Chateau Beaux Hauts, En Tirage, Methode Champenoise Recently Disgorged Extra Brut, Russian River Valley Sparking Wine, Sonoma, California, USA, 1992
This wine: varietal pinot meunier, late disgorged in 2009 or a little later, having spent over 17 years en tirage (period of second fermentation in bottle), natural mushroom cork closure, 12% abv, £15, BBR bin end (08/17)
Consumer tasting note: a big nose of honeyed baked apple, buttered toast, nuts and raisin, and a touch of mushroom, which turns slightly truffley afer some time; medium bodied, with a palate of baked apple, leaf tea, dried currant and roast hazelnut. A long length. No need to decant, simply sample a glass over twenty minutes.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity gold, showing tears and fine bubbles.
Nose: clean, pronounced intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of honeyed baked apple, bees-wax, warm lightly buttered toast, danish pastry, caramelised stewed apple, hint of bruised apple, hint of cut button mushroom – truffle-edged with time, hazelnut, raisin.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, medium alcohol, medium (+) body, a velvety texture and a low-key grip, medium (+) intensity, with flavours of thick honeyed baked apple, leaf tea, dried currant, hints of bruised apple and roasted hazelnut. A long length with a baked apple, nutty-edged finish, with a low-key grip and a slight bitterness on the end. A creamy mousse, with a long persistence.
Quality: very good, well-balanced acidity with alcohol, nicely harmonious with the flavour intensity and rich profile; fully developed with advanced age – witnessed by the hue and the tertiary profile; showing a good, but not outstanding, level of complexity, from ageing on the lees with toasty, honeyed, nutty and caramelised notes, along with oxidised nuances of bruised apple; good concentration, following into a long length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing – a sound structure, well advanced in age, as witnessed by the note of mushroom, also showing signs of oxidation, but will show good drinking for a year or two more.