Exercises in Mature Champagne: Pascal Doquet

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Nothing gives us greater pleasure than offering mature Champagne at a great price. As much as we relish the cut and the laser-like complexity of well-made, young Champagne, we have a true appreciation for the broad, savory tones, the mellow earth and mineral characteristics of a fine, “adult” bottle of Champagne. In fact, Champagne ages very interestingly, the vivacious flavors and angularity of youth giving weigh to a certain burnished, occasionally cheesy, sometimes nutty richness. The bubbles begin to dissipate into the wine and the overall effect is one of stately opulence… particularly in the case of 1990 Doquet, the impetus for our offer today, and a superb value in mature Champagne.

Pascal Doquet, a well-respected grower based in Vertus, began making wine at his parent’s Domaine (Doquet-Jeanmarie) in the 1980s. He took over the winemaking completely in 1995, and he began his own Domaine in 2004.  The wines we are offering today span Doquet’s stewardship of his parent’s Domaine, yet they bear Pascal’s name on the labels. Upon taking over in 1995, Doquet immediately began to change the type of viticulture practiced at the Domaine; he stopped using systemic herbicides and, in spite of the many challenges faced by organic growers in the region, has recently become certified in organic viticulture. This is a familiar story in Champagne: a son or daughter rejects their parent’s vineyard regime (often developed in the 1960s, when widespread chemical use began), believing that a more harmonious and mineral-forward wine will result from more natural farming. We couldn’t agree more.

Doquet’s Domaine is between eight and nine hectares, located in Vertus, Le Mesnil, and Mont Aimé. Planted to 95% Chardonnay, these are clear expressions of Côte des Blancs Champagne. The non-vintage, Grand Cru Mesnil-sur-Oger shows the power of Mesnil, one of the most distinct Grand Crus in Champagne. Normally this wine is aged for seven years on the lees, meaning that, though it’s the youngest of the four we’re offering, it’s a mature wine and ready to drink now. The vintage wines are from the Doquet’s best parcels in Vertus. The wines are atypical for Vertus - if we think of Vertus as a racy, delicate wine in the style of Peirre or Guy Larmandier. A portion of the wine is aged in barrel; there is also a long period of lees aging (normally five years), which imparts further richness to the wine. Across the board, these wines are a delicious and reasonably priced way to experience Champagne with age. Salut! -Sophie   

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Doquet, Pascal 1990 Champagne Blanc de Blancs

Mature Champagne at a very reasonable price, this Doquet offers intense, savory, and nutty notes on the nose: cashew, bouillon, licorice. Golden in the glass with fine bubbles that have mellowed with time, the palate is broad, somewhat sweet toned, and lush. Rich in style, the wine is opulent with a spine of chalk that adds complexity. We recommend decanting the wine, or at least giving it some air in your glass for best results. -msb

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $74.99

Doquet, Pascal 1998 Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru

Pascal Doquet took over the winemaking at his parent's Domaine, Doquet-Jeanmaire, in 1995, making this 1998 one of the first vintages of Doquet Champagne to be made at the hands of this outstanding winemaker. From Doquet's best parcels in the 1er Cru of Vertus, the vine has evolved gracefully and is beginning to show the savory, almost cheesy side of mature Champagne. Vinous for Chardonnay from Vertus, the wine offers complexity but also polish. We found it to be ever so slightly reduced at first and to benefit from some time open in advance of drinking. -msb

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  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $49.99

Doquet, Pascal 2000 Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru

It's always comforting when one's tasting notes are born out by facts about a wine. We tasted this 2000 from Doquet's best parcels in Vertus and we found it to be rich for a wine from Vertus. Our taste impressions were born out by Peter Liem of Champagne Guide, who tells us that the wine is partially matured in wood and shows the richness of clay soil as well as the cut of chalk soil. We also found both the '98 and the '00 from Doquet to be have an intriguing green, fern-y streak. The wine is aged for five years on the lees and shows some mellow, evolved character. -msb

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $56.99

Doquet, Pascal NV Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Mesnil-Sur-Oger

Good expressions of Le Mesnil will show the drinker why Le Mesnil is a Grand Cru. With its intensely chalky soil and saline, shelly minerality, wines from this Grand Cru in the Côte des Blancs are unique and complex, often with a defining, mineral-driven finish. This non-vintage version from Pascal Doquet is partially matured in wood and aged for quite some time on the lees (seven years). It's rich, golden in the glass, with some evolved character. This Champagne contrasts a certain generosity of style with the severity of the terroir. -msb 

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $59.99