Le Web Journal du Champagne & more wines from Cédric Bouchard

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My, my, my, has it been a long time…

Le Web Journal du Champagne and a few tasting notes from a Cédric Bouchard tasting at Ambonnay Bar a while back.

First, I wanted to quickly share an amazing and free online resource on the dynamic region of Champagne. Claire and Julien Zika are the masterminds behind the quarterly champagne-centric magazine. Their aim is to publish news and commentary from the region of Champagne. The online magazine features in-depth interviews, tastings as well as addressing viticultural and vinification techniques, discussion of varietals, terroirs, philosophy and food pairing. It looks like a great resource and I encourage you to follow their work!

Here are links to the first issues but they are up to issue 7 now, and all en francais for those on that level…

Issue 1 Le Web Journal du Champagne | Magazine en ligne sur le champagne.

Issue 1 has an overview of David Léclapart, who is the focus of Vinosseur‘s guest article from February 3rd during the collaborative project from February’s 29 days of Chardonnay.

Issue 2 Le Web Journal du Champagne | Magazine en ligne sur le champagne.

Issue 3 Le Web Journal du Champagne | Magazine en ligne sur le champagne.

Blanc de Noirs of Cédric Bouchard

I’ve already written about the emotional wines of Cédric Bouchard. Obviously, I can’t help myself from writing more, but I will keep these notes brief. For more information about the domaine and Cédric’s philosophy please see this article.

Cédric makes wine under two labels, Inflorescence is made from purchased fruit and Roses de Jeanne is made from vines he owns.

Inflorescence Blanc de Noirs (2009)

Platinum. Clean, crisp and steely. Extreme mineral dryness, good extract and fine texture. Floral, lemon chiffon and kaffir lime. 100% Pinot Noir from the Val Villane vineyard, owned by his father.

Inflorescence La Parcelle Blanc de Noirs (2004)

Platinum. More depth and richness. Precise yet wide, more developed autolytic character and strength of minerality. Brioche, ginger and lemon

The Parcelle vineyard was owned by a family friend, who has since sold the vineyard to Cédric. 2004 is a very strong vintage for the entire region of Champagne and was Cédric’s first vintage working with fruit from this site.

Roses de Jeanne Les Ursules Blanc de Noirs (2009)

Darker pink hue. Cherry skin, raspberry, brioche. Saline and more delicate aromatics yet most clearly from Pinot Noir…

This the original of the 4 single vineyard wines under the Roses de Jeanne label, which is named after his grandmother.

Stellar wines worth seeking out and I wish you the best of luck finding them though!

Cheers!

An Unfortunate Coincidence and a Liquid Symphony

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An unfortunate coincidence: my birthday (31 today), is the anniversary of Didier Daueneau’s death.

Good things, bad things…thus is life.

If this wine was a symphony…

I cannot read music, but I love this label, it’s simplicity. It makes me wonder what music most inspired this mad genius on his journey…

It was composed by Francois Cristin, a musician friend of Didier’s. It was written for trumpet (b flat major) and french horn (f major).  The first line is the theme, which is taken from a famous song by Georges Brassens, and the next four lines are Cristin’s personal interpretation of that theme.

Does anyone know the song?

2006 Didier Dagueneau Blanc Fumé de Pouilly

Pale golden.

The sheer intensity, resonance and cadence of this wine begins with staccato aromatics of minerals and flint, builds with vibrato of peach skin, honeysuckle, lemon verbenna and ends with legato of dried pineapple brulee, wet stone, ancho, baking spice and treacle.

Dry and bracing tension with vigorous attack and rich intensity, quite mineral and spiced with good persistence. Concentrated stone fruit flavors with cucumber, caraway seed, pine sap, wet mineral richness and lithe structure. Lovely and complex. So mineral and saline, it draws you in with freshness and precision and becomes weighty with judicious barrel spice and herbal tones.

With a couple hours in the glass, the wine develops into notes of grapefruit syrup, chamomille, sage iced tea, ginger. Limed stone and wet rock, ginger lemonade…Volatile and a bit of heat, though I welcome the richness and weight to balance the acidity.

RIP Didier.

On the bright side of things, today we begin vendange at Domaine de Montille. We will process Volnay Champans and more. I am humbled and excited for this journey.

Bonne Vendange!

A label I’d ask out on a date…

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Beautiful wine labels

2004 Le Pergole Torte

Tasted blind.

Plum, platinum rim.

Blossoming bouquet of dust, earth and stone fruit. Dried morello cherry, dust, chalk, camphor, espresso, dried orange pith, leather and black tea. Tinny and clay, earthen, floral and dark, some graphite. Precise and elegant, quite expressive and dense.

Lovely texture and weight, spiced and aged leather, black tea, dried red flowers, orange pith, savory herbal tones, cedarbox and cherry pit. Plum coulis and walnut skin finish. Intense and coiled nature with beautiful acid spine, dense dry woody structure and hefty vinous character.

Such a baby, but we just had to…

The Augur, or Next Level

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A sinewy, sleek blockbuster offering vital vinous lessons in upstart elegance and pure magnificence. Summer of Riesling started early for me.

2011 j. Brix The Augur Riesling

Kick On Ranch Vineyard

20 cases produced

Platinum straw, nice viscosity.

Great depth of aromas, quite thick and intense. Recalls dripping wet flint and stone, white pepper, dandelion, honeysuckle and lilac, hawthorne, ginger, tropical citrus, green mango, coconut and papaya flesh. Ripe and phenolic yet subtle with verve and direction. The aromas increase with temperature and I find this most enjoyable after being out of the refrigerator for over an hour. Even better on day 2.

The palate is the definition of nervosité: bright, taut and stony with linear structure, good persistence and depth. The wine is intense, clean, very stony and precise with nice tropical richness. Quite wide, rich, sinewy and dense yet lithe, flavors of Meyer lemon pith, plasticine, starfruit, wet flint, grated ginger, crushed stone and mineral.

Simply put, this the most complex, delicious and thought-provoking New World Riesling I’ve ever encountered.

Next Level.

j.brix, you have my full attention.

#REALwine

Uncontainable: Spring in a bottle.

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j.brix wines: Les Garagistes

Uncontainable

2011 Vin Gris of Grenache 
Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard                                                                               Fermented in 1 neutral French Oak barrel                                                                 25 cases produced

It was a late winter evening when I opened and shared this wine. As I took in the aromas and ventured my first sip, it was as if Spring suddenly swept through, and brightened up the room…

A pale salmon hue, glowing with unabashed vibrance.

Very strong mineral aromatics, hints of green melon, strawberry, hardy kiwi, pink sage, rosehip and hibiscus. The lithe character of this wine is supported by whispers of neutral barrel spice. Every steely sip is wrapped in soft crushed floral notes and supplanted by tart, brûléed grapefruit pith.

The palate is like Spring: it blossoms.

At first bracing and intense, it is laced with take-no-prisoners minerality and acidity. Tart but welcomely so, quickly widening in the middle with tense but creamy fruit – tart strawberry, wild cherry, mandarine. In an instant, it becomes rounder, almost luscious and certainly vibrant, with saline, floral and green mango flavors before slowly retreating back into a knife edge of citrus-rock essence. And with that, the bottle is empty, the story told.

No nonsense, an über-fresh, pure and REAL bit of uncontainable vinous intensity.

I thoroughly enjoyed it with a simple arugula salad with Extra Vigin Olive Oil, a fried farm egg, cracked black pepper and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

It tasted of Spring…’Tis the season, right?

Read the story, browse the wines, become a fan.

Rose season approaches, better get this one while you can.

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