Björnstierne was commissioned to hold a champagne seminar for a group of 28 female CEOs, who had during the day had ’round table talks’. During the evening, the group would be divided into two groups and cook four dishes. When one group where cooking, the other tasted Champagne with TheChampagneSommelier.
C1 – cuvée – Palmer ‘Amazon de Palmer’
TASTING NOTE ‘Amazone is stored for 10 years in Palmer’s cellars before it is released for sale. Great champagne now but can be stored for at least another 10 years. A grand cru Champagne from two vintages, with deep colour and lovely toasty aroma of wholewheat bread and coffee beans. The flavour is dominated by mature Avize Chardonnay with an added weight from some first-class Pinot Noir. Great uncertainty between bottles. Masses of cork problems. Latest edition is superb with a lovely toasted depth.’
Served with Scallops fried in lemon with cauliflower cream and tomato vinaigrette and herb salad.
C2 – blanc de blancs – 2004 Diebolt-Vallois ‘Blanc de Blancs’
TASTING NOTE ‘Jacques Diebolt and his family are some of the nicest people I have met in Champagne. The fact that they produce world-class Chardonnay wines does not directly make matters worse. Several producers in the village make incredibly enjoyable champagnes, but personally I think Diebolt adds another dimension to the village, especially with the wines that have not undergone malolactic fermentation and that have been harvested from the 65-year-old logs in Les Pimonts or Les Buzons. There is then a thoughtful depth reminiscent of Le Mesnil, combined with Cramant’s creamy structure. Sadly, the demand for Diebolt wines is so great that they are forced to sell champagne far too soon. This is one of those “light green birchbud wines”. What I mean by that? Well, if you have read an old description of young Clos du Mesnil then you will remember that I put the question about when the birches are at their loveliest … I think you got the point… ‘
Served with Sooted lightly pickled char with almond potato slices and lemon cream.
TASTING NOTE ‘Pierre and François Santz-Clouet own 9 hectares in Bouzy and Ambonnay. The charming and imaginative Jean-François tries to strive towards Bollinger in terms of style and quality. Sometimes he succeeds. The wines have had enormous success in a short time. The rare vintage wines come from old logs right next to Bollinger’s ungrafted vines in Bouzy. The labels are made in an old-fashioned style that you either love or hate, the wines, on the other hand, are hard to dislike. Unfortunately, the success has caused Jean-Francoise to overproduce his standard champagnes beyond recognition, which has led me to lift a star. The vintage wines, Prestige Cuvée and Silver Brut are still just as brilliant.
A tremendously powerful Champagne with a gorgeously hideous label. The mature reserve wines give weight and softness and round off the completely dry aftertaste. Bollinger-like. Suddenly strongly influenced by oak from Sauternes.
Served with Thyme-fried rooster breast on risotto with Gotland root vegetables and mushrooms.
C4 – rosé – mv Gosset ‘Grand Rosé Brut’
TASTING NOTE ‘Ruinart may be the oldest champagne-producing company, but Gosset was a winemaker of still wines much earlier. As early as 1584, Pierre Gosset sold his vin d’Aÿ as a negotiator. The boy belongs to the real traditionalists in the area, with hand labeling and disgorging. Old oak barrels are also used where the vintage wines are stored for a shorter time, which only gives a hint of oak character. The wines are always full-bodied and rich with a great touch of Aÿpinot and high-class Chardonnay. The winemaker is the ingenious Jean-Pierre Mareignier.
Big and powerful like all Gosset wines. Something rustic and one-dimensional with grower-like aromas when it first ended up on the market. The bouquet brought to mind red apple peels and plums. Today, the wine is very large and harmonious with a hefty scoop of freshness and elegance. In the mouth, the experience is very round and compact with an aftertaste of the juiciest apples. Sometimes a little too freshly gorged and malo-toned.’
Served with Chocolate cake with boiled plums and cream cheese ice cream.