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December 18, 2005

79 Diebolt-Vallois, Cramant Brut Blanc de Blancs

An exaggeration of what can happen to chardonnay-based champagne over time, the 79 Diebolt-Vallois (disgorged in 2004) smells absolutely ancient, yet still tastes fresh and lively. The wine is at its peak with loud aromas of caramel cream and butter. It's overwhelmingly oxidized, but I think the truest blanc de blancs lovers in the world would find it the stuff of fantasy. The palate is almost another wine entirely. While the richness of the aroma comes out, it's countered by surprisingly youthful acidity that lends a very long, clean finish. Though a little disjunct, it's alluring--a mosaic of extremes for what old bubbly can be.


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