Friday, August 01, 2008

Friday Night Bubbles

NV Champagne Voirin-Jumel Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs, $32 (but that is a "last bottle" price - it should be about $45). Imported by Selected Estates of Europe. Voirin-Jumel is an esteemed grower/producer in Cramant, in the Côte des Blancs. I don't know much else about this producer, actually. I've enjoyed some of this importer's Champagnes in the past, and the price certainly seemed quite low for Grand Cru grower Champagne. I took a shot, and wow, did it pay off. What a wine this was - just fantastic, one of the finest blanc de blancs I've had.

The nose is airy and fresh, very elegant. There are clear aromas of roast nuts and biscuits, their richness balanced by ginger and jasmine perfume. Chalky minerals run underneath everything. This is a gorgeous nose, truly compelling. The wine is lacy and sheer in the mouth, but full of punch. There are sweet flavors of jasmine and tart green apples, very focused but not incisive, mellow. The finish is quite mineral, although there are lovely floral mouth aromas. This is a silky wine with great balance that really caresses the tongue.

The label says nothing about dosage or disgorgement date, so I'm going to make some guesses here. The label says "L003" in small writing on the lower right hand side - you can sort of see this in the photo, above "750ml." I take that to mean that this wine is based on the 2003 vintage. The biscuits and the mellow feeling make me think that the wine was disgorged a while ago, maybe sometime in 2006. It seems as if it has some bottle age.

As for dosage - tough to guess. But if I'm right about the vintage as 2003, the wine might not have needed a lot of sugar to achieve balance - 2003 was a ripe year that produced grapes that were naturally high in sugar.

This wine was good enough to make me want to try any Voirin-Jumel wine that I come across. Maybe not the Cuvée 555, the one they ferment in oak. I'm not yet sure whether or not I like that style of Champagne.


Unknown said...

As the Texas importer for Voirin-Jumel, I can tell you that the Grand Cru you tasted is a blend of the 2003 and 2004 vintages. It is an excellent example of champagne, isn't it?

Tim Smith
BBR Imports

Brooklynguy said...

Hi Tim - thanks for dropping in and for your comments. I agree, as you can see, I loved this wine and have already had another by this producer. That's next week's Friday Night Bubbles. Can you let us know how to read the L-003 label, or how it is we can know that this is 03/04 wine?