2008 Minière Symbiose Champagne

Opened with a blast of fruit, seaside ozone and caramelised yeasty pastries in the background. Deep fruit flavours of icing sugar dusted raspberries for width and crystallised citrus for length. Finishes with deliciously mouthwatering acidity and a gorgeous touch of sweet brown spices. Perhaps that’s the oak? Not sure it’s noticeable if you didn’t know it was there? Really clean and full of impact from the first sip. Just got better as the bottle disappeared. The sort of natural fruit richness that’s starting to make tasty globally warmed Champagne seem a good deal.

12.50% alcohol. Cork. Not sure how much, generous friend indeed.

95 points.

NV Lilbert Fils Perle Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Champagne

Seriously delicious bubbles which are set at a lower pressure than normal according to the name Perle on the label, not that you could tell as beautiful sweet citrus and spiced fruit pastries burst across the tongue. Perfect ripeness pillowed by such poised fine acidity. Sublime tension. A bit of air reveals more chalky savoury details. Finely chiseled and dashing. Another impeccable selection, Victor!

12% alcohol. Diam. About $75 I think.

95 points.

NV Voirin Jumel Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs

A year since the last bottle and the time patiently lurking in the cupboard has enticed the latent fruit depth into focus. Impeccably clean, icing sugar coated citrus, quince, red apple and fine spice jumbled with ozone freshness and a small seasoning of brioche. Mineral acid tension. Great quality of fruit sweetness without any cloying dosage. A bottle between four vanished as quickly as appetites were sharpened. A magnum might not be too extravagant after all. Fantastic value from Champagne de Vigneron’s faultless direct import selections.

12% alcohol. Cork. About $55 pre arrival if memory serves, rarely.

93 points but extra bits for sheer yum.

Simple dinner for three..

Two halves and one full bottle made for a tasty and almost moderate dinner, sort of…

NV Louis Roederer Champagne Brut Premier.

Delicious from the gentle phttt of the cork. Rich but fresh. Older honeyed pastry and hazelnuts mixed perfectly with crystalline candied citrus and pale red fruit. Mouthwatering and appetite whetting likes no other drink. If NV’s job is to be full of delicious impact from the perfumed start, then this is the bee’s knees.

12.50% alcohol. Cork I think, maybe Diam, failing memory. Another generous share.

94 points.

2013 Comm. G B Burlotto Barolo.

Clean, expressive and so savoury from the start. Perfect cherry red fruit, almond paste and stones. Just got fresher and deeper. Not the deep dark of Serralunga or Monforte but all the drive, brightness and perfume of the more north westerly bits of Barolo land. Somehow seemed much smaller than 375 mls. Alarmingly quick disappearance.

14% alcohol. Cork. Thanks for sharing.

95 points.

1999 Domaine Tollot Beaut Corton Bressandes.

Dark, extractive and still a bit oaky. Got a bit fresher and deeper fruited as it came up for air. Rich red fruit conserve and darker clay and chalky earth. The rear end filled out well with dark cane fruit depth. Still some life in the tannin texture of both skin and cocoa oak buoyed by a gentle acid rasp. Shame the remains tired so quickly the next day.

14% alcohol. Cork. About $100 on release.

93 points.

2004 Moët et Chandon Grand Vintage Champagne

Opened with a clean, fresh ocean spray of ripe crystallised citrus resting on soft pillows of fine bubbles. Developed some deeper reserve wine honeyed liquor like polish balanced by some perfect al dente acidity. The dosage buffs the whole thing to young Hollywood actor gloss. Not a hair out of place. A third each of the major Champagne varieties in close harmony. A beautiful piece of luxury craft. Quality too.

12.50% alcohol. Diam. Very generously shared.

95 points.