2011 Domaine Comte Abbatucci Ajaccio Rosé “Faustine”
Blend of Sciacarello, Barbarossa, and Vermentino. Medium-bodied, softer, elegant, well balanced, with good acidity. Somewhat melony/mineral, with mostly red berry notes. Very good.
2006 Jean Lallement et Fils Brut Millésimé Grand Cru Verzenay
80% Pinot Noir/20% Chardonnay; disgorged April 22, 2011. Good mousse with larger than average bubbles. Nose is bursting at the seams with mixed flowers, peaches, pears, and pink peppercorns. Full-bodied, very fresh, dry, rich, firm, vinous; well balanced, with bright acidity. Tastes of baked pears, pineapples, blueberries, pecans, and toasted Italian bread, with earthy/mineral/spicy notes. A few hours later, the palate has become more intensely mineral, and quite meaty, with notes of bacon fat. Excellent+; I’m sure that this will be absolutely incredible in a decade or two, but it is very difficult to resist now.
2005 Clos Centeilles Minervois “Le C de Centeilles”
According to the producer’s current website, this is a blend of 78% Picpoul Noir, 15% Riveirenc (Aspiran) Noir; 5% Morastel Noir à Jus Blanc (possibly Graciano?), and 2% Œillade (NOT the same as Cinsault, but a distinct variety). All of these are grapes that were common in the Languedoc before phylloxera arrived. [Interestingly, this information conflicts with my first note on this wine from five years ago, where I had it as 90% Picpoul Noir and 10% Riveirenc Noir.]
Medium ruby color, with some brown on the rim. Spicy/lightly earthy nose. Medium-bodied, elegant, well balanced, with moderate acidity; the tannins have mostly integrated by now, where they were rather sharp five years ago. Tastes of blackberries, cherries, black pepper, and some tar. Very good.
2004 Pierre Gimmonet et Fils Brut Millésimé 1er Cru Spécial Club
100% Chardonnay, actually 88% Grand Cru: 60% from Cramant (Grand Cru), 28% Chouilly (Grand Cru), and 12% Cuis (1er Cru). Disgorged November 28, 2010.
Good mousse/very small bubbles. Nose of fruit cocktail, smoke, and ground black pepper. Medium-bodied, dry, crisp, well balanced, with good underlying acidity. Mineral-driven, with green apple, Bartlett pear, yeast, and somewhat saline notes; peppery finish. Excellent, but not quite as good as the Lallement.
2002 Domaine des Baumard Savennières Clos du Papillon
Floral/tropical fruit/beeswax nose, with a bit of smoke. Full-bodied, bone dry, intense, nicely balanced/structured, with nervy acidity; more chewy than oily. Very mineral, with notes of white peaches, honey, cashews, and anise. No signs of premature oxidation here, which I was concerned about. A couple of days later, this is more appley/smoky/oily, and less sharply mineral. Excellent; I could have easily held onto this for several more years.