• Champagne Gaston Chiquet Special Club 1976

    What makes a wine great? It's a subjective assessment, although we do have certain criteria by which we measure a wine's quality. We generally agree, for example, that long length on the finish is a desirable trait in wine, and that the lack of length is not. Complexity of flavor is considered to be a good thing. So is a harmonious balance of components, although admittedly, this can be interpreted quite differently from one taster to another.

    Last week, Nicolas Chiquet of Gaston Chiquet opened a pair of old Spécial Clubs that made me think about the elements that we value in a wine. The first was the 1976, from a vintage that enjoys an excellent reputation here in Champagne, and rightfully so. This wine was superb, in all of the ways described above: it had exc
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