Champagne de Venoge only produce their Louis XV range of wines from Grand Cru vineyards, and only in exceptional years.
The 1995 vintage spent 10 years on lees, disgorged in 2006, then a further 10 years of cellar ageing in the cool, chalk cellars of the house before release.
It is rich and honeyed, with a deep golden hue, hazelnut praline aromas, and brioche toastiness. Long and complex, with surprising openness and energy. A lovely mature Champagne.
Louis XV 1995 is composed of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay, from only grands crus: Mailly, Ambonnay, Verzenay, and Bouzy for the Pinots, and Avize, Cramant, Oger, Mesnil on Oger and Chouilly for the Chardonnays.
After ageing for 10 years (disgorgement in 2006) and a dosage of 6 g/l, Louis XV 1995 has benefited from a second ageing in bottle (after disgorgement) of over 10 years that adds incredible complexity to the wine.
With the ageing of this champagne, the Chardonnays stand out and dominate the Pinots, which is surprising: the minerality of the grands crus of Chardonnay is evident.
The cuvee Louis XV is the most prestigious cuvee from the House of Venoge. This is from the 1995 vintage, which was exceptional. The nose reveals notes of vanilla, spicy notes and fresh brioche. It is an elegant and complex nose. In the mouth, the finesse of aromas brings notes of lemongrass and brioche. On the palate, the cuvee Louis XV is announced by a full and round attack, and an elegant minerality. The balanced combination of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay brings an elegant structure and sophistication.
In 1825 Henri-Marc de Venoge left his native Switzerland to settle in the Champagne region and founded "de Venoge & Cie" with his son Joseph in 1837. In 1838 Henri-Marc creates the first illustrated label in the Champagne history. Father and son continue to build the reputation over the next three decades until in 1866 Gaëtan de Venoge, son of Joseph, succeeds his father. He develops the sales abroad, especially in the USA, culminating in Champagne de Venoge is awarded the Grand Prize of Excellence at the Universal Exhibition of Philadelphia in 1876. Today, de Venogue Champagnes are distributed around the world in more than 40 countries, only through selective distribution : wineshops, hotels and fine restaurants and their current Cellar Master continues the long tradition of maintaining the highest quality standards during all the process : best crus, low dosage, only 1st press of grapes only and long aging period.
This is a fantastic bottle of 1995 with a superb core of ripe fruit and praline and dried apricot. Full-bodied. Impressive length of almonds and other nuts. Peaches, too. So open and exciting. Wonderful example of mature Champagne with unique energy. Disgorged in 2006. Drink now.
STEPHAN REINHARDT - WINE ADVOCATE
Possessing a beautiful golden color with orange and even Amber reflections, the 1995 Louis XV Brut is a 50/50 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from several grands crus—Verzenay, Ambonnay, Mailly and Bouzy for the Pinot and Avize, Cramant, Mesnil-sur-Oger and Chouilly for the Chardonnay. What a gorgeous bouquet is this! Vinous and slightly oxidative, with hints of figs and dates, toffee, Madeira, Vin Jaune, Sherry, biscuits, toasted rice, white mushrooms, earthy flavors, licorice, oriental spices, vanilla, dried oranges and apricots and a thousand more flavors. If you like matured Champagnes, you'd die for this. On the palate, however, this is a fascinatingly pure, fresh, tight and delicate Champagne that is lithe and perfectly balanced but also concentrated. The finish is again pure, fresh and mineral, with stewed apricot and peach flavors in the salty aftertaste. This is a great delicacy delivered onto the palate with sophisticated intensity and stunning tension. The wine was fermented in stainless steel, malolactic included, and disgorged in 2006 (!) with a dosage of seven grams per liter. "With aging, the Chardonnay grand cru is always taking over the Pinot Noir," finds de Venoge's chairman Gilles de La Bassetière, whose 1995 was still made by Eric Lebel, the winemaker chez Krug since 1998. If you have opened the 1995, please share it, or at least, drink it the same day! The wine loses a bit of its charming creaminess the second and third day, whereas the acidity remains fresh and gives the wine a more austere character then.