We often preach the value of well-aged wines. Under the right conditions, time has a magical effect on a bottle of wine. Usually it’s red wines (or sometimes whites) that are ageworthy, but we often forget the third category: Champagne.
Champagne evolves in two stages. The first is pre-disgorgement, when fermented wine rests in the bottle under a tight seal and the lees add complexity and richness. The second happens post-disgorgement: the lees are removed, a cork is added, and the wine begins to pick up secondary notes like caramel and nuts.
2002 Champagne would be exciting in any format. Master of Wine Jancis Robinson called it “a magnificent year in Champagne,” and now 16 years on, considerable aging has already occurred. But this particular Champagne, resting on the lees in perfect conditions for 16 years, and disgorged earlier this year, is even more special — it’s in magnums.
Pascal Bardoux is our Grower Champagne producer in Montagne-de-Reims. We ordered a handful of these magnums disgorged last summer, and they were a hit with our customers last fall. We’re pleased to report that Pascal disgorged his remaining 2002s for us this spring, and they’ve just arrived in the depot.
If Champagne is naturally celebratory, and magnums are festive by nature, then this wine is nothing short of an experience. Over the last 16 years the wine has gained an extraordinary complexity, with subtle notes of dried fruits, apple pie, fig, oats, and dried roses. These magnums offer a chance for you to set your own course — its first life is complete; the second is up to you. It’ll be delicious this Christmas, and even more in five.
Open one at Thanksgiving next week and your guests won’t soon forget it. Or give one as a holiday gift — we guarantee they won’t get the same bottle from someone else. For locals we’re opening one tomorrow at the warehouse in Newton. For everyone else, we’re including free East Coast shipping with every bottle — we can even ship Monday in time for your turkey.
Bardoux Champagne 2002 (1.5L)
bottle price: $225
FREE EAST COAST SHIPPING ON ANY 12 BOTTLES