1999 Pommery "Cuvée Louise" Brut Champagne
Wine & Spirits
Austere up front, this wine's tight floral scents open to a splash of color in the finish, as vivid as a 1960s Marimekko print. The lasting impression is bold and creamy. Decant it for seared scallops and truffled mashed potatoes.
Smoky, featuring a delicate bead and vivid acidity backing flavors of poached apple, black licorice, dried papaya and black currant candy. Offers a fresh finish, with a hint of seaside. Drink now through 2020.
*Two stars* Here again is a wine that has arrived at its best, and, if not one exhibiting a great deal of toast, it is dry and somewhat austere at this point. It is charged with a foamy and insistent mousse of very small bubbles and its bias to minerals and chalk reminds of a fine Blanc de Blancs. It will make for a complex aperitif sipper and will also perform well at washing down a platter of freshly shucked oysters.
Louise is always a light wine, almost feathery, and this 1999, now mature, maintains this style. It is delicate, its acidity just touched with toast and hints of citrus zest underneath. It doesn’t have a long future, so enjoy now.
An entirely estate grown tête de cuvée from a grand marque Champagne house is a rare thing. Besides single vineyard offerings like the Clos de Mesnil and Clos Ambonnay from Krug and Clos de Goisses from Philliponnat there are only two: Roederer's Cristal and Pommery’s Cuvee Louise. When Louis Vouiton Moet Hennessey sold Champagne Pommery to Vranken in April of 2002 they kept the 741 acres of vineyards for themselves. As 2001 was a washout vintage, that leaves this 1999 Cuvee Louise and perhaps a 2000 (if they made it) as the last of this estate Champagne. The 1999 Pommery Cuvee Louise is complete Champagne. It gets its soul from the village of Verzenay, the most important of the 7 grand cru villages that went into the blend. You will find toast and richness in plenty in this Champagne, and yet it does not loose a beat of refreshment. I respectfully disagree with the tasters below who say that it is running out of time--I think it will make a very charming 20 year old. Don’t miss this opportunity! (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)