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Champagne Blend Wines

Champagne Blend Wines

Champagne Blend Wines

When it comes to sparkling wines, there are a few brands that are considered practically “royalty.” Champagne blend bottles instantly convince you to share this opinion through their sheer quality. While it is now produced in many countries around the world, it originates from Champagne in northern France. There are very few sparklers that even come close to this level of divine architecture. Nothing short of a miracle could make a drink this tasty while also making it consistent over the years.

The secret lies in the high-quality grape varietals used in the blend. The three main varietals come together like that’s what they were raised for, each bringing its unique traits and qualities to the mix. Chardonnay gives it a fresh, vivacious feel, and an elegance and finesse much like that of a ballet dancer, except this time the performance is in your mouth. Pinot Noir improves the texture of the sparkler in a way that makes it incredibly compelling to drink and think about, while also adding some unique flavors.

Pinot Meunier is the least represented, but adds a huge amount of consistency to the other two, being the first to ripen and thus avoiding any frost damage that would otherwise harm the experience – and what an experience it is! If you can wrap your lips around a Champagne blend from 2015 or a similarly outstanding year, you’ll be brought down to your knees.
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1998 veuve clicquot la grande dame Champagne

A superbly ripe Champagne that has all the open generosity of the 1998 vintage. Peach and apricot aromas are followed by flavors of hazelnuts, honey and spices. Of course, it is still very young, and, like all vintages of La Grande Dame, it will age for many years.Wine Enthusiast | 92 WEThe house's 1998 La Grande Dame reveals notable clarity and precision. This focused, poised wine emerges from the glass with well-articulated flowers, pears, smoke, crisp apples and minerals in a medium-bodied style. The wine appears to have enough freshness and sheer depth to support another decade or so of aging. La Grand Dame represents a significant step up from the estate's other wines. In 1998 La Grande Dame is 64% Pinot Noir (Aÿ, Verzenay, Verzy, Ambonnay and Bouzy) and 36% Chardonnay (Avize, Oger, Mesnil-sur-Oger). This is Lot 510 2572, disgorged between December 2006 and January 2007.Vinous Media | 90 VM

92
WS
As low as $265.00
N/V Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Champagne

Beautifully balanced and refined in texture, this displays exotic ground spice and floral accents to the flavors of poached white peach, Meyer lemon and candied ginger, with hints of pastry and honey. Offers a lasting, mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2023. 2,917 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 93 WS(full malo; 9 g/l dosage; LAH9T): Light yellow-gold. Smoky citrus and orchard fruits on the deeply perfumed, mineral-tinged nose. Offers broad, toasty orange and pear skin flavors with an undercurrent of dusty minerals. Picks up floral and ginger nuances with air, along with hints of iodine and tarragon. Rich yet lively blanc de blancs with powerful back-end lift and finishing grip.Vinous Media | 92 VMWith its 100% Chardonnay, this Champagne is finely textured, elegant with minerality and the freshest crispest apple flavors. It does have some weight and certainly has intensity—a satisfying, textured wine that is ready to drink.Wine Enthusiast | 92 WEIf chardonnay could be a red wine, it might have the red fruit flavors of this blanc de blancs. Perhaps it’s the floral aspects that turn its chamomile and yellow flower notes toward violets, or the deep earth tones adding color to the flavor. The fruit is persistent, sunny in the middle, then shaded by an almost tannic character to the lees that places the wine with food, particularly roast veal. Moët Hennessy USA, NYWine & Spirits | 92 W&SThis blanc de blancs (100% Chardonnay) is sourced mostly from the Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims, including a portion of premier cru vineyards. It has a lean, lemon and apple bite backed up by some smooth creaminess. It’s fuller in body than stablemate Veuve Clicquot, displaying good acidity and power. Dosage 9g/l.Decanter | 91 DECSuper curated reduction here, heading into slightly meaty territory with grapefruit, toasted lemon peel and hazelnuts. The palate is delivered in a smooth, sweet-fruited style with approachable peach flesh. Drink now.James Suckling | 91 JS(NV Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Brut NV (Reims)) The current release of Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs non-vintage Brut is fermented in stainless steel, goes through full malolactic and was finished off with a dosage of nine grams per liter. The bouquet wafts from the glass in a bright blend of lemon, apple, warm bread, a touch of smokiness, dried flowers and a lovely base of soil. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, crisp and focused, with brisk acids, frothy mousse, good cut and grip and a long, still fairly youthful finish. This has plenty of acidity, so its dosage comes across as lower than its nine grams. This will have no difficulty aging gracefully, but is already quite tasty. (Drink between 2016-2035)John Gilman | 91+ JGThis is a fabulous version of Ruinart’s NV Brut Blanc de Blancs. The wine seems fresher, more vibrant and less obviously sweet than in the past, all of which makes this a far more interesting wine. The trademark profile of lemon, jasmine and green apples is very much in the forefront while the wine’s textural finesse and length are both first-class. This release of the NV Brut makes a great introduction to the wines of Ruinart, Champagne’s oldest house. This is Lot LAGJSAF. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2014.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 90 RP

