Despite the frigid temperatures and snowy sidewalks, I didn’t really want to leave New York. Of course, when my friend called to tell me that US Airways 1549 had just landed in the Hudson River, that made me even more skeptical about getting onto an airplane. But a car ride, plane ride, RER ride, metro ride, train ride and taxi ride later, I find myself back home in Dizy, where it’s almost eerily quiet after the bustle and chaos of NYC.
It’s my habit to open an especially good bottle of champagne upon arriving home from traveling, as a sort of reward for enduring the indignities of such unpleasantries as airport security and Paris metro staircases, but also as consolation for being suddenly apart from the people who made my journey so enjoyable. Tonight I was rummaging around in my cellar and found a bottle of Ulysse Collin 2004 Extra Brut, which of course made me want to drink it. It’s been several months since I last tasted this wine, although prior to that I’ve certainly consumed my fair share of Collin’s tiny production, as I love this wine so much.
This 2004 was first disgorged in July of 2007 and released in October of that year; a second disgorgement was done in January of 2008, and the bottle that I am currently drinking was from that later lot. It’s difficult to accurately compare the two disgorgements without actually tasting them together side by side, but one thing about the July 2007 disgorgement is that over the past year and a half it has rapidly developed a greater depth and substance with post-disgorgement aging, and today it seems to be a significantly different wine than it was when it was first released. This bottle from the January disgorgement seems to continue the trend, with the wine retaining a similar set of flavors but continuing to put on more weight and volume, while also increasing in complexity of aroma. I like this wine much better as a non-dosé extra brut now than I did back in October of 2007 when I first tasted it—it seems to be settling down into its skin and acquiring a real harmony and completeness, and drinking it tonight by itself, without food, it shows a delightful balance and expression. Indeed, I’m beginning to wonder if someone has drilled a hole in the bottom of my Riedel glass, as every time I look at it, it seems to be empty.
I miss New York already. But at least here I’ve got way more champagne.