Conditions of the 2008 vintage tasted here started as quite difficult for the region, with damped conditions in spring and the beginning of summer causing disease pressure to the vines. But the dry conditions of August and September saved the vintage resulting in wines from that year often described as ‘classical’.
The grapes for this Vintage Cuvee are most-generally sourced exclusively from Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards of the Montagne de Reims area of the Champagne region.
After fermentation in bottle (as per the Méthode Traditionnelle), the Vintage cuvée is aged on lees for 6 to 8 years, quite a long time.
Dosage is at 8-9 g/L of sugar.
So how good is this Palmer & Co. 2008 Vintage Champagne bubbly?
The wine has a bright yellow color, just tiny bit pale like many Champagne wines.
The nose is intense, warm from ripe fruit characters, and with an inviting and surprising woody feel.
The fruit aromas are hearty ones of ripe citrus and stonefruit. Sweet lemon and sweet juicy peach. These fresh notes are surrounded in intriguing fresh-wood and slightly toasted aromas. Fresh hazelnuts, sandal wood, a touch of delicate vanilla. It’s not the heavy oaky characters you sometimes find in wines, but rather subtle light-toast ones.
On the palate, the wine strikes by the vibrancy of its acidity. It’s a crisp citrusy acidity that contracts your tastes buds, perhaps a little too much but that has the advantage of keeping the palate very lively, zingy and fresh.
Bubbles are super fine and complement the oily texture well, balancing out the edged acidity.
Complex layered flavors develop along the palate: spices, the stonefruit and citrus again, perhaps notes of redder fruits like fresh fig and gooseberry, together with spicy wood and nuts. There’s a lot to discover at each sip, and the finish is very long and reminds of all the notes you’ve just experienced on the palates for minutes after spitting (or swallowing)
An elegant and intensely-flavored Vintage Champagne, filled with complexity from wood combined with lees characters but at the same time allowing the primary fruit and minerality to shine through.
Wine & Food Pairings
The dominant acidity and the tertiary aspect to the dominant flavors make of this Champagne one to match with food, rather than one to sip carelessly at a noisy party.
Subtle and sophisticated gastronomic dishes, delicate seafood ones mainly, are what comes to mind as the ideal partner. Sommeliers would certainly appreciate it much as a food-friendly Champagne, and find many more possible combinations…