Unique among Champagnes, Vintage Champagne is produced solely from grapes harvested in a single year and only in exceptional vintages. Aging requirements increase and producers must age these wines for a minimum of three years prior to release—many will age considerably longer. At Fat Cork, some of our producers choose to age as much as twenty years by disgorging upon demand. The finished wines are rich and complex but still retain a freshness that belies their actual age.
The 2008 Vintage at a glance:
In the Champagne region, perfectly ripened grapes are never a guarantee. Weather, and as a result, vintage varies greatly from year to year. The 2008 vintage got off to a rocky start with a cool, damp spring. Summer weather rebounded and the exceptional harvest conditions in September resulted in grapes with wonderful acidity and perfect ripeness.
In our recent tastings, we were impressed by the abundance of fruit and acidity that the wines possessed. The charm of this vintage is twofold as the acidity and structure allow for long-term cellaring but the abundance of fruit means it can be readily enjoyed now.
The 2008 Collection
Grongnet Special Club Millésime 2008 ($84) In your glass, the color of this vintage beauty is straw with a tinge of yellow. The aromas and flavors are bright with yellow apple, lime, lemon curd and white pineapple – a lively expression of fruit and acidity. The finish is beautiful, mouthwatering, lasts for what seems like months and leaves you wanting more.
Pascal Redon Millésime 2008 Premier Cru ($64) This wine reflects the generosity of the 2008 vintage. The color is a pale yellow with a slight coppery tone. Aromas of ripe red apple, Bosc pear, citrus and chalk nearly leap from the glass. This wine will not be ignored! The delightful finish leaves a lasting impression of lemon and lime balanced by refreshing acidity.
Hervieux Dumez Special Club Millésime 2008 ($78) The first thing you notice is the near brilliant color reflecting straw and streaks of green. As Bryan brought the glass to his nose he remarked “it smells like Champagne!” Funny, we know, but it isn’t always that way. Aromas of chalk, citrus, apple skin and cherry stone fill the senses. On the palate the flavors are full and rich with the addition of ripe yellow apple and hazelnut, highlighted by a creamy texture. The finish is bright with acidity, so fresh and so clean.