Champagne Party by Elena and Roma Vol. 1

Posted on July 6, 2023 by Boris
Updated on July 7, 2023

You know. When someone calls you on a tasting full of expensive wines from your wishlist, it’s hard to say no. Nec Plus Ultra? Les Pierrières based on 2017? Vauzelle Terme? Cuvée des Caudalies Millésime? Just shut up and take my money.

So here comes Olena Menshikova with a basket full of desired wines. And she wants to help two injured kids that lost their parents and house due to the war. Her actions? She throws a charity event to raise money for these kids. In the morning after the event, she is getting close to the goal of 150,000 UAH. You can help her, which I urge you to do. As they say, there is no such thing as a small donation.

Photo by Vova Ulianov (ignore the last two bottles)
  1. Moët & Chandon Dom Pérignon Brut 2012
  2. De Sousa Cuvée des Caudalies Grand Cru Millésime Extra Brut 2010
  3. Jacquesson Aÿ Vauzelle Terme Récolte 2013
  4. Ulysse Collin Les Pierrières Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut (2017) NV
  5. Bruno Paillard N.P.U. 2008
  6. Vilmart & Cie Emotion 2012
  7. Jacques Selosse Exquise Sec NV


rms sdev favourite price QPR
Wine #1 3.6531 0.0225 0.00 11000.00 0.1306
Wine #2 4.2256 0.0284 0.00 8500.00 0.3967
Wine #3 4.4373 0.0356 4.00 9900.00 0.4751
Wine #4 4.4320 0.0862 4.00 14300.00 0.3231
Wine #5 4.3344 0.0089 0.00 9500.00 0.4224
Wine #6 4.0290 0.0319 0.00 5764.00 0.4324
Wine #7 4.2693 0.0222 1.00 22300.00 0.1621

How to read this table:

  • rms is root mean square or quadratic mean. The problem with arithmetic mean is that it is very sensitive to deviations and extreme values in data sets, meaning that even single 5 or 1 might ‘drastically’ affect the score.
  • sdev is standard deviation. The bigger this value the more controversial the wine is, meaning that people have different opinions on this one.
  • favourite is amount of people who marked this wine as favourite of the event.
  • price is wine price in UAH.
  • QPR is quality price ratio, calculated in as 100 * factorial(rms)/price. The reason behind this totally unprofessional formula is simple. At some point you have to pay more and more to get a little fraction of satisfaction. Factorial used in this formula rewards scores close to the upper bound 120 times more than scores close to the lower bound.

Moët & Chandon Dom Pérignon Brut 2012

  • producer: Moët & Chandon
  • name: Dom Pérignon Brut
  • vintage: 2012
  • disgorged: ???
  • sur lie: ???
  • grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
  • appellation: Champagne AOC
  • location: Champagne, France
  • alcohol: 12.5
  • sugar: N/A
  • price: 11000 UAH

This wine was the only one to be served blind. The idea was to have a benchmark along the wine tasting. This was my first Dom Pérignon, and unfortunately, it was corked.

Just for historical reference, here are my notes. Herbaceous nose with notes of lemon curd, apple and wet wool (woof). Sharp and bland mouthfeel with short flavours of iodine and apples. What comes next? A huge nothingness. There is only acidity, and that’s it.

De Sousa Cuvée des Caudalies Grand Cru Millésime Extra Brut 2010

100% Chardonnay from Avize and Oger. The average age of vines is more than 60 years. Vinified and aged in oak barrels for 10 months. Around 81 months on lees. Disgorged on 11th of April, 2018 (Wednesday, by the way).

In the beginning, it was a bit restrained yet charming and sophisticated. Ripe fruits of good quality, grapefruit, baked apple, brioche with cinnamon, ginger, chalk and mushrooms. The aftertaste is long and flavourful. Deliciously saline mouthfeel. After a few hours, it became more intense and seamless. Great structure with salty minerality, good acidity and a long linear finish.

Jacquesson Aÿ Vauzelle Terme Récolte 2013

  • producer: Jacquesson
  • name: Aÿ Vauzelle Terme Récolte
  • vintage: 2013
  • disgorged: May 2022
  • sur lie: ~96 months
  • grapes: Pinot Noir
  • appellation: Champagne AOC
  • location: Champagne, France
  • alcohol: 12.5
  • sugar: 0
  • price: 9900 UAH

100% Pinot Noir from a tiny plot in Aÿ (Vallée de la Marne) of 0.3 hectares planted in 1980 by Jean-Hervé Chiquet. Vauzelle Terme spent ~96 months sur lie. Disgorged in May 2022.

A quick and loud entrance. It just bursts beautifully with honeycomb, white flowers, cheese and nuts. Almost full-bodied, elegant, vinous and fresh. Salty mouthfeel, textured and nuanced with delicate mousse, and long evolving and sapid finish.

