Champagne Blanc de Blancs ‘Grand Reserve 1864’, Milan
cépage 100% Chardonnay
assemblage 50% 2008, 50% 2009
info/source Oger Grand Cru from 35 year-old vines on average
élevage Used oak barrel
sur latte 84 months
Cote de Blancs
Aged agrafé i.e., under a cork rather than a crown cap, which means both more oxygen-derived tertiaries and also more bottle variation. But good bottles? Whoo boy.
It’s a barrel-fermented cuvée combining 2008-2009, disg. 11/2016, and such a wine is the very reason for wood-aging, and when it recovers from disgorgement it will make a soulful “antique” tasting Champagne; salty and vinous and full of personality. Treat it like a reticent old-school Chablis, serve it in a large glass, not too cold. But please, don’t decant. 99% of the time, decanting Champagne is a silly affectation.
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Press & Reviews
The NV Brut Grand Reserve 1864 is another hauntingly beautiful wine great with exquisite inner perfume and lovely softness in its fruit. Aging in oak gives the wine a little more inner sweetness and spiciness, but the oak is very well balanced. Mirabelle plums, kirsch and jasmine are some of the nuances that linger on the haunting finish. The current release is a blend of vintages 2000 and 2001. This bottle was disgorged on July 12, 2011. Dosage is 8 grams per liter. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2018.
(all Oger fruit; disgorged in June, 2013 after eight years on its lees): Green-tinged yellow. Pungent scents of musky citrus fruits, jasmine and smoky minerals, with a deeper passion fruit quality coming up with aeration. Intense lemon curd and tropical fruit flavors show impressive clarity, with a note of candied ginger adding complexity and bite. Smoothly melds vivacity and power and finishes with excellent focus and mineral-driven persistence.