The NV Grand Cru Cuvee 1911 emerges from the glass with the most haunting of perfumes. Sweet rose petal and jasmine are some of the nuances that emerge over time. Despite recent disgorgement, the purity of the fruit and the extraordinary elegance of the mousse are hard to miss. This is an exceptional, elegant version of the 1911 that should drink beautifully for years to come. The bottle I tasted needed quite a bit of air to open up, so readers should be patient with the wine at this stage. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020.
This is another strong set of wines from Andre Clouet. Readers who appreciate Pinot-based Champagnes will find much to admire here.
The NV Brut Grand Cru Classe 1911 is best described as a multi-vintage wine, composed of 50% 1996 and 25% each 1995 and 1997. I have had the 1911 at least four times over the last few months and never been anything less than deeply impressed. A richly-textured, expansive Champagne, the 1911 bursts from the glass with expressive layers of perfumed Pinot fruit. The wine possesses stunning depth, clarity and precision in an utterly engaging style, with never-ending waves of fruit that caress the palate from start to finish. Precise chalky notes frame a sublime finish. Simply put this is remarkable juice, and one of the best relative values readers will find in Champagne. The 1911 is 100% Pinot Noir made from various lieu-dits in Bouzy.
The NV Un jour de 1911... is another 100% Bouzy Pinot Noir with an ancient label design. The shining golden-colored cuvée combines ripeness, complexity and finesse with intensity and elegance on both the nose and palate. It's a powerful and rich yet very fine and balanced Champagne with great freshness and complex length. It is juicy and intense but also highly delicate, and its mineral tension and persistent finish make it a first-class wine for elaborate dishes. A great Champagne, with a label that doesn't give any more detailed information regarding vintages or disgorgement date, but we know it's always a 50/50 blend of three vintages (including one great millésime at least 10 years old) and reserve wines from a solera system. I tasted the wine as a Brut with Clouet's German importer in Bremen. You shouldn't drink it too early, as it would be a waste of its talents.