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’79 & ’76 de Venoge ‘des Princes Vinothèque’

Richard Juhlin

Richard Juhlin

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Dinner with friends … anything can happen. And it just did! Richard just tasted ’79 & ’76 de Venoge ‘Des Princes Vinothèque’ side by side.

The non-vintage is the house’s best buy, together with old bottles of the lovely Des Princes. It is that creamy, butter-toffee tasting cuvée de prestige Des Princes that is one of my most important discoveries in the hunt for gems among champagnes. But we are waiting for the great Des Princes Blanc de Blancs to return!?

1979 de Venoge ‘Des Princes Vinothèque’    

RICHARD JUHLIN TASTING NOTE ‘Stunningly fantastic! Slightly more elegant than the 76′ that stod next to it, but slightly less welll thickened. A matter of taste which one you prefer when they are still perfect in their style. The two masterpieces from De Venoge!’

97(97)p

1976 de Venoge Des Princes Vinothèque   

RICHARD JUHLIN TASTING NOTE ‘Stunningly fantastic! Slightly more elegant than the 79’ that stands next to it, but slightly less swimmy. Taste question which one you prefer where they are still perfect in their style. The two masterpieces from De Venoge!

98(98)p

de Venoge

Along with the Germans who founded Champagne houses, there is one Swiss, Marc-Henri de Venoge. He started work in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ in 1837, but soon moved to Épernay. Throughout the twentieth century the house has belonged to the most important producers in Champagne. Half of the firm’s produce is exported to the German-speaking countries and to Great Britain.

Ninety percent of the grapes are bought in and vinified in modern steel vats. Today the house is run by the extremely capable tennis-loving vinophile, Gilles de la Bassetière. Previously, the winemaker Eric Lebel, who after De Venoge did the same job at Krug, assembled the wines. Now, this job is carried out by Isabelle Letellier.

The company’s style is rather difficult to grasp, as it ranges from blanc de blancs to blanc de noirs. If you want to find a common denominator it might be the gunsmoke note that is strong in all the wines, except the ones that contain only Chardonnay. The non-vintage is the house’s best buy, together with old bottles of the lovely Des Princes. It is that creamy, butter-toffee tasting cuvée de prestige Des Princes that is one of my most important discoveries in the hunt for gems among champagnes. This house produced two wines among the twelve best ever, according to the jury at the Millennium Tasting. Truly impressive! Slightly less impressive portfolio right now with Louis XV Rosé as the star. But we are waiting for the great Des Princes Blanc de Blancs to return!?

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