Tasted: Alfred Gratien Memoires Collection

TheMemoires Collection by Alfred Gratien – three consecutive vintages from 1996 until 1998, all crafted by the father-son winemaking duo, Jean-Pierre and Nicolas Jaeger.

We commenced with the youngest, Memory 1998 (disgorged February 2015). The colour showed deep golden already and the nose was rich and abundantly fruity with tropical fruit meeting golden raisins, yellow plums and dried apricots. There was a spicy layer as well as attractive brioche tones to the complex, overt nose. Winey and concentrated, the voluptuous palate was invigorated by lovely freshness leading it to a sweetly fruity, extra-brut (6 g/l) finish. This wine is ready to be opened and savoured.

Memory 1997 (disgorged February 2015) seemed the oldest of the trio, unsurprisingly. Its aromatics are largely on the tertiary side with vanilla and baked apple still present. The palate is vinous with mellow mousse left. Even if the fruitiness is somewhat fading, there is a firm backbone of acidity and a mineral feeling to the dry finish.

The most impressive feature of Memory 1996 (disgorged February 2020) was its feisty and youthful structure. The palate was full of fruit, which had nutty, toasty and tropical notes. The nose came with a peculiar fresh porcini note, which slightly deducted from its elegance. Otherwise a really impressively vigorous and tightly structured wine with ages to go!