A few quick thoughts on the 2009 Georges Vesselle Brut Champagne.
Georges Vesselle was an icon of the Grand Cru village of Bouzy, having served as its mayor for 25 years as well as vineyard manager for Perrier-Jouët, Mumm and Heidsieck Monopole.
Taking over the family estate in 1951, Vesselle used his label to focus on single village, Grand Cru wine. Today the house is run by his sons, Bruno and Eric, who tend to the family’s 17 ha (42 acres) of vines.
Located on the south end of the Montagne de Reims, the Grand Cru village of Bouzy is noted for its Pinot noir, which makes up almost 88% of plantings. The warm south-facing slopes produces riper fruit with Bouzy being a major producer of still red Coteaux Champenois as well.
Georges Vesselle, in particular, was a long-time proponent for Bouzy Rouge–being interviewed in 1971 by The New York Times about the style while he was mayor.
A powerful presence and weighty mouthfeel characterize Bouzy Pinot. Champagne houses that prominently feature Bouzy fruit include Paul Bara, Bollinger, André Clouet, Duval-Leroy, Benoît Lahaye, Moët & Chandon, Mumm, Pierre Paillard, Pol Roger, Camille Savès and Taittinger. In addition, many houses use red wine from Bouzy to add color to their roses.
The 2009 Brut is 90% Pinot noir and 10% Chardonnay with 5 years aging on lees. Bottled with 8 g/l dosage.
High-intensity nose–lots of yellow fruits like Golden Delicious apple and lemons. Noticeable autolytic and tertiary notes of pastry dough and honey-roasted almonds.
On the palate, those fruit notes carry through and are very ripe. The high-acidity keeps the full-bodied and creamy mouthfeel well balanced. Long finish lingers on the tertiary almonds.
In France, this 2009 Georges Vesselle is around 40-45 euros. However, in the US, it’s unfortunately closer to $90. (Before extra tariffs!)
So while it’s very well made with subtle complexity, it’s hard to say that this is a great deal. But if you can get it for $60-70, grab it.