Two fantastic champagnes of more than 40 yearssamedi, 4 février 2017

The rite is always the same. When my son comes from Miami to manage every month the industrial company that I own, the dinner proceeds from the same ritual: Pata Negra ham, egg in jelly, foie gras, rillettes, cheese and meringue ball with chocolate chips. Sometimes there are variations, but it’s a bit like our way of putting the French baguette under the arm and the Basque beret to make France sing and give regrets to our son. Only the Marseillaise is missing. I open a Champagne Heidsieck Monopole cuvée Diamant Bleu 1964. The bottle is beautiful, in the shape of a ribbed keel, the label is blue, black and gold. The cork comes fairly easily but the bubbly is there. The color is amber and what is very curious is that this color will clear up more and more throughout the meal. A cellar master would have to explain this phenomenon to me. The bubble is discreet, small and lively. The nose is refined. The wine is of a grace made of pretty yellow fruits, and all is balance, grace and precision of tone. What fascinates me is that this champagne has absolutely no signs of aging. It has no age, not a wrinkle, not a defect, and if it were said that it is a 1985, it would not be wrong to say so. The champagne is a bit sweet but barely and it evokes for me the map of Tender and courtly love. Everything in him is graceful. The final image that is appropriate is this faculty to have no age. It is a wonderful surprise.

I open a Champagne Veuve Clicquot brut no vintage which must date from the beginning of the Seventies because its cork presents itself with the same aspect as that of the Blue Diamond 1964. I expected a testimony marked by the age but also there, what a surprise. The bubble is very active and bigger than that of the Heidsieck. The color is lighter, nicely young and the nose is as expressive and of high purity, as for the 1964. In the mouth the wine is sharper, sharper than the 1964 but I did not expect it at all at this level of nobility. Very clever would be the one who could declare which is the best. I find the liveliness of Veuve Clicquot very exciting, with a beautiful expression. I love the grace of the Blue Diamond, very Audrey Hepburn. If it is necessary to choose, it will be the Veuve Clicquot Brut because of its extremely lively youth.

For this meal, two champagnes were at the top of their art and the remark that I made on the Krug Grande Cuvée that are wonderful when they have more than twenty years also applies to the champagne with the yellow label: none Veuve Clicquot, less than ten years old, would approach near or far the glorious serenity of this champagne of forty years.