Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Night Bubbles

NV René Geoffroy Champagne Brut Expression, $39. Terry Theise Selections. A little more than a year ago I tasted a Geoffroy wine for the first time, and it helped to open my eyes to the beauty, grace, and power of good Champagne. A grower in the village of Cumières in the Marne Valley, Geoffroy makes wines of real depth, wines whose richness and power are matched by their elegance and poise.

There is a high proportion of Meunier in this, his "entry level" Champagne. Usually about 50%. And the balance is mostly Pinot Noir, so this is almost a Blanc de Noirs. Chardonnay plays a bigger role in the Cuvée Volupté, the Tête De Cuvée (top blend of the house). But that is the only one - red grapes dominate most of this producer's wines.

This bottle was just outstanding, the best showing yet for the April 2007 disgorgement. Yeasty wet bread dough on the nose enlivened by citrus and ripe green apples. There is no malolactic fermentation for this wine and the acidity remains sharp and bright. A very broad and inviting nose of great clarity, and it fleshes out and gains depth with air time. The palate is beautifully balanced with figs, fresh red fruits, piercing acidity, and plenty of chalky minerals. The wine feels very full in the mouth with a sappy richness of red fruit, but maintains great focus. It's as if there are different phases in the mouth: an initial bready and muscular phase, structured and firm. Then comes the fruit, pure and delicate. Then a deep sappiness that's grounded in chalk. Just beautiful wine, and it seems like it could age gracefully.

I love this wine, one of my favorite entry level Champagnes for sure. Everything I've tasted from Geoffroy has been excellent, but sadly, I've merely tasted most wines, not enjoyed them at home with a meal. That's because I've seen only this cuvée in stores. My kingdom (puny and with no powers of taxation, but a kingdom nonetheless) for a bottle of Empriente or Cuvee Volupté!


Anonymous said...

This is a great way to spend a Friday night. I think you've inspired me to grab a bottle of bubbly. Don't know if I can find this one in Boston but I'll give it a try!

Peter Liem said...

Great post, Neil. I love Geoffroy's wines too, and I agree with you — this current release of Expression is just singing right now. It's funny for me to read your post, as I just ran into Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy and three of his little girls at the Saturday market a couple of hours ago! By the way, a quick look on Wine Searcher showed that Le Dû still has the 2002 Volupté, which is a stunning wine, my favorite vintage of that cuvée in recent times. (It's sold out here in Europe, as Goffroy has long since moved to the 2003.) Not cheap, but well worth the price.

Brooklynguy said...

thanks Peter. i can only imagine the things for sale at that saturday market. freshly picked bottles of Champagne, perhaps, in addition to the produce? thanks for the Le Dû tip. i went there earlier today and bought one bottle. when would you imagine this is in prime drinking window?

Peter Liem said...

The 2002 Volupté already tastes mighty good right now, but it should continue to develop for another decade at least. I'm not sure yet whether it's going to start shutting down like some other 2002s seem to be doing. (I suppose that since I have no more bottles, I am sadly unable to find out! I'll have to rectify that.) I would love to see this wine in, say, 2014, but that sounds so far away. If you have the cash, I would drink a bottle now and get another one for the cellar.

Brooklynguy said...

i don't have the cash, really, but you make it sound like such a sensible thing to do. you might consider a second career as loanshark.