Roederer Brut 1989
A moment of pure indulgence this week, after last week's banana-scented curiosity. This is a Champagne that I have been enjoying for some time now, having bought a case a few years ago. The wines came up for sale through a well-known UK broker and after enquiring as to provenance, and receiving some appropriate reassurances, I purchased a dozen. If memory serves me it was not that long ago, probably 2003 or 2004 (sometimes even the most hardened wine geeks fail to note down every detail of a purchase) and this is bottle number ten of the case. Not one has really disappointed, and over the past few years there has been a very tangible improvement, moving into a much more harmonious phase and yet still loaded with character, enough to send experienced Champagne drinkers into raptures of delight. I know this; I have seen it with my own eyes!
The cork leaves the bottle with a gentle twisting of the latter, with only a soft phhhut announcing its separation from the neck. It is hard and shrunken, holding its shape despite its release, rather than springing out into an impossibly mushroomy monster which is the case with much younger corks. Once in the glass, the quality of the Brut 1989 from Roederer here can immediately be seen; it has a deep, slightly peachy golden hue and although the bead is incredibly fine there are many individual streams of these tiny bubbles. It already looks inviting, and the nose only heightens the expectation. It has a very mature character, polished in style, with notes of mushroom, coffee, toffee and brazil nuts. It is simply delightful and captivating, bringing all those present back to appreciate the aromas once more, before putting glass to lips. On the palate it has a beautifully textured, elegant and composed nature. There is a finely tuned balance of mousse, elegant and yet slightly creamy weight, and broad, pure, rich, flavours of mushroom, praline and creamy, mouth-coating toffee. The mousse is just so gentle and caressing. And what a fine, long finish. Such a complete wine. It is no surprise to me that my score appears to have crept a little higher over the years, this and the last bottle drank being the only two I have rated at this level. I am now looking forward to my last two bottles with even greater anticipation. 19/20 (29/10/07)