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WTN: Recent Sparklers


futronic
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1998 Cloudy Bay Pelorus

Marlborough, New Zealand

Golden yellow colour. Multiple streams of fine bead. A constant stream that bubbled at the top like a hot spring would, and continued for the duration of the bottle, 2 hours after opening.

Aromas of oatmeal cookie, pear, apple, cream, apricot, white flowers (peach blossoms), and Abruzzese artisan honey. Wonderful effervescence in the mouth; the bubbles just dance on your tongue.

Notes of cream, pears, and a butterscotch/caramel flavour that develops with more air. Still very crisp tasting with a good medium-full body.

Lovely, lingering finish for 45-50 seconds with apple and white pepper notes on the close. A solid 92 points and right up there with the bottle opened in New Orleans last year. The wine merits the full 92 points, but the occasion (finishing my last university exam), warrants a 95. (04/27/2004)

NV Pol Roger Champagne Brut Extra Cuvee de Reserve Rich

Champagne, France

Pale yellow, fine bead. Aromas of apple, yeast, cream. Medium bodied with little mouthfeel. Kind of short on the palate. 84 points (03/28/2004).

1996 Pol Roger Champagne Brut Rose

Champagne, France

60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay.

Pale pink/peach colour. Plenty of fine bubbles. Aromas of strawberries, cream, granny smith apple, and vanilla. Moderate mouthfeel, fresh on palate, with red berry fruit and apples. A touch sour. Short finish, ~ 15-20s. A bit disappointing. 86 points (03/28/2004).

1993 Pol Roger Champagne Brut Chardonnay Blanc de Blancs

Champagne, France

100% Chardonnay.

Lots of fine bubbles. Aromas of stewed tomatoes, citrus (lemon), apple. Weak mouthfeel, not much effervesence. Apples, honey, and toast on the palate. Almost tastes skunky. Dry, moderate finish, ~30s. Tried from two different bottles with consistent notes. Disappointing. 78 points (03/28/2004).

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Every bottle of 1993 Pol Roger anything I've had has been toward the bottom of the list in terms of Champagnes I've tasted in my lifetime.

We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

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I've been disappointed with recent Pelorus vintages, myself - problems include too large bubbles, and confected flavours.

I tried the NV and 1999 last week: NV way off mark and lacking quality. 1999 - confected, yes and a little too sweet.

They don't half sell well though!

slacker,

Padstow, Cornwall

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The '98 Pelorus is the only sparkler from CB that I've had. We haven't seen the '99 here yet, and since the vintage was only a few dollars more than the NV, I made the natural choice and went for the better bottle.

I've got one bottle of the 6-pack of '98 that I bought, and it'll likely get consumed over the next year.

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