Friday, January 16, 2009

There and Back Again

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.

6 comments:

Sharon said...

Very nice, if melancholy, post!

By coincidence, we had a bottle of the 2004 Ulysse Collin Extra-Brut last night, too (July 2007 disgorgement). It was a thing of beauty, with great depth and complexity. Everyone loved and, alas, fought over it. (I say "alas," because I lost.)

Peter Liem said...

Great minds think alike! (Or, fools never differ.) This wine gets better and better every time I taste it. I'd like to taste the 2004 Brut again -- I know we just drank it together a couple of months ago as an aperitif to our Selosse-fest, but, you know. That was a couple of months ago. Distant history.

the vlm said...

Yeah Sharon, but he actually makes me want to drink it. You make me think of Brad Kane and that makes me want to vomit.

Peter, I'm working through the idea of trying to get to the Emirites in late March early April. Maybe we could meet up?

Also, will you be coming down to Angers at all?

Scott Reiner said...

I only have a couple bottles of the 2004, July 2007 disgorgement, left. What are your opinions about longer term aging?

Brooklynguy said...

New York misses you too.

Peter Liem said...

VLM,
Be nice. Don't be vulgar.
Unfortunately I can't make it to the Emirates in March/April as I'm completely booked through those months, but I will see you in the Loire....

Scott,
As I said, this is getting better and better with time, and I expect that it will continue to do so, but as this is Olivier's first vintage and all, who knows? It's delicious now, but I wouldn't be in any kind of rush to drink my whole stash.