And most importantly, the latest vintage and release:
The 2014 vintage was fairly irregular in Champagne, though there are some notable surprises. Chardonnay has by all accounts come through in finer form than Pinot Noir and it is interesting to note that Salon will release a 2014 Le Mesnil, having deemed quality to be sufficiently high. In short, the vintage was characterised by dry, warm conditions at flowering, resulting in a higher yield than normal, but July and August were wetter and colder than the norm. Fortunately, more stable conditions returned in late August. That said, growers needed to be selective as ripeness wasn’t uniform and, given the higher yield, they needed to ensure only the best fruit was utilised. Those that delayed harvest would have seen acidity levels fall in the dry September conditions.
2014 ‘Le Mesnillésime’, Grand Cru, Blanc de Blancs, Guy Charlemagne
£280 per six bottle case in bond
This vintage reveals classic Blanc de Blancs aromas with discreet notes of white flowers allied to juicy apple with creamy notes. This vintage is more about elegance and poise than breadth and power. That luxuriant mousse that we have come to associate with this Champagne is very much in evidence, as is the purity of fruit, all underscored by a bright acidity. There is a sense of soft, expansive, layered fruit here, with a gentle nutty, creamy touch. This pure, elegant example will drink beautifully upon shipment, and offer the scope for mid-term cellarage. Effortless and immensely appealing. (SL) Drink now to 2027.
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All the best,