“I genuinely think that this was one of the most rewarding Masters that I have attended in recent years. What really impressed me was…
Firstly, the very high standard of the bread-and-butter non vintage sector: in a challenging fairly quiet market, the Champenois have played to their forte, focusing most effort into raising their game in Brut sans année. This applied across the community – maisons like Taittinger, Henriot; coops like Palmer and Chassenay d’Arce; and bijou houses like Lallier.
Secondly, I was also mightily impressed by the quality of some very beautiful top/prestige cuvées, living up to their reputation – notably Piper Rare 2002, Comtes de Champagne rosé 2006 and the lovely Delamotte 2007, delighting us with its quiet, naturally dry beauty in a Cinderella vintage that gets better by the day.
Thirdly, while the roses were very honourable and well made, there were few that really sang to me. Comtes was the exception and it would have nice to have some real pink champions, such as Roederer straight vintage 2009; La Grande Dame and Billecart Elizabeth Billecart, both 2006
Fourthly, the shown Blanc de Noirs while not exceptional showed real advance in purity, precision and balance, reflecting the warmer recent vintages and riper gentler tannins that are often one boon of climate change.
Finally, the only sharp surprise was that a great house like Louis Roederer was showing little on the day – both in the usually peerless Brut Premier NV and the clenched Stark Brut Nature 2009. A reminder that tasting is a fleeting snapshot of a wine that will likely taste quite different the next time you taste it.”