Best of the Bubbles
The top champagnes tasted in 2016 still underline the greatness of the incredible 2002 vintage, yet there were a number of surprises from more recent vintages, such as 2004 and 2009, writes jamessuckling.com contributing editor Nick Stock. He tasted almos
Bollinger rd extra Brut 2002 Fine citrus nose with plenty of lemon, grapefruit and yellow chalky notes, not to mention some lighter floral elements. The palate is super dry and there’s a silky, sherbet-like texture that makes this smooth, fine and long. The citrus flavours give way to the surging acidity, and the finish twists very slowly through to lightly toasted cashew nuts mingled with complex fruit and citrus flavours. Disgorged October 22, 2013.
99 points Salon cuvée S Blanc De Blancs le mesnil 2004 Weaves together immense complexity with stunning purity. Instant impact on the nose with fresh-baked pastry and brioche, chalky minerals, fresh white mushroom, cucumber, lemon curd and striking lemon and lime fruit. The palate has an almost smoky mineral thread, while toasty autolytic flavours build and expand through the midpalate, opening to grapefruit and ripe white peach, lemon sorbet and lightly grilled hazelnuts to close. 98 points Billecart-salmon cuvée nicolas François Billecart Brut 2002 Very composed nose with gently spiced pastry, bright strawberry and cherry, and spiced brulée custard and praline. Deep-set complexity. The palate has a bright, crunchy, assertive burst of peach and lemon on entry, while the pinot takes the midpalate with fleshy white cherry and smooth phenolics that hold through to the finish with gently nutty mushroom and cherrypip flavours. Great balance and power. 98 points louis roederer cristal 2009 A very rich and full-bodied Cristal that harks back to 2006 or 1989 in style. It’s round and rich, which underlies the ripeness of the vintage. Lots of dried apple and pineapple character, with bread dough and flan flavours. The bubbles are so fine you almost don’t notice them. Very vinous style. Open. Ready. Drink now. 97 points