Sunday, December 14, 2008

1996 Pierre Moncuit VV bounce-back

It's always a treat to get to check back in on things, even if it's your last bottle. Actually, it's best when it's your last bottle and you've caught it in the right place, like some unknowable particle you stop right there where it needs to be, when it could have been far adrift to either side just seconds earlier.

A month and a half ago, in celebration of Michel's birthday, we drank, on the heels of a magnum of Ruinart rosé (or was it the other way around?) a 1996 Pierre Moncuit VV "Cuvée Nicole Moncuit", which at the time I found disconcertingly evolved, quite amberish in the glass and with distinct notes of evolution and some intrusive oxidative overtones.

Flash forward to, well, now.

Chilling a last bottle of 1996 Pierre Moncuit VV was a snap choice. A planned champagne brunch with friends today was cancelled, but there was no question of giving up the party so easily. Hereabouts, there are standards to keep up, &c.

1996 Pierre Moncuit VV "Cuvée Nicole Moncuit" - while this is clearly not going to go the distance, it is drinking very prettily now. On the nose, a first flush of toast with lemon curd spread really very thickly on it gives way to some hints of walnut. On the palate, unctuousness and a bit of dosage tangle with pith and acidity to fine effect. Oxidative overtones are on the pronounced side, and the cork was thin, rather than expanded, so I would be preoccupied for its continued health, but its dandyish negligence is not without charm right about, well, now.


Anonymous said...

Where are the bubbles?

My experience with Moncuit is mixed, too. But I like the NV Moncuit-Delos--it's very reliable.

Samantha Dugan said...

There is some kind of sad irony in the pleasure you can get from that last bottle of....part of the romance I guess.

Vinotas said...

I liked the 1996 Moncuit VV that we opened for my birthday dinner, it was slightly oxydative but quite nice. And Anonyous is correct, the Cuvee Delos is amazingly good for the price (about $30 in NYC).

Anonymous said...

Interesting to see the evolution on a champagne whose flavours were blasting when we bought it 3 years ago (yes, it's me Philippe)!

I just remember the feelings we had during that tasting, at Moncuit's cellar... The overall souvenir of that experience is mixed: crispy-caramel-croissant-sparkling delight.

Sorry for the approximative words, but to me this champagne has remained in my mind as a "Madeleines Proust", or an old song at a special time of your life... I couldn't describe the flavours accurately again, but the overall souvenir is sweet and "très très long en bouche"