I met up with Michel Drappier and their new importer in Sweden, Vinovativa for a lunch at Råkultur. Sayan Isaksson is Stockholms best interpreter of japanese food. He’s also the restaurateur of the famous Esperanto at the same location.
RJ ON DRAPPIER There is the question of Drappier would have the position you have today if not President de Gaulle has been so fond of Champagne Drappier. The quality-oriented company was founded in 1808. André Drappier, in his 80s, works today long side with his son Michel with maintaining the house’s reputation. Historically the house where grape growers and sold their grapes to Chandon and Heidsieck families up until the 1920s. Drappier take out a remarkably low yields from their 55 hectares in Aube. They also rent another 55 hectares and work with leasing other vineyards at 25 year long contracts. Firm cold fermenting the must to avoid secondary aromas from the fermentation process. Adding also minimal amounts of sulfur to keep the wine as naturally as possible. Nowadays the firm only uses expensive sugar canemolasses from Martinique for their dosage.
1991 Drappier bought a cellar in Reims where their vintages and cuvée prestige wines now stored. The investment may seem a little strange when you already have amazing cellar from the 1100s built by the monastery Clairvauxs monks. The reason is actually the basement of Urville is too hot. A specialty that Drappier alone in the giant bottle prima (36 liters). Another is the storage of old reserve wines superdosage in large glass vessels . Drappiers wines are very rich and well-made. With the experiments and knowledgeable Michel at the helm, we can expect more positive surprises from Drappier. Grande Sandrée is constant Aubes most exciting wine. Since 1995, Michel also makes the sought after magnums for Patrick Sabaté under the name Boërl & Kroff. These treasures have quickly gained cult status and undeniable these wines made from the company’s top three positions in Urville a concentration that impresses..
n.v. DRAPPIER ‘BRUT NATURE SANS SOUFRE’ | Urville | Champagne | France | Drappier | Swedish importer: Vinivativa | ca 366 sek | 100PN | BJpoints 88(90)
TASTING NOTE ‘Disgorged in nov’13. Base wine 09/10/11. No dosage but certainly 2 grammes of surplus sugar. The wine seems in some way raw and spiteful as many champagnes without dosage can do. There is a nice plumpness and a pure, heavy fruitiness here that are reminiscent of apples and red currants.The aftertaste is long and pleasantly mellow.’
n.v. DRAPPIER ‘CARTE d’OR’ | Urville | Champagne | France | Drappier | Swedish importer: Vinivativa | ca 310 sek | 95PN 5PM | BJpoints 82(85)
TASTING NOTE ‘Base wine 08/09/10. Always a lovely classical autolytic nose with fine bread aromas, but sadly a rough mousse that overflows in the mouth.’
n.v DRAPPIER ‘BLANC de BLANCS SUGNATURE’| Urville | Champagne | France | Drappier | Swedish importer: Vinivativa | ca 360 sek | 100CH | BJpoints 80(82)
TASTING NOTE ‘Sixty percent Cramant and forty percent Urville. 6,5 grams of dosage. The bouquet is influenced by delicate floral and pear aroma. Cramant is certainly more noticeable here than in the vintage variety. A spring-like aperitif for early consumption or for a fat fish after a few years maturation.’
2005 DRAPPIER ‘BLANC de BLANCS’ | Urville | Champagne | France | Drappier | Swedish importer: Vinivativa | ca 500 sek | 100CH | BJpoints 86(88)
TASTING NOTE ‘Sixty percent from Chouilly and forty percent from Oger. Classic interpretation of these villages. Round and fruity with an Aube imprint. The grape character is good, but I miss nore touch of the terroir.’
n.v DRAPPIER ‘CUVÉE CHARLES de GAULLE’| Urville | Champagne | France | Drappier | Swedish importer: Vinivativa | ca 500 sek | 80PN 20CH | BJpoints 90(92)
TASTING NOTE ‘Basewine from 08/09/10. Histotically this wine had 17 grams of dosage in the Charles de Gaulles days. Now it’s 5 grames per litre. The debut of the non-vintage verison of this cuvée vas in 1990. 1/3 is matured in Foudre (5000 l) from 2002. Nice classic house style with wonderfully generous Pinot-base that developes nicely in the glass. Smooth and balanced.’
2008 DRAPPIER ‘MILLÉSIME EXCEPTION’ | Urville | Champagne | France | Drappier | Swedish importer: Vinivativa | ca 425 sek | 80PN 20CH | BJpoints 92(93)
TASTING NOTE ‘4,5 grams of dosage. A round, rich Champagne that completely avoids Aube’s usual clumsiness in its make-up. Lots of honey, a little almond, and nut-toffee tone. Pleasant and harmonious with fine, pure acidity’
2006 DRAPPIER ‘GRANDE SENDRÉE’ | Urville | Champagne | France | Drappier | Swedish importer: Vinivativa | ca 600 sek | 80PN 20CH | BJpoints 91(92)
TASTING NOTE ‘A famous and much written about wine which only reinforces my conviction that champagne from Aube can never be truly great. The wine is certainly interesting and erotic, but the gamey and cheesy aromas are too strong. ‘
1995 DRAPPIER ‘MILLÉSIME VINOTHÈQUE’ | Urville | Champagne | France | Drappier | Swedish importer: Vinivativa | 90PN 3PM 7CH | BJpoints 91(91)
TASTING NOTE ‘What a youthful little wine! Delicate mineral tones, crispy lime finish, and a floral, developable bouquet. For the moment lacking a little fat and length. The wine is always made from grapes from seventy-year-old vines. More apricot and crispiness with age.’