Sorry I haven’t been blogging much. I’ve been buried in work of various sorts, and haven’t had much time on my hands. However, I did go see Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy this afternoon to taste the current lineup, which is terrifically strong — anything that says 2004 and Geoffroy on the label should be a mandatory purchase, including the Empreinte, Volupté and the as-yet-unbottled Cumières rouge. I can’t wait to see the 2004 Millésime in a few years.
Geoffroy introduced me to a new wine of his, which unfortunately you can’t buy unless you live somewhere like Norway or Japan. (Ironically, you can’t even buy it in France, although I’m sure he’d sell some out of the cellar if you asked nicely.) It’s called Pureté, and it’s exactly the same wine as Expression (Geoffroy’s non-vintage brut) except that it has zero dosage.
Normally I’m not such a big fan of such a practice, as my reasoning is that if a blend shows balance at nine grams of sugar per liter, how can it be balanced with zero? My favorite non-dosé wines are usually those that have been intended to be non-dosé from the start, and I’m often disappointed when I taste a non-dosé version of someone’s regular brut. Yet with enough richness and depth of fruit, a few people are able to pull it off. Benoît Lahaye and Marie-Noëlle Ledru are two names that spring to mind, and now I'm adding René Geoffroy to the list.
The 2004/2005 Pureté smells terrific, with an intensely minerally nose and sleekly lively notes of cherry skins, red apple and blanched almond. It isn’t necessarily a better wine than the Expression: it has greater nuance and detail, as well as more pronounced chalkiness, but the Expression has a more complete finish and it’s certainly the more user-friendly wine. Yet I do think that both wines are successful in their respective ways, which surprises even me. (By the way, that's obviously not the real packaging in the above photo, although it would be a great idea.)