Can Champagne age? (Part 2/2)
I am writing these lines locked in the broom cupboard at the Grappers editorial office with a flashlight, a few sheets of paper, my computer and, to add to the mental torment, a bottle of flat sparkling water. "You can come out when you answer the question," I told myself. Oh dear!
So yes, some Champagnes can age. This is the case for vintage Champagnes, from the best years in Champagne, or some of the very high-end Champagnes. This is due to certain phenomena (oxidation, yeast autolysis) which I will have the pleasure of telling you about one day if I get out of this cupboard in one piece. It is now time for you to confront an existential question: will you like these notes that have developed with age or do you prefer freshness, the delicate notes of flowers, white fruit... if you have chosen the second option, there is nothing for you here: return to the fridge mentioned in Episode 1!
Good. After this careful sorting process, only a tiny proportion of the initial readers remain among you. To you, lovers of fine Champagnes and great vintages, I address a final warning as my flashlight dims and the oxygen starts to run out: be careful, you must not automatically cellar-age your Champagnes. Indeed, many Champagne producers and houses release their "grandes cuvées" and vintage Champagnes only when they feel that they are ready. They have already done the patient work of cellar-ageing to provide you with Champagnes at their drinking best. In this case, you know where to go: back to episode 1: fridge!
Thus ends "Can Champagne age?", a 2-act drama in which the writer was subjected to some reprehensible mistreatment.