Le Grand Tasting, Paris
These huge and serious tasting-events are always intimidating and I have always mixed feelings before going, but as soon as you pass door, the magic and thrill of the wine is there again. As I said in my wine-events page, this is a serious wine event, but the selection is rigorous and two days wouldn't be enough to cover all the event, considering the invited-wineries list. We spent almost an entire day there and while I think we made the best use of our time, we still stopped at a small number of stands, plus we didn't to my shame got the time to visit at least a few Italian and Spanish stands. We can't but chat with the vintners and we would miss the point if we just hurriedly went from stand to stand with barely a word to the vigneron.
We spent some time tasting Olivier Guyot who had only reds to taste. He said he also makes 2000 bottles of rosé, plus some Chardonnay on Marsannay. At one point, Olivier Guyot told us they were 8 brothers and sisters in his family, his parents wanting a large family...
__Olivier Guyot, Bourgogne Pinot-Noir 2006. Served a bit too warm, but still tastes well.
__Olivier Guyot, Marsannay la Montagne 2006. high-elevation climat shared by 4 vignerons. Exposed on south. Limestone soil where the vines suffer, makes beautiful wines usually. It should be upgraded to 1er Cru some day. There are whites on this climat too. Beautiful nose and mouth here.
__Olivier Guyot Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Charmes 2006. Very nice, classy wine. Mouth with ampleness, a pleasure, no spit. 14-16 months elevage in 100% new casks. No hint of wood here. Lots of whole clusters here he says. He uses only François-Frères casks, like Frédéric Magnien.
Olivier Guyot Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru les Champeaux 2006. 50% new casks, 50% one-year old. From the oldest vineyard of his estate, one hectare and 95-year-old vines. Served a bit too warm too but what a pleasure...
__Olivier Guyot, Clos Saint-Denis Grand Cru 2006. 100% new casks. Elegant but its tannins ask for more time.
__Olivier Guyot, Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2006. Three casks on good years. From a 3-hectare climat shared by many vignerons.
__We began with Duval-Leroy's Extra Brut, 100 Chard with a base of 2002 wine and 2 grams of dosage (Extra Brut is less than 6 gr). Nice bubbles. 45 Euro.
__Authentis Clos des Bouveries 2002, 100% Chard, Brut (less than 12 gr).60 Euro.
__Femme de Champagne 1996, a magnim, 79% Chard, 21% Pinot Noir. On the market since a year and a half. Very nice, straight mouth. 220 Euro (magnum).
Cuvée des Rois 1985 (picture), a magnum too. That's a nice Champagne... refined, blond tobacco aromas. 220 Euro for the magnum.
Next, we went to Gosset.
__Champagne Grande Reserve. Wines from 2002, 2003, 2004. Dosage : 8/10 gr. Perfect balance with intensity in the mouth. Mostly Chard and Pinot Noir, with a bit of Pinot Meunier. A bit of sucrosity in the mouth. 36 Euro.
Champagne Grand Millesime, 1999, 40% Chard, 60% P.N., dosage 8/10 grams. Nice balance in the mouth too. Lots of substance, this is a gastronomy Champagne. Ampleness, you just munch this Champagne, B. says. They don't make millesime Champagne every year. The last previous was 1996.
Champagne Celebritis Vintage Extra Brut, 1998. Gosset's tête de cuvée., 40% Chard, 60% P.N., dosage 3,5 gr. Béatrice Cointreau who heads Champagne Gosset chose a low dosage here because she felt it was largely enough. Very nice mouth with a long, lingering mouth feel. My preferred Champ at this stand, in addition to the Grande Reserve (the 1st). 110 Euro.
__Champagne Grand Rosé. Same base than Grande Reserve plus red wine. Not really easy to taste this wine after the Celebritis 1998. 44,45 Euro.
At Jacquesson, we tasted among several Champagne wines the Cuvée 731, the emblematic cuvée of the Maison, which is on the market since a couple of weeks. This year, it is made with a base of 2005 (80%). Very pleasant nose of ripe grapes, dry raisin, even Xeres, B. says.This Maison is known to use foudres (large capacity casks) systematically for its wines. We learnt that Jacquesson invented the metal capsule stopper and wire to hold Champagne corks in 1844. This page listing Champagne-related inventions mentions it.
We also tasted a few Champagne wines at Moutardier, a Maison producing 280 000 bottles a year from its own 18 hectares (14 ha Pinot Meunier - 4 ha Pinot Noir & Chard) and purchased grapes.The one that took my attention was a 100% Pinot Meunier which was not listed. No label yet as it is not on the market. Made with 2006/2005/2004 wines. Its name will be "Pur Meunier". 2500 bottles of it only. Nice, neat mouth. Probably priced about 20 Euro.
The younger you bring your children to wine tasting, the deeper the cultural imprint on their soul. Remember, like the music, get them accustomed very early to the heavenly waves of wine scents and rejoicing adults chatting about great wines...
And speaking of the hostile climate for the wine culture in France, be patient, these Victorian anti-alcohol groups will be defeated, dissidents are patiently at work behind the scenes. And consider that the dry lobby isn't the only guilt-based ideology that we are confronted to, here in France. Like everywhere else in the Western Hemisphere we have also to endure the flat-earthers of global-warming and carbon-footprint, chanting everyday the end of the world is nigh...
As we were tasting the wines, a Japanese restaurateur and friend of Jean-Luc Thunevin dropped by : Ishizuka Morie is a former sommelier who runs with a Japanese staff le Petit Verdot (Petit Verdot is a Bordeaux grape variety and it also sounds in French like "petit verre d'eau" or "small glass of water"), a restaurant serving traditional French cuisine with of course a Japanese touch. As a former sommelier, Mr Ishizuka has worked out a wine list of his own that I'd like to experiment the day we go there.
We tasted wines at several others stands but I lack room and in some instances, notes, to write about it.