Thursday, November 05, 2009

Friday Night Bubbles - 2002 Diebolt-Vallois

Last night, after a night of many a Poulsard with friends (more on that soon), I wanted to open a bottle of good Champagne to close out the evening. But what to open? My companions included a guy who until recently worked at Michael Skurnik wines, so nothing from Terry Theise. A woman who works at Chambers Street Wines, so nothing that they sell. And a prominent Sommelier at a great NYC restaurant, so nothing off his list. I decided to open a bottle of 2002 Diebolt-Vallois Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs, $65, imported by Petit Pois Corp. Turns out that the Sommelier has the 1997 on his list. I did my best. I tried, okay? Why are you being so judgmental?

2002 was a great year in most of Champagne and the idea is to actually hold onto the wines to allow them to reach their true potential, not to drink them frivolously after many other bottles at the end of the evening. But I don't own any of the Diebolt-Vallois 1999's, which my good friend Peter Liem says is what we should be drinking now while we wait for the 02's and the '04's to develop. And I was in the company of people who deeply love and know wine - who better to drink this with? And I have one more bottle that I will use all of my powers to save for another 5 years. So I opened it, we drank it, and it was just excellent.

Even at the end of a night of many wines, it is immediately clear that this is a special drink. The nose is fresh and harmonious, the wine is quite full in body, silky in texture, the fruit is clean and ripe, the finish is chalky and refreshing. I loved the sheer class and elegance of this wine, its effortless depth, its resonant fragrance. What will happen with additional cellaring that could make this wine better than it is right now?

Although it is expensive in absolute terms, I now understand how huge of a bargain it is in relative terms - you can easily spend much more than this on many Champagnes that simply aren't as good.


sadams62 said...

diebolt vallois is in a class by itself. The cuvee prestige wines, and the fleur de passion wines are a must for those seeking an understanding of a cramant bdb.

Brooklynguy said...

hey sadams62 - i agree, consistently excellent wines. I've never had the FdP. i hope to change that whenever i get around to visiting Champagne.

sadams62 said...

i happen to have some of the 1996 fleur de passion wines in my cellar, as well as the 2000. Looking for the 2002's but hope to buy in champagne unless you beat me to them