91
DEC
As low as $99.00
n/v bollinger special cuvee Champagne

...The complexity and richness of Special Cuvée is unparalleled among the entry non-vintage blends of every Champagne house, short of ascending to the mesosphere of Krug. Its grand recipe explains why, built on incredible depth of 50%-60% reserves. Triumphant complexity is a given at Bollinger, but it’s the dynamic freshness and vitality that really set it apart as one of the most affordable Champagne benchmarks.Decanter | 96 DECBollinger’s NV Special Cuvée knocks it out of the park. Made from 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and the rest Pinot Meunier, with 30% of the blend brought up in barrels, it boasts a rich, deep, medium to full-bodied style as well as terrific notes of lemon curd, crème brûlée, caramelized stone fruits, and hints of toasty nuttiness that develop with time in the glass. It’s a big, rich Champagne that stays balanced and pure. Beautiful stuff.Jeb Dunnuck | 93 JDBollinger’s NV Special Cuvée knocks it out of the park. Made from 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and the rest Pinot Meunier, with 30% of the blend brought up in barrels, it boasts a rich, deep, medium to full-bodied style as well as terrific notes of lemon curd, crème brûlée, caramelized stone fruits, and hints of toasty nuttiness that develop with time in the glass. It’s a big, rich Champagne that stays balanced and pure. Beautiful stuff.Jeb Dunnuck | 93 JDRestrained and very pretty aromas include those of yeast, Meyer lemon, petrol and green apple where the latter element is picked up by the utterly delicious, vibrant and detailed flavors that possess fine complexity on the agreeably dry but not austere finish. The supporting mousse is dense but fine and overall, this is a wine that could be enjoyed now or held for up to a decade. Excellent. (Drink starting 2024)Burghound | 93 BHOne of Bollinger’s great assets is a massive stock of reserve wine, including 600,000 magnums held under cork. Gilles Descôtes tends those reserves, working with the blending team to subsume the variations of the current vintage into Bollinger’s Special Cuvée by using a majority of reserve wines in the blend. The result is a rich and harmonious Champagne with deep reserves of flavor. Its substantial, formal structure feels polished, its flavors balancing the cool earthiness of a limestone cave and the sunnier, bright floral notes of fresh cream. Built for food, whether emphasizing the freshness with lobster bisque, or the depth with beef Wellington and chanterelles.Terlato Wines Int’l., Lake Bluff, ILWine & Spirits | 93 W&S Like its rosé counterpart, the latest release of Bollinger’s NV Brut Special Cuvée is showing especially well, bursting from the glass with aromas of honeyed apples, crisp stone fruit, buttery pastry, ripe lemons and fresh walnuts. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and vinous, with a deep core of beautifully ripe fruit, racy acids and a pillowy mousse, it’s a charming, characterful wine that proves that Special Cuvée is firmly back where it belongs.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92 RPThere’s a pleasing, snappy quality to the acidity framing this elegant Champagne, enlivening accessible flavors of currant, Marcona almond and orchard blossom, with a minerally touch of saline-laced oyster shell that lingers on the finish. Drink now through 2022. 11,000 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 92 WSLots of biscuit aromas and a wide spectrum of fresh-citrus, candied-citrus, red-apple and red-berry notes. Mouth-filling creaminess, plus quite an imposing presence and powerful structure for an NV Brut. Long, citrus and chalky finish that’s very clean and properly dry. 60% pinot noir, 30% chardonnay, 10% pinot meunier. Almost 20% barrel fermented and 62% reserve wines. Based on the 2017 vintage and disgorged July 2021. Drink now.James Suckling | 92 JSFine bubbles combine nicely with the cooked apples, pie crust and lemon rind. Some biscuit, too. Full body. Layered and creamy with a crisp finish. Always delicious. Drink now.James Suckling | 92 JSDominated, as always, by Pinot Noir and with wood fermentation and aging, this Champagne has a great poise between freshness and richness. It is intense and ripe, with apple and minerality coming together. The bottling is ready to drink.Wine Enthusiast | 92 WE (60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier; 8 g/l dosage; L1403801): Pale yellow. Toasty aromas of apple and pear nectar are complemented by hints of toffee, honey and orange zest. Full and expansive on the palate, offering ripe orchard and pit fruit flavors and an undercurrent of smoky minerals and buttered toast. Smooth and gently spicy on the clinging, nicely focusd finish.Antonio Galloni | 91 AG(NV Bollinger “Special Cuvée” Brut NV (Aÿ)) The current release of Bollinger “Special Cuvée” is composed of its customary blend of sixty percent pinot noir, twenty-five percent chardonnay and fifteen percent pinot meunier. It was finished with a dosage of eight grams per liter and offers up is classic pinot-shaded bouquet of white peach, apple, bread dough, a beautiful base of soil tones, a touch of hazelnut and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and complex, with a fine core of fruit, a good spine of acidity, elegant mousse and a long, well-balanced and classy finish. This is still a young wine and I would tuck it away in the cellar for at least a few years and let its acids relax a bit and its secondary layers of complexity emerge. (Drink between 2020-2040).John Gilman | 91+ JGNotes of flowery beeswax, white fruit, and quince on the nose. The palate has a flinty austerity with Braeburn, white pepper and subtle spice followed by yeasty richness and brisk finish. Drinking Window 2020 - 2025.Decanter | 90 DEC

