de venoge, louis xv brut 2006
In its distinctive carafe-shaped bottle, this Champagne commemorates the French king who first said that Champagne had to be bottled (so the bubbles would not disappear). It is dominated by Chardonnay, giving a chalky, mineral texture to this ripe wine. While the fruit is still deliciously fresh, the wine is just beginning to add toast flavors to its repertoire. Drink now, or better from 2017.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The assemblage of the 2006 Louis XV Brut Millésimé is about the same as the 1995 and 1996—composed of 50/50 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, all from grand cru villages. The only difference is that the Chardonnay from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger (10% of the assemblage) spent 12 months in oak barrels. Disgorged in January 2017 (dosage: six grams per liter), the 2006 has a golden color and opens with a deep, ripe, elegant and vinous bouquet with toasty and chalky lemon and fresh white fruit flavors. On the palate, this is an intense, round, fresh and complex Louis XV with great purity and finesse. The wine opens on the palate like a soufflé, coating the whole palate without any pressure or weight—gorgeous! This is a delicate and fresh yet well-structured and persistent Louis XV whose intense and long but weightless finish reveals lovely, almost juicy fruit concentration with perfectly integrated freshness and lasting minerality that seems to give additional structure. The 2006 shows a lot of Chardonnay features right now and drinks perfectly today; however, it can be kept under perfect conditions for decades. Just keep it in the box, because the bottle is white and nothing makes a Champagne age faster than exposure to daylight.
This pitches bold, ripe, sweet fruit into some savory complexity, derived from long aging. Bold and open-knit. Simple appeal here. Cashew finish. Drink now.