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2004 Domaine Chandon Vintage Brut
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- ABV 12.8%
- Closure: Cork
Notes sourced from Moet Hennessy.
The complexity of the Vintage Brut is inherent in the diversity of sites, including vineyards of varying altitude, age and aspect. Grapes were sourced from a range of cool climate viticultural sites in the southern wine regions of Australia, including the Yarra Valley, Strathbogie and the King and Buffalo Valleys (Victoria), Coonawarrra (South Australia) and the Coal River Valley (Tasmania). Soils at these sites vary from free-draining sandy loams to aged alluvial loams with high clay content. Vineyards are planted to various densities depending on the soil type, with an average yield between 10 and 12 tonnes per hectare. Most of the selected vineyards are trained to vertical shoot positioning trellis to minimise the development of phenolics and tannins whilst maximising vibrancy of flavour.
2004 vintage conditions were excellent, cool to mild conditions across the vineyard sites produced an abundance of fruit, and a substantial amount of fruit thinning was required in January to ensure the yields were controlled. A drier than average summer allowed the flavours and colours to develop gradually. The near-perfect conditions produced a high natural acidity and an amazing intensity of colour. The Chardonnay developed outstanding aromas, and the slow ripening period produced vibrant and intense Pinot Noir. Grapes were picked at the onset of fruit ripeness during late February through March at 10.5° to 11.3° baumé. The grapes were picked in the cooler parts of the day to preserve quality and ensure minimal colour was extracted during the cuvée pressing. The grapes from each site were pressed and fermented separately to preserve their unique characteristics, and 31 individual cuvées were chosen to comprise the final blend. The 2004 Vintage Brut continues the tradition of being led by Pinot varieties, with a final composition of 46% Pinot Noir, 10% Pinot Meunier and 44% Chardonnay.
The wine spent approximately 30 months ageing on yeast and was disgorged in April 2007. A liqueur d’expedition was then added to fine tune the balance and structure of the wine. Each bottle was resealed with a cork and muselet, and aged in bottle before release in August 2007. A méthode traditionnelle sparkling wine blended from the classic Champagne grape varieties. Fresh green melon, nectarine and ripe citrus combine with complex aromas of cracked wheat, smoky roasted almonds and freshly baked croissants. Nutty, baked bread characters evolved during yeast ageing in bottle complement the primary Chardonnay characters of citrus and melon whilst the savoury Pinot characters extend into a creamy and rich nutty middle palate. Pinot Meunier and the more robust Pinot Noir provide great extension and a persistent, soft, crisp finish. Extended yeast ageing has produced a deliciously soft, fresh and creamy wine with incredible length and finesse.
This contains no less than 30 base wine components spanning pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier, which then spent 30 months on lees prior to disgorgement. Pale straw, flecked with green, it has ripe, but not heavy, stone fruit with a creamy texture and a surprisingly delicate and fresh finish. A very attractive wine (as is the Tasmanian Cuvee).
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