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November 18, 2004

NV Eric Rodez, Cuvee des Grands Vintages

It's no coincidence that the Rodez blends are almost 50/50 chard and pinot. This is one of the fullest noses you will find in champagne -- a rich and physically textured bouquet driven by edgy phenols and supported by marzipan, vanilla, nuts, and cream. The palate is immediate with brown buttered Golden Delicious apples. Not just baked apples, but apples from trees rooted in creme fraiche. Creamy, again backed by the smoky phenols that add so much complexity to this wine. Blind-baked pastry crust.

What is it with phenols from champagnes that come in these squat Special Club bottles? (See 88 Sugot-Feneuil).

Walnuts emerge, with the apply acidity lifting every flavor -- even the usually dull pinot white grapiness that eventually rears its head -- to ultimate heights. Orange oils. Let them eat cake? Fuck it. Give them Rodez. And what the hell is that? Mushrooms? Herbs de Provence? Turkey? Fucking turkey?

This will do quite well for another two or three years. It is the most complex non-vintage I've ever tasted, excepting Krug. I've always thought of champagne as elegant, maybe that explains my usual preference for blanc de blancs, but this is as hedonistic as one can be. With blends like this, who needs blanc de noir?


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