Monday, January 15, 2024

LeDomduVin: Jean Vesselle Oeil de Perdrix Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne 1999 & NV

Jean Vesselle Oeil de Perdrix Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne 1999 & NV 

I had these two bottles for a while and finally opened them with some colleagues to celebrate the new year. As I had been eager to open the 1999 for some time (without committing myself to doing so before), I opened it first. 

Jean Vesselle Oeil de Perdrix Blanc de Noirs Vintage Champagne 1999

(Dégorgé March 1st, 2019 – only 2300 bottles produced)

Intriguing yet beautifully attractive color, between salmon and onion skin nuances, with copper reflects and delicate bubbles. The nose displayed discreet floral scents mingling with light red berries and orange zest notes. The palate was fresh, crisp, light to medium-bodied, elegant, silky, and balanced, with an enticing mix of flavors of red berries and stone fruits. The finish was light to medium yet seductive. The overall palate was rather delicate, refined, and subtle. I found it lovely and pleasantly fresh and alive for a 1999 vintage. Although a bit light for my taste, it still had plenty of aromas, flavors, and freshness. I was very agreeably surprised! 

Jean Vesselle Oeil de Perdrix Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne NV

(Dégorgé October 23rd, 2019 – 6.5g/l)

It was my mistake to have opened 1999 first, as it appeared insipid, relatively light and lacked substance, texture, structure, and flavors compared to the 1999 one. Shame, as I would have loved to like it as much as its older sibling, but I did not. Don’t get me wrong, it is not a bad champagne, just too light and thin for my taste, especially after the 1999. 

It reminded me of a quintessential tasting rule (that I have learned repeatedly in the past 33 years of my career as a Sommelier and Wine Buyer): when it comes to tasting wine or champagne, always go from youngest to oldest, lighter to full-bodied, white to red, etc.… 

Next time, I will definitely apply the rule rather than listen to my personal desire, as, in a way, it was unfair for this poor young NV to be served after 1999. 

Cheers! Santé! 


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