BY ANTONIO GALLONI | NOVEMBER 30, 2018
I came away from my annual fall Champagne tastings absolutely exhilarated by the quality of the wines. As it turns out, I reviewed most of the new releases from the grandes marques in our Summer Preview, so this article focuses heavily on grower Champagnes. That is merely a coincidence, or maybe in the end, it isn’t. As I scan through the domaines covered in this article I can’t help but pause to think about how much Champagne has changed in just the last decade or so.
Roger Coulon Brut Nature Esprit de Vrigny Premier Cru
The NV Brut Nature Esprit de Vrigny is bright and finely sculpted to the core, with tremendous energy driving the citrus and floral flavors. Although the Esprit is 2/3rds red grapes, the Chardonnay is quite expressive today, especially in the wine’s aromatic and flavor profile, with tropical notes that add an attractive element of exoticism, while the red grapes are mostly felt in the wine’s texture and overall depth. This is a gorgeous and expressive wine from Eric Coulon. Disgorged: June, 2018.
— Antonio Galloni || 92 || 2018 – 2026
NV Roger Coulon Brut L’Hommée Premier Cru
The NV Brut L’Hommée is ample and resonant, with striking textural richness that builds with time in the glass. Apricot, chamomile, dried flowers and light butter notes framed by a discreet touch of oak lead into the expansive finish in this creamy, inviting Champagne. L’Hommée is a blend of Meunier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Vrigny, Coulommes la Montagne and Pargny les Reims. Dosage is 2 grams per liter. Disgorged: February, 2018.
— Antonio Galloni || 93 || 2018 – 2028
2008 Roger Coulon Millésimé Blanc de Noirs
The 2008 Millésimé Blanc de Noirs shows plenty of cut, although it is quite accessible for the year. That is in relative terms, of course. Lemon confit, dried flowers and mint are some of the many notes that develop in this layered, vibrant Champagne. All the elements simply fall into place effortlessly. The Blanc de Noirs is an unusual blend of equal parts Meunier and Pinot Noir, taken from Les Limons and Les Linguets in Vrigny and Gueux. The Meunier emerges from own-rooted vines planted in 1959. Dosage is 3 grams per liter. Disgorged: November, 2017.
— Antonio Galloni || 92 || 2018 – 2027
NV Roger Coulon Héritage
Coulon’s NV Héritage, 100% Chardonnay raised in oak, pulses with crystalline purity and a real sense of gravitas. Next to the other wines in the range, the Héritage is a bit austere, but that is not a negative at all. Layers of mineral and saline-infused nuances drape around a core of intense fruit. Powerful and yet nuanced, the Héritage has so much to offer. In this tasting, it is positively striking. The Héritage emerges from the Coteaux de Vallier lieu-dit in Vrigny. Dosage is 1 gram per liter. Disgorged: February, 2018.
— Antonio Galloni || 94 || 2018 – 2028