Saturday, February 26, 2011

1997 1er Cru Champagne

1997 Brochet-Hervieux Champagne

1997 Brochet-Hervieux HBH Cuvée Spéciale 1er Cru Brut

As always, I remain absolutely fascinated with Champagne. There's been a lot of interesting debate about terroir in Champagne, whether it's being expressed, whether it even exists. They don't hesitate to label their wines as Grand Cru or Premier Cru . . . so what does it all mean? Is there a perceptible difference between these wines based on the origin of their grapes? Is vineyard character still recognizable irrespective of the blends? And is there such a thing as lieu-dits in Champagne?

All questions I will ask in person, soon enough.

Our first wine of the evening, starting off with a 1997 Vintage Champagne. My first '97, let's see how these are developing. Cork letting go with a soft, satisfied sigh, wine a pale gold colour. Toasty nose, showing the beginning of maturity, some richness. Ripe apple on the palate, showing great flavours of autolysis. Focused, minerally, and very long. Drinking beautifully, very delicious, and wonderful with our first few cold dishes.

Chinese food and Champagne is magical. And if we're going to talk about value, Vintage Champagne is a great one.


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