96
DEC
As low as $39.99
n/v veuve clicquot brut Champagne

Lemony richness on the nose, a struck match character that falls in with lemon vanilla note. Toffee apple allure on the palate with chalky coolness & savoury nutty finish. Drinking Window 2020 - 2025.Decanter | 94 DECToasty and generous with lemon freshness, this also has quite some dried-pear and peach aromas from mature elements of the blend, plus a touch of spice at the long, structured finish. The cuvée is based on 2015 and is 50% pinot noir, 30% chardonnay and 20% pinot meunier. Reserve wines make up more than one third of the blend. Drink now.James Suckling | 92 JS(roughly 50% pinot noir, 30% chardonnay and 20% pinot meunier; Lot 14009913): Light gold. Musky orchard fruits and dried fig on the mineral-accented nose. Fleshy and broad on the palate, offering smoky pear and nectarine flavors and a hint of honey. Finishes on a gently spicy note, with very good cling and a touch of bitter lemon pith. Things have definitely begun to turn around for this bottling, which had been lagging behind the winery’s vintage offerings for some time.Vinous Media | 90 VMThis fresh and balanced Champagne is lightly toasty, with snappy acidity and a lively, creamy mousse carrying flavors of white cherry, pickled ginger and Marcona almond. Offers saline-laced minerality.Wine Spectator | 90 WSOne of the most popular of all Champagnes, this is now showing a freshness that wasn’t always there. The crisp texture and green-apple flavors give it an immediate drinkability as well as perfumed acidity and a vibrant aftertaste. Drink this bottling now.Wine Enthusiast | 90 WEBrisk lemon-lime flavors and floral apple clarity lend this wine its freshness and mineral-tinged refreshment. It smells like chalk, then the flavors are enriched by toasty brioche and spiciness from the lees aging. Simple and saturated, finely made in a grand-marque style.Wine & Spirits | 90 W&S

94
DEC
As low as $37.99
N/V Krug Grand Cuvee

A very complex nose here with ripe, deep lemon and grapefruit aromas on offer plus some restrained chalky elements, biscuit, some roasting herbs, hints of pepper, then a little tobacco too. Very complex and full of fresh characters. The palate has a wealth of different fruit flavors like lemon, peach, nectarine, and plums. The finesse in terms of structure, detail and precision is staggering; sherbet-like elegance with immense concentration and power. A great Grande Cuv‚e. Incredibly satisfying. Based on 2006.Krug ID 14024.James Suckling | 96 JSThis mouthwatering Champagne shows a lovely sense of finesse, with firm acidity deftly married to a rich profile of crème de cassis, toasted brioche and lime blossom, accented by hints of café au lait, singed orange peel and exotic spice. Long and plush on the finish. Disgorged 2014. Drink now through 2024.Wine Spectator | 95 WSA distinctive nose with honey, toast and cashew leads to a palate that’s just as powerful and pronounced, with an exotic, dry, umami richness comprising dried crystalline fruits, peach, biscuit and cream, and a touch of well-executed oak. Good acidity and terrific length. Drinking Window 2019 - 2028.Decanter | 95 DEC(NV Krug “Grande Cuvée” Brut NV (Reims) ID #212018 Base Year 2004) This release of Grande Cuvée was disgorged in the spring of 2012 and is comprised of a cépages of forty-four percent pinot noir, thirty-three percent chardonnay and fully twenty-three percent pinot meunier, making this blend one of the highest in pinot meunier in the last decade of Grande Cuvées. As is the case with the blends from the base years of 2006 and 2005, the oldest reserve wine used here was from the 1990 vintage (though of course, this does not mean that each of these blends included the same reserve wine from 1990!) and the wine shows the racy precision of the best wines from this excellent Champagne vintage of 2004. The bouquet is flat out gorgeous and really at a fine moment in its evolution, as it soars from the glass in a constellation of tangerine, white peach, hints of lavender, stunning spice tones, brioche, a complex signature of soil, gentle smokiness and a topnote of fresh almond. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and utterly refined, with a rock solid core, seamless structure, elegant mousse and outstanding length and grip on the complex, vibrant finish. One of the finest recent releases of Grande Cuvée. (Drink between 2015-2040)John Gilman | 95 JGThe NV Grande Cuvée is absolutely stellar. This is one of the very best Grande Cuvées I can remember tasting. The flavors are bright, focused and beautifully delineated throughout, all of which make me think the wine will age well for many, many years. Lemon peel, white flowers, crisp pears, smoke and crushed rocks race across the palate in a vibrant, tense Champagne that epitomizes finesse. This release is based on the 2005 vintage and was disgorged in winter 2012/2013. The blend is: 44% Pinot Noir, 37% Chardonnay and 19% Meunier. Krug ID: 113001.Vinous Media | 94 VMWith its minimum of six years’ bottle aging, this is a beautifully integrated, mature wine. It has a wonderful toast character, layered over sliced pears and ripe acidity. With its complex poise between lightness and richness, this remains an intensely impressive wine.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEA brisk and powerful release of Grande Cuvée, this has the masculine charm of a linebacker as it pummels the palate with lime and seashells, lemon and tangerine flavors. The wine’s intensity and richness has a mouthwatering effect in the finish, lasting in resonant layers of flavor—powerful, yet gracious in the end.Wine & Spirits | 94 W&SOddly, the most consistent Krug wine I have been tasting lately is their non-vintage Brut Grand Cuvee, a big, boldly styled Champagne with smoky, earthy, pear, apple, and spicy aromas as well as flavors, loads of effervescence, and fine body and depth.Robert Parker | 93 RP(NV Krug Brut Grande Cuvée Champagne/Sparkling) Strong petrol aromas presently largely dominate the background notes of citrus, yeast and apple. The relatively full-bodied flavors possess admirable richness and solid power while displaying a moderately fine mousse shapes the dry but not austere finish. Some may find the distinct petrol character of the nose more than they like though I suspect that with age it will dissipate. (Drink starting 2020)Burghound | 90 BH

