic intensity. Post-release, this vintage has proven to be slow to age, and elegant wines are likely to keep on ageing gracefully. Dom Pérignon and Louis Roederer Cristal both excelled.