Ulysse Collin Les Pierrières Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut (2017) NV

40-year-old Chardonnay have southern exposure and are planted on chalky soils that also feature chunks and pockets of a rare black flint or silex noir unique to Coteaux du Petit Morin. Pierrières was Olivier Collin’s first bottling, and only bottling, in the 2004 vintage. The fruit is hand-harvested, the clusters destemmed and the grapes gently pressed; the juice is fermented spontaneously and slowly (up to six months) with natural yeasts in mainly-used Burgundy barrels. Reserve wines are held in foudres and tonneaux. The wine is based on 2017. It’s bottled without fining or filtering and aged for 36 months on lees.

It was interesting to compare 2017-based Les Pierrières with 2015-based that we tasted like a month ago. And the younger release is more generous and fascinating. Sophisticated and delicate bouquet of candied fruits, lemon zest, spring flowers, wet stones and almond paste. Precise, medium-full-bodied. It shows a bit of tension, but it only makes the wine more beautiful and nuanced. The aftertaste is just endless. Salinity is wonderful.

Bruno Paillard N.P.U. 2008

  • producer: Bruno Paillard
  • name: N.P.U.
  • vintage: 2008
  • disgorged: April 2019
  • sur lie: 120 months
  • grapes: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
  • appellation: Champagne AOC
  • location: Champagne, France
  • alcohol: 12
  • sugar: 3.8
  • price: 9500 UAH

It’s not intended to be the best wine, but a cuvée that we push to the extreme.

[…] liveliness is more the focus here than complexity and richness.

— Alice Paillard

A 50/50 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from 7 of the most sought-after Grands Crus of the Champagne terroir: Oger, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Chouilly, Cramant, Verzenay, Mailly-Champagne, and Bouzy. Grapes are vinified and matured in small, old oak barrels for 10 months. Then the wine spends 10 years on lees followed by two years of post-disgorgement rest before release.

Bottle #14187 / 18798.

A bit restrained yet nuanced bouquet of pear, bread, cinnamon, dried fruit, white flowers and green hazelnut. Medium-bodied, it’s sharp and focused with racy acidity and chalk minerality. Mind-blowing flavours of fermented rice. Overall, demanding style. Even today, it feels too young. A meditative wine for hikikomori.

Vilmart & Cie Emotion 2012

  • producer: Vilmart & Cie
  • name: Emotion
  • vintage: 2012
  • disgorged: May 2018
  • sur lie: 60 months
  • grapes: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
  • region: Champagne
  • location: France
  • alcohol: 12.5
  • sugar: 8
  • price: 5764 UAH

A 60/40 blend of Saignée Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from 45-year-old vines in Rilly-la-Montagne, vinified in barrels for 10 months without malolactic fermentation.

Emotion unveils orange oil, red berries, bruised red apple, barberry, almonds, wet mouldy cellar and sausage roll (sic!). A bit disturbing and tempting at the same time. Pointy, oily and racy. Nice chalky finish.

Jacques Selosse Exquise Sec NV

  • producer: Jacques Selosse
  • name: Exquise Sec
  • vintage: NV
  • disgorged: [2020-01-30 Thu]
  • sur lie: ???
  • grapes: Chardonnay
  • appellation: Champagne AOC
  • location: Champagne, France
  • alcohol: 12
  • sugar: 24
  • price: 22300 UAH

With bottles I wanted to taste the most left behind, I was ready for Exquise, from which I had no expectations as I heard controversial thoughts on this wine. Ripe white wild cherries, cookies, candied fruits (or was it pastilla?) and yellow plums. And a bit of nuts. Fresh, round, and well-balanced. The aftertaste is long and persistent. A bit of wet cellar and Jerez in the finish. The higher sugar level is obvious, but it doesn’t disturb me. Very approachable and easy to understand. It’s just a well-made one-dimensional wine you hardly remember the next day.

That being said, it was an interesting experience.

Raw scores

Wine #1 Wine #2 Wine #3 Wine #4 Wine #5 Wine #6 Wine #7
Vova U 3.50 4.30 4.50 4.70 4.40 4.00 4.20
Elena M - 4.30 4.50 4.70 4.40 - 4.40
Ivan M - 4.30 4.70 4.30 4.30 - 4.40
Roman R - 4.30 4.60 4.60 4.50 - 4.20
Yevgeniya T - 4.40 4.50 4.70 4.40 4.30 4.30
Oksana P - 3.90 4.30 4.00 4.20 - 4.30
Yaroslav P - 4.10 4.00 3.90 4.30 3.80 4.50
Mykola Ch - 4.00 4.40 4.30 4.20 - 4.10
Boris B 3.80 4.40 4.40 4.60 4.30 4.00 4.00