97
VM
As low as $115.00
2002 krug clos du mesnil Champagne

(Krug, Clos du Mesnil, Champagne, France, White) Singly and emphatically the greatest Champagne release of recent years. Grand malic acidity of dizzyingly heightened proportions is swept up in an immense, all-consuming tidal wave of frothing, sea-salt minerality, crashing with such structure that any mortal wine would collapse breathless in its wake. Yet herein lies the triumph of 2002, the vintage that more than any other reverberates with looming structure, yet meets it commandingly with awe-inspiring fruit presence. This sets it with a life expectancy of a century, no less. (Drink between 2022-2102)Decanter | 100 DEThis is a wine with staggering length and immense purity. It’s as powerful as chardonnay can be, showcasing an incredible depth of pure fresh lemons, yellow grapefruit, honey and dried white and yellow flowers. The concentration and complexity of primary fruits are outstanding, and there are some more exotic flavors here too in the peach and green-mango spectrum. The texture is ultra-fine and creamy through the mid-palate, its majestic curves sweeping long around a sturdy mineral core. This is very silky and focused, offering gently creamy moments before twisting towards a composed, restricted and compressed chalk-like finish. It delivers an impression of chardonnay that captures incredible richness, fleshiness, persistence and power. Yet the acidity is staggering while being simultaneously perfectly balanced. Drink now but this will have a lot more to come after 2020.James Suckling | 100 JS(Krug “Clos du Mesnil” Blanc de Blancs Brut Millésime (Reims) ID #415068) I have been waiting the release of the 2002 Clos du Mesnil bottling from Krug since soon after the quality of this exceptional vintage was confirmed. Like all wines from the house of Krug, patience has been required, as the team here is not about to let a legend out of the cellars until it has had its proper and relaxed elevage, but at age fifteen, the wait is over and this monument to this great and unique terroir is now hitting the market. The wine aged thirteen years sur latte in the Krug cellars in Reims, prior to disgorgement in the winter of 2015. The wine offers up a deep, pure and youthful bouquet of fresh apricot, pear, a marvelously complex base of chalky soil tones, hints of the crème patissière to come, a dollop of fresh nutmeg and a nice touch of citrus zest in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and seamless, with the inherent power of the 2002 vintage very much in evidence in its bottomless core, but with the overall profile of the wine one of unrepentant refinement. As stunningly beautiful as the fruit component is here, the wine is more defined by its brilliant mineral drive on the palate, with its elegant mousse, perfect balance and very, very long, nascently complex and laser-like finish the stuff of legends. The wine seems to attain its lift and backend energy from its limestone mineral drive, rather than the bright, zesty acidity and the overall impression is of almost otherworldly perfection. I have been fortunate to taste every single vintage of Clos du Mesnil since the inaugural vintage of 1979, but the 2002 is the finest I have ever come across in the first blush of youth. It will live for more than half a century and really deserves many more years in the cellar to allow it to completely blossom, but it is going to be no easy task to defer gratification, as the wine is pure magic already! (Drink between 2025-2085)John Gilman | 100 JGPure Chardonnay from the walled vineyard in the heart of Le Mesnil, this intense wine from a great vintage is tight and mineral, still showing hints of toast from its barrel fermentation. With its taut texture, complex acidity and crisp citrus, it’s very young, but will age indefinitely. Showing the beauty of Chardonnay in Champagne at its best, it will certainly still be impressive come 2030.Wine Enthusiast | 99 WEKrug’s beautifully citrus colored 2002 Blanc de Blancs Brut Clos du Mesnil (ID 415068 - disgorged IV/2015) shows a deep, complex, very clear and precise if not etherial bouquet with citrus aromas intertwined with chalk and noble brioche notes in the background. Pure, profound and vibrantly fresh on the palate, this is a straight, athletic, very intense and expressive yet highly elegant and finessed Clos du Mesnil with a unique fresh fruit character! The 2002 reveals a great mineral structure and chalky texture on the palate. The highly complex, energetic finish reveals bracing freshness and vitality as well as the charm and creaminess from the vinification in barrels and possibly the dosage wine that seems to boost the Krug style. While terroir wine is the result of hands-off winemaking, Krug’s Clos du Mesnil is perhaps a very particular Krug Champagne—it has great quality, style and complexity that is the result of the winemaking and the addition of the dosage wine. How the Clos du Mesnil would taste if farmed biodynamically, picked later and dosed with nothing but itself is a pointless question, but it hasn’t left my mind since I tasted the paradoxical 2002, which is terribly fresh on one hand and also has this unique Krug reserve style. Notabene: This doesn’t include the hypothesis that the wine could be any better. It would just be different and surely less "Krug," which is not what we really want, do we? Tasted April 2018.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98+ RPA lovely, lacy Champagne, with ripe apricot, fennel seed and espresso aromas. This caresses the palate with a finely detailed mousse and expansive flavors of pineapple pâte de fruit, toasted brioche, fleur de sel and grated ginger. Long and chalky on the finish, this is a prima ballerina, showing power cloaked in grace. Disgorged winter 2015. Drink now through 2032. — ANWine Spectator | 98 WSNo written review provided. | 98 W&SThe 2002 Clos du Mesnil is brilliant right out of the gate. Vibrant, focused and crystalline, the 2002 hits all the right notes. Lemon peel, grapefruit, slate and white flowers give the 2002 its high-toned personality. The ripeness of the vintage has softened some of the typically angular young Clos du Mesnil contours. Best of all the 2002 is a rare Clos du Mesnil that drinks well right out of the gate, even if it will surely be more complex with more time in bottle. The 2002 has been absolutely stellar on both occasions I have tasted it so far. The 2002 was vinified by Nicolas Audebert, who is now making the wines at Rauzan-Ségla and Canon.Antonio Galloni | 96 AG

