The 2019 vintage in the Champagne, drink or hold.

The trend with with wine critics and journalists  is to judge vintages very quickly and if they are wrong they tend not retract thier initial judgement. 2019 is an interesting vintage in the champagne, due to Corona critics could not taste Vin Clairs and and make any sort of comment on the vintage which I think is highly beneficial as no one has any sort of preconcieved notion and and one can taste with an open mind. 

What I have tasted so far from the 2019 vintage is incredibly open and really good to drink now. In my newsletters I tend to advocate holding champagne, and now I find myself contradicitng myself. But faced with the 2019 vintage I am really enjoying drinking these champagnes in their early stage.

I think a lot of young growers want their champagnes to be drunk young so consumers can get to know them, but also more and and more producers are understanding how to make champagnes under oxidative conditions which makes the champagne more accessible and if this is combined with short holding on the lees and an early degorgement, then one does not really have to wait. The champagne in this case has a more vinous character. The aromas that develop with longer lees aging, longer cellaring after the degorgement are not present. Customer looking for more yeasty/autolytic, brioche sort of aromas are best advised to wait and probably buy champagnes that have a longer aging on the lees.

I do not know if I can speak of a trend, what I am also seeing is younger producer increasing the dosage. Is this a bad thing, I do not think so. The ageability of grower champagnes especially with low dosages is questonable. A champagne with a high dosage, when drunk young can seem sweet and for this reason they are often not taken seriously but the Dosage is essential for two things, first the Maillard reaction that creates these yeasty, brioche and roast aromas and secondly for the ageability. The dosage with time similiar to Riesling become less sweet, the champagne gains complexity and depth. 

I personally do not understand consumer, who buy champagnes like Krug, Cristal or Dom Perignon and drink them young. These champagnes are not near showing their potential, the dosage needs at least a few years to really work. A lesser priced champagne with a lower dosage would probably have been more enjoyable.

Coming back to the 19er vintage, if the champagne has a relatively low dosage, under 5g/l I would not hesitate to try them. I would treat them as a wine and pair with food one thinks is suitable.

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