2002 Champagne Tasting

N.V. Moët & Chandon Champagne Brut Impérial - France, Champagne
I am afraid this one is off my radar after the bottle change. They are going backwards in quality back to the days of White Star. Too much chalk, spice and apple. Bitter. (87 pts.)

2002 Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Cuvée Rare - France, Champagne
A great way to start the Champagne tasting. Apple, biscuit, spice, orange peel and lemon. This got a little better when it warmed up and it is quite complex. Medium to long finish. While it lacks the depth of some of the other wines tonight it is a solid. I would not spend $125 on another bottle however. (93 pts.)

2002 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon - France, Champagne
Wonderful showing on this tonight and 2 out of 3 bottles I have sampled have been outstanding. Intense nose of minerals, pear, lemon and apples. The palate is bursting with flavors and they all come together to offer a long finish. Picked up some chalk and dough notes on the finish. This is extremely young and should evolve over a two decades. (95 pts.)

2002 Taittinger Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne - France, Champagne
A bit disappointed after seeing glowing reviews. Spice, minerals, wafer, grapefruit and apple. This lacks the depth and complexity of all the other wines. Medium finish and just not showing like a $150 bottle of Champagne should taste like. Not seeing the 98 from Parker at this stage. (92 pts.)

2002 Ruinart Champagne Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs - France, Champagne
Well hello! My Champagne of the night and the lowest priced one, double winner. Almond, citrus, berries, green apples and minerals. A bit tart in a good way on the palate and the longest finish of the night. Two plus minutes. Super complex and still young. This should evolve over 2 decades. Wonderful and just moved into my top ten of the year. (96 pts.)

2002 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut - France, Champagne
Another great showing on this bottle. Dark in color. Lemon, orange peel, cherry and minerals. A complex wine that is balanced. Layers of flavors on the palate/finish. This is going to continue to evolve over time and should be purchased now to avoid further price increases when it gets reviewed by the pros. (95 pts.)

2002 Vilmart & Cie Champagne Coeur de Cuvée - France, Champagne
Outstanding and my second favorite wine tonight. Biscuit, spice, candied pinneapple, cherry, raspberries and chalk. Very elegant and tons of flavors. Long finish. Drink now or hold for a decade. Got better at room temp as all Vilmart wines do for me. 95-98. (95 pts.)

1998 Krug Champagne Brut - France, Champagne
Good but not outstanding. Dark in color. Biscuit, spice, nuts and grapefruits. On the palate it picks up darker fruits such as cherry and blackberries. Complex with a medium to long finish. Maybe just a bit young as it was not showing the depth of the other top offerings. (94 pts.)
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