100
JG
As low as $3,175.00
n/v delamotte brut Champagne

The NV Brut Blanc De Blancs Le Mesnil-Sur-Oger is also terrific. Made from 100% Chardonnay, it has a more chiseled, tight, backward style in its sautéed apple and ripe citrus aromas and flavors. It too has terrific minerality, as well as medium body, a fine, elegant mousse, and a great finish.Jeb Dunnuck | 92 JD(8 g/l dosage): Light yellow. Mineral-tinged peach, melon and pear aromas display excellent clarity, picking up a subtle floral quality with aeration. Supple and seamless on the palate, offering vivid honeydew and pit fruit flavors accented by a vibrant lemon zest quality. Finishes very long, silky and precise, with an echo of juicy melon and strong mineral lift.Vinous Media | 92 VMAn expressive nose combines a variety of citrus elements along with lovely brioche and yeast scents. There is excellent punch to the delicious, complex and nicely voluminous flavors that are underpinned by a moderately firm mousse before terminating in a balanced and attractively dry finale. This is really quite good for a basic house brut and worth a look.Burghound | 91 BHQuite impressive richness and gently toasty aromas on the nose here with almond, savory and sweet, bready autolysis notes. The palate has a fresh, succulent and smooth feel with soft, citrusy fruit flesh. Holds long. Drink now.James Suckling | 91 JSClean and fragrant with red fruit, this wine’s tart cherry and strawberry flavors integrate with the soil character, which acts as a scrim over the fruit. It feels lush within the tight confines of its structure. Built for food, this will accompany roast game birds.Vineyard Brands, Birmingham, ALWine & Spirits Magazine | 91 W&SPillowy and charming, the latest rendition of Delamotte's NV Brut offers up attractive aromas of orchard fruit, fresh bread and citrus oil. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and elegant, with a pretty pinpoint mousse and lively balancing acids, it's drinking well out of the gates but will also develop gracefully for a few years in the cellar.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 90 RPBeautifully balanced, this rich wine has elegance and great poise. Ripe white fruit comes through the mineral texture and hints of toastiness to fill the palate. It is ready to drink.Wine Enthusiast | 90 WE

93
DEC
As low as $56.99
n/v taittinger brut prestige rose Champagne

The NV Brut Rosé Prestige is a beautiful wine. Sweet, perfumed fruit emerges from this crisp, layered Champagne. Ideally the Brut Rosé Prestige is best enjoyed as an aperitif as the light to medium-bodied frame is likely to be overwhelmed by food. This is truly a lovely effort for such a large property. Disgorged end of May 2008, (not indicated on label)Antonio Galloni | 94 AGDarker color. Lots of fruit and a creamy texture with cooked apples and cherries and strawberry undertones. Medium to full body. Delicious finish that is dry and fruity. Spicy. White pepper. Young strawberry at the end. Drink now.James Suckling | 92 JSThe latest release of Taittinger’s NV Brut Prestige Rosé is showing very well, revealing inviting aromas of red berries, plums, orange zest, crisp orchard fruit and freshly baked bread. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy but incisive, this bottling is based on the Brut Réserve, yet the addition of still red wine—much of which is produced in house—imparts structuring phenolics that complement the wine’s generous core of fruit to great effect. Readers should not that this cuvée’s clear glass makes it vulnerable to light strike, so it’s especially important to buy properly stored bottles.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 91 RPVanilla and red fruit nose. Crisp, refreshing palate with notes of cherry, vanilla, almond, patisserie and a soft mousse.Decanter | 91 DECA fresh rosé Champagne that offers an accessible mix of baked strawberry, toasted almond, candied pink grapefruit peel and spice flavors set on the lively, persistent mousse. Drink now. 65,000 cases made, 1,800 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 90 WSThe current release of Taittinger’s “Prestige Rosé” non-vintage Brut is composed from a blend of seventy percent pinot noir and thirty percent chardonnay, with fifteen percent of the pinot being still red wine from the villages of Ambonnay and Bouzy. This gives the wine its beautiful, deep salmon color. The wine delivers a lovely aromatic constellation of strawberries, rhubarb, chalky soil tones, fresh-baked rye bread and a topnote of rose petals. On the palate the wine is brisk, full-bodied and still quite youthful, with a lovely core, elegant mousse, good mineral drive, a snappy girdle of acidity and a long, nascently complex finish. This is a tad tight out of the blocks, but the wine has a history of blossoming beautifully with just a bit of bottle age and I imagine that by next year, it will be drinking with lovely generosity. (Drink between 2022-2040)John Gilman | 90+ JG

