May 6, 2009

On Edge

Everyone at the Lab is a little edgy today.

There's been no word from Chinskirin. I'm worried the last two journal entries might not make it back from Tasmania. With hindsight, perhaps we shouldn't have left him in the jungle. He said he'd be fine. But maybe that glint in his eye that I took for a grass allergy was a hint of madness taking hold...

More immediately, we're worried about the results of the Stress Test. And wondering how the Lab will fair. Speculative rumors are everywhere. And we don't want to be forced to sell more of our hard won assets just to pretty up a balance sheet for some greenhorn regulator.

To take the edge off, I'm declaring an Arbitrary Milestone!

So for no reason at all, we are celebrating with a Ulysse Collin, Blanc de Blanc Extra Brut, 2005. This is the second vintage from a newish entrant in the grower Champagne category. This is "hipster" champagne (I think). Though I don't know exactly what that means. When I've heard the term used, it seems to be disparaging. But I love hipster Champagne (I think), but I live in Los Angeles which means, by definition, I'm vaguely superficial as a human being.

However, there's nothing superficial about this Champagne. This is beautiful. With complex sweet pear aromas and dense autolytics. There's an energetic, citric acid and a mineral finish that leaves grit in your teeth. But what stands out above all else is the structure; the architecture of this wine is practically Gothic.

If we end up punished by the Stress Test, we plan to take up residence in this Champagne.


(chart: © Kheng Guan Toh | Dreamstime.com)

7 comments:

Laboratory Chief said...

POSTSCRIPT: The last glass of this Champagne was FULL of sediment. I don't think I've seen that much sediment in a bottle of Champagne (in fact, I've been racking my brain trying to remember any sediment in Champagne). Olivier Collin doesn't fine or filter his wines. But it may be that I precipitated the tartaric acid out of solution when I left the bottle a little too long in the freezer.

Corkdork said...

You're likely correct about the sediment. From Louis Dressner, we find his note on the champagne saying: "Cellar work is straightforward, the alcoholic fermentation takes as long as it needs (6 months in 2004) and is followed by the malolactic fermentation. Tartaric precipitations occur under natural cold conditions, and the wine is not fined or filtered before the secondary fermentation in bottle. There is no or little dosage."

Brooklynguy said...

i have never tasted this producer's wines. they begin at $70 here in NYC, and it's just so hard to begin with any producer at that price point. glad it's good though, this might take me over the edge towards springing for a bottle.

(mativelu)

David McDuff said...

Ditto what BG said. I've come close, on a couple of occasions, to throwing one into a mixed case at CSW but have always exercised better (or at least more practical) judgment. One of these times....

Definitely tartrates.

(kylog) (yikes)

Laboratory Chief said...

Gentlemen,
The UC isn't cheap, I grant you. But it's single vintage, single vineyard. So compared to Clos Des Goisses, it's a bargain. Compared to Clos d'Ambonnay, it's pretty much shoplifting.

It's also not close to its drinking window. It's very young. Very tightly wound. And I found the fruit a little backward at this stage.

So you can safely wait for a sale.

Or you can stop by the Lab, I bought two and would happily open the other bottle for you.

cheers!

Laboratory Chief said...

We should make fridge magnets out of the encryption words, so we can make little haikuesque poems like:

yikes mativelu
kylog

(seriously? "yikes")

David McDuff said...

Not seriously. "Yikes" was my reaction to "KYlog."