Veuve Clicquot Cave Privée Brut

Veuve Clicquot has the resourcefulness to set aside a respectable allocation of every vintage release for its late-disgorged Cave Privée. A bold venture, not least because vintages that don’t age well will never surface. Twenty-three years post-vintage and five years post-disgorgement, 1990 is a grand testimony to the enduring power of a vintage that has not diminished one bit since I first encountered it four years ago. The bouquet is a mesmerising, inviting, golden sunset, swept with vivid brushstrokes of honey, buttered toast, crème brûlée, toasted almonds and Parisian baguette. The palate is a revelation of silken complexity of such creamy smoothness it’s almost impossible to separate its multi-faceted intricacy. Stare hard enough and you might make out shapes of baked peach, lemon butter, dried pear and wisps of pipe smoke. The spectacle lingers for minutes amidst a grainy backdrop of dry, chalky minerality. Find yourself a lofty post and bask in its radiant glow. $275 at Wine Culture.