As low as $49.99
n/v moet chandon brut imperial Champagne

Slightly smoky reductive nose with notes of chalk dust, quince, and wild strawberry. Bright apple freshness on a yeasty, mellow palate and lovely balance with a gentle resonance. Drinking Window 2020 - 2025.Decanter | 91 DECThis is a complex, composed and fresh style with an array of citrus and stone fruit and some tropical notes, as well as bready nuances. The palate has fleshy, supple and fine texture with impressively fresh, peachy flavors. Drink now.James Suckling | 90 JS(roughly 50% Pinot Noir, 35% Pinot Meunier and 15% Chardonnay; 9 g/l dosage; LAIBG): Light, bright yellow. Musky pear and toasty lees on the nose and in the mouth. Fleshy and open-knit, with a hint of bitter lemon pith adding back-end cut. Finishes on a gently smoky note, with very good cling and focus and a hint of bitter quinine. This must be the best example of this bottling that I've had in years, if not decades. In the past the Imperial Brut received a dosage of 12 g/l, but no more; in fact, there's talk that in the near future it may be dropped down as far as 7 g/l.Vinous Media | 90 VMTart red-fruit scents give this a vinous profile, fragrant with cranberry, root vegetables and ginger. It finishes clean, with cool limestone minerality. Cellar this for a year to let the flavors develop further.Wine & Spirits | 90 W&SAttractively poised between softness and crispness, this best-selling Champagne is packed with ripe white fruits that are given a lift by the tight acidity. Its reliability and the increasing dryness and freshness of the wine are exemplary. This bottling is ready to drink.Wine Enthusiast | 90 WEA lively, balanced Champagne, offering a round and accessible mix of juicy tangerine and ripe blackberry fruit flavors underscored by toasted brioche, grated ginger, graphite and spice. A fresh crowd-pleaser. Drink now through 2023.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

As low as $32.99
n/v ruinart rose brut Champagne

(55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay; 9 g/l dosage; LAH9V): Light orange. Sharply focused red berry and tangerine scents are complicated by suggestions of allspice and cinnamon, with a hint of smokiness in the background. Sappy and minerally on the palate, offering fresh strawberry and blood orange flavors lifted by juicy acidity. Packs a serious punch but carries no excess weight and finishes stony and very long, with echoing red berry character.Vinous Media | 92 VM...Sharply focused red berry and tangerine scents are complicated by suggestions of allspice and cinnamon, with a hint of smokiness in the background. Sappy and minerally on the palate, offering fresh strawberry and blood orange flavors lifted by juicy acidity. Packs a serious punch but carries no excess weight and finishes stony and very long, with echoing red berry character.Vinous Media | 92 VMRaspberry and nectarine fruit flavors are ripe and appealing in this elegant rosé Champagne, with a fine, satiny mousse, neatly layered with accents of ground ginger, blanched almond and blood orange pith. Lightly mouthwatering, offering a lingering finish. Drink now through 2021.Wine Spectator | 92 WSA blend of 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay, and featuring around 25% reserve wines, this is 100% premier cru fruit from the Montagne des Reims and Côte des Blancs. Almost a third of the Pinot Noir was vinified as a still wine. A deep coral colour, this is fresh and youthful, with rounded wild red berry fruit, and hint of rose. With some time in the glass, it develops deeper, complex, more exotic notes, leading to a long and lively finish. Dosage: 8g/L. Drinking Window 2021 - 2026.Decanter | 92 DECStrawberry and pomegranate-infused yeasty autolysis aromas with freshly baked pastry and fresh bready notes. The palate has ripe peach fruits, strawberries and some hints of pink grapefruit. Sweetness, richness and a lively acid kick. Berry pie finish. Drink now.James Suckling | 92 JS(NV Dom Ruinart Brut Rosé NV (Reims)) The new release of non-vintage Dom Ruinart Brut Rosé is really a beautiful color, with cherry highlights in its deep salmon most inviting. The cépages is forty-five percent chardonnay and fifty-five percent pinot noir, with the wine going through full malo and finished with a dosage of nine grams per liter. I do not know what percentage of the pinot noir in the blend is still wine. The nose is really first class, wafting from the glass in a deep and complex blend of cherries, blood orange, rye bread, complex soil tones, a touch of cinnamon stick, orange peel and rose petals in the upper register. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and solid at the core, with fine focus and grip, lovely balance, elegant mousse and a long, classy finish. Good juice that should be even better with a few years’ worth of bottle age. (Drink between 2016-2035).John Gilman | 91+ JGIn the generous style that is Ruinart, the wine is full with red fruits that are mouthfilling and rich. At the same time, there is a crisp streak of mineral texture that cuts through the wine to give a bright aftertaste. Drink this beautifully balanced Champagne now.Wine Enthusiast | 91 WE

