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Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne Singapour 2018

June 9, 2018

By the good graces of Champagne Salon and the good guys from The Vintage Club, Singapore, yours truly was inducted as a Chevalier of the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne at a lavish affair held at the grand ballroom of the Four Seasons, Singapore, on 24 May 2018. This Order was started back in 1650 (before Bach!) by a group of enthusiasts  who were fond of champagne made from the three coteaux (hillsides) of Ay, Avenay and Hautvillers, hence the name. Things got severely disrupted by the French Revolution and it was not until 1956 that the association was re-born again through the efforts of those at Taittinger, Laurent-Perrier, Mumm and Mercier. Nowadays, the Order can boast of more than 4,000 members through various chapitres located worldwide, dedicated to the promotion of champagne. Not that champagne needs to be promoted any further, though I feel it is time that people start drinking champagne seriously on its own rather than gulping it down far too quickly as an aperitif.

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The evening began with the intronization of new inductees, kicked off by a short fanfare from a pair of trumpeters. The Commandeur of the Ordre himself, none other than M. Antoine Roland-Billecart, had arrived in person to preside over the ceremony accompanied by no less than M. Bruno Paillard and other luminaries. The chevaliers and officiers of the Ordre certainly take themselves seriously enough but there was plenty of quiet good humour throughout, delivered in excellent English by Antoine Roland-Billecart himself who is never short of good quips. Following the ceremony was a champagne promenade and, here, I can assure readers that the much-vaunted 2008 vintage is certainly worthy of all the exultations that we have heard and read about. This was followed by a grand dinner where even the French Ambassador de Singapour His Excellency Marc Abensour was similarly honoured.

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20180524_194302.jpg2008 Pol Roger Brut Reserve. Deep tone of fresh clear citrus and gentle green fruits, displaying great zest, detail and definition. Slightly more forward in fruit balance with a bit of recessed minerals, opening up beautifully with lovely depth and perfumed fragrance with some early complexity without ever being yeasty. Confirms the excellence of the 2008 vintage.

Canard-Duchene Brut Cuvee Leonie. Very subtle and smooth for champagne, softly focused with very fine textures of yellow citrus and soft minerals very fine textures and understated intensity, tapering to a gentle finish.

Louis Roederer Brut Premier. Light luminous gold, displaying quite a unique bouquet of grassy elements, ginger and nutmeg with a good clean lift. Quite transparent on the palate in spite of its density of fruit, bearing down with searing intensity as it tapered to a dry finish.

Grand Siecle Grande Cuvee. This wine exudes a lovely complex earthy pungency with yeasty tones amidst a mild earthiness, displaying unique depth and presence with sharp focus, drawing a deeper streak of raw green fruits and minerals across the palate with great expanse, clarity and dry intensity, finishing with light textures of spice and ash. Excellent.

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Lanson Black Label Brut. Full-bodied, carrying great intensity of lime and yellow citrus with a forward balance amidst smoky tones, displaying great presence and not too dry.

2007 Billecart-Salmon Brut. Smooth and subdued on the nose. Very clean, crisp and dry, evoking lime, white citrus and pomelo of lovely concentration, displaying great precision, linearity and expanse, finishing well.

2008 Delamotte Blanc de Blancs. Exuding a soft glow of yeasty tones and earthiness with a lovely depth, this wine is gentle on the palate, rounded with traces of walnut and almonds, striking an excellent balance with remarkable depth and layering as more of its glorious citrus emerged to the fore over time with great acidity and persistence. Superb. Reinforces the view that 2008 is the greatest ever for champagne since the start of the new millennium.

Bruno Paillard Rose Premier Cuvee, poured from magnum. Gentle and open, displaying good expanse with yeasty overtones, tapering to a deeper streak of grapefruit and dense citrus though not too dry, glowing with understated acidity, rounded and clean at its finish. Excellent.

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2007 Salon, poured from magnum. Distinctly feminine. Effusive with delicate notes of green apples and green melons tinged with some earthiness, opening up with broad crystalline tones and lighter textures conferred by its fine gentle bubbles and understated minerals laced with traces of sweet amidst sublime acidity, very lithe, striking wonderful balance. Reflects well the vintage character. Excellent.

1999 Deutz Cuvee William Deutz. Well developed bouquet of gentle toast and almonds with a lovely spread on the open palate, displaying excellent presence, depth and proportion in spite of its seemingly lighter texture. Excellent.

Once again, many thanks to the great guys from The Vintage Club and to Didier Depond of Champagne Salon for the nomination, and to the elegantly beautiful Ms Nicola Lee, Commandeur of the Singapour Chapitre, for the superb organisation.

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Bruno Paillard takes over as Commandeur from Antoine Roland-Billecart

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Parag P Tripathi permalink
    June 14, 2018 14:59

    Fabian and congratulations
    Got to know about your blog from my good friend Eric Riewehr who is our wine guru for a concluding Rhone Valley trip
    His article mentions your tasting notes of pichon 1957
    I had the privilege to taste the wine along with Eric in Belgium last year. It showed so well
    Cheers

    • Ric permalink*
      June 14, 2018 15:14

      Thank you very much for visiting my blog, Mr Tripathi. You’re in good hands with Eric. Best wishes, Richard.

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