92
VM
As low as $99.00
n/v charles de fere brut rose Champagne
90+
SP
As low as $14.99
2005 taittinger comtes de champagne rose Champagne (Rose)

(Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Brut Rosé (Reims)) The 2005 Comtes de Champagne Brut Rosé from Champagne Taittinger is a blend of seventy percent pinot noir and thirty percent chardonnay, with fifteen percent of the pinot being red still wine from Bouzy fruit. All of the fruit for this bottling hails from grand cru villages and is first-press. The wine offers up a deep and utterly superb aromatic constellation of strawberries, blood orange, rye toast, complex, chalky soil tones, plenty of smokiness, a touch of orange zest and lovely spice tones in the upper register, with notes of cumin and clove predominant. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and seamlessly balanced, with a great core, superb complexity, bright acids, superb mousse and great length and grip on the crisp and nascently complex finish. This is still very early days for the 2005 Comtes Rosé, and though it is very easy to drink today, it will be even better with four or five more years of bottle age. Another absolutely brilliant Comtes Rosé from Taittinger. (Drink between 2015-2040)John Gilman | 95+ JGLightly toasty and creamy in texture, this graceful rosé offers a firm backbone of acidity and rich flavors of raspberry coulis, dried strawberry, mille-feuille and graphite. Drink now through 2022. 250 cases imported. — ANWine Spectator | 93 WSThe 2005 Comtes de Champagne Rosé is a wine of contrasts. At first rich and vinous on the palate, the 2005 turns more delicate with time in the glass as its silkier and floral qualities become more evident. Sweet red berry and spice notes linger on the delicate finish.Antonio Galloni | 93 AGThe Taittinger 2005 Brut Rose Comtes de Champagne exhibits a delectable nose of fraise du bois, red raspberry and maraschino discreetly complemented by anise, vanilla, and Ceylon tea. Silken in feel and with exceptionally fine and at once stimulating and caressing mousse, this finishes with luscious abundance of juicy fresh red berries supported by appropriate sweetness, hints of fine, tea-like tannins, crunchy berry seeds, chalk and toasted almond serving for satisfying counterpoint. It should prove rewarding to follow for several years, but don’t miss out on its youthful pleasures!Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92 RP

93
WS
As low as $319.00
2006 taittinger comtes de champagne Champagne

We started with the 2006 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, which is every bit as racy and seductive as it has always been. It’s a great, great vintage for Comtes.Vinous Media | 98 VMTasted almost two years after disgorgement, the 2006 Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs shows a beautiful golden-citrus color and opens with a fascinating intense, floral, slightly reductive nose that develops enormously in the glass, offering lemon and lemon confit aromas along with flinty notes of crushed chalk and the iodine flavors of the Atlantic Ocean. This is an utterly complex and promising bouquet! The palate is terribly fresh but also rich, lush and intense, with the purity of the finest wines of the Côte de Blancs, the concentration of perfectly ripe Chardonnay and the suppleness of 2006. This has impeccable balance paired with high tension. The wine is very tight and still seems to be on its way right now. Although there is a first hint of aromatic ripeness, this should be a great Comtes de Champagne in a couple of years. The finish is tensioned, concentrated and mineral but keeps its talents in an almost bursting bubble. Disgorged September 2016; tasted May 2018 (lot L6316UM13600).Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPThis is settling into a deeper presence. It has a freshness that really appeals, along with Taittinger’s signature toasty layer of autolysis, grilled nuts and praline. Plenty of flesh and weight on the palate. Acidity clasps ripe peach and mango fruits, finishing long, powerful and fine. Drink now.James Suckling | 96 JS(Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Brut (Reims)) The 2006 vintage of Taittinger’s iconic Comtes de Champagne bottling is a beautifully refined example of the vintage, offering up a pure and vibrant bouquet of apple, pear, brioche, complex, chalky soil tones, hazelnut, a touch of orange zest, white flowers and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and supremely elegant in profile, with outstanding mid-palate intensity, utterly refined mousse, bright acids and laser-like focus on the very long, nascently complex finish. Whereas many examples from the 2006 vintage are drinking very well at age ten, it is still very early days for this outstanding Comtes de Champagne and this wine will not peak for at least another decade, though it is already very, very easy to drink! I would be inclined to let it hibernate in the cellar for at least another five years, just to allow its secondary layers of complexity to start to emerge. (Drink between 2021-2060)John Gilman | 96 JGA cold winter and scattered frost were followed by a hot, dry July. August rains cleared in time for the two weeks of dry, warm weather before a harvest in near-perfect conditions from 11 September. The Comtes is softly rich and lush, with an elegant, approachable ripe apple fruit, a hint of buttered toast and a firm mineral underpinning. Although the texture is somewhat soft, this wine has plenty of extract and potential for ageing.Decanter | 95 DECTaittinger’s prestige cuvée epitomizes the Chardonnay predilection of this producer. This now-mature bottling is elegant and very stylish. Toast and a soft texture combine with great complexity to reveal a wine that is poised and ready to drink. But with the acidity in the background, it could still age, so drink now and until 2022.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEA vivacious Champagne, with fine integration of the racy acidity and chalky bead, rich mineral character and creamy palate of glazed apricot, ground anise, biscuit and passion fruit flavors. Offers a firm, focused finish. Drink now through 2030. 500 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 94 WSIn much the same fashion as the ’06 Rosé this is aromatically quite restrained with notably cool and elegant aromas that speak of citrus, floral, yeast and green apple nuances. The wonderfully refined mouth feel is enhanced by the beautifully fine effervescence that shapes the medium weight flavors that culminate in crisp, intense and gorgeously complex and persistent finish. This is not only a terrific effort but it’s an amazingly good 2006 as there are no exotic hints plus it offers exceptionally good verve. While this could certainly be enjoyed now I would be inclined to hold it for at least another 3 years and 5 will probably be the sweet spot.Burghound | 94 BH

98
VM
As low as $175.00
2008 louis roederer cristal Champagne

Disgorged October 2016 and will be the first Cristal to be released ten years from harvest when it is offered in 2018. 35 parcels used from a possible 45 in this vintage. The assemblage is 60% pinot noir and 40% chardonnay. This is so fresh and tense and mineral with extremely exuberant chardonnay notes on the nose of white peach, lemon and yellow grapefruit, and hints of almost brambly sous bois aromas. The yeast characters are also super fresh, and there are subtle woody notes, with a hint of vanilla bean and light spices. The palate is super long, and very pure, powerful and focused. It drives deep and taut. Pinot noir is a strong core and the chardonnay sits at the edge offering lemon and white nectarine sorbet flavors. Staggeringly concentrated, yet the balance makes it seem airy and light. Acidity is perfectly positioned, and the power is intense and long. This is an ultra precise Cristal, finishing with a mere suggestion of savoriness and warmth to come. Impressive on release, this will be at its best drinking from 2025.James Suckling | 100 JSThis latest incarnation of the famous brand is a superb wine. It is on par with, maybe even better than, the already legendary 2002. Its balance is impeccable: Apple and citrus flavors working with the tight minerality to give a textured yet fruity wine. Produced from Roederer’s own vineyards which are mainly biodynamic, the wine has its own intense purity and crispness. It has amazing potential and is likely to age for many years. Drink from 2020.Wine Enthusiast | 100 WEThe 2008 Cristal is a perfect wine, and Champagne simple does not get any better. This incredible wine offers a beautiful perfume of clean, crisp fruits, layers of complexity in its toasted spice and white flowers, and an utterly seamless, yet powerful style on the palate. This is a rich, decadent expression of Cristal yet it’s still crystalline and elegant, with no sensation of weight, and it just glides over the palate. Haut Couture at its finest and this majestic, profound, legendary Cristal can be drunk anytime over the coming 2-3 decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JD(Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Millésime (Reims)) As I mentioned in my feature on Maison Louis Roederer a couple of years ago, the 2008 Cristal was the first vintage here to spend fully ten years in the cellars in Reims prior to release. It is a great, great vintage of Cristal and I was very much looking forward to revisiting it this past November, as it is now due for its re-release from the maison. Readers may recall that this is the “rare bird” of Cristal vintages that included some vins clairs that went through malo, as about sixteen percent of the blend underwent its secondary fermentation prior to blending and bottling for aging sur lattes. The wine is brilliant on both the nose and palate, with time not really seeming to have touched it much since I last tasted a bottle. The bouquet is deep, complex and still properly youthful in personality, wafting from the glass in a fine blend of apple, pear, a touch of fresh almond, complex, chalky minerality, incipient notes of caraway seed, citrus peel and lovely floral tones in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and still fairly primary, with a rock solid core, lovely cut and grip, laser-like focus, refined mousse and a very, very long, very pure and still quite youthful finish. As I have noted in the past, twenty percent of the vins clairs for the 2008 Cristal were barrel-fermented and the wine was finished with a dosage of 7.5 grams per liter. It was disgorged in September of 2017. (Drink between 2030-2095)John Gilman | 99 JGThe 2008 vintage in Champagne is one of the most interesting of the last decade, and Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon has made an outstanding Cristal. It’s a blend of Pinot Noir (60%) and Chardonnay (40%) from 36 plots in Grand Cru terroirs, with a dosage of 7.5 g/l. Fresh, delicate and lively, the bouquet is complex and shows elegant aromas of citrus, flowers, mirabelle and spices. The palate is chiseled and precise, with a powerful mid-palate and plenty of freshness supported by a chalky and saline finish.Decanter | 99 DECThe 2008 Cristal is one of the most complete, most dazzling Champagnes I have ever tasted. A stunning wine from any and all perspectives, the 2008 simply has it all. Spherical in construction, with superb persistence. The 2008 takes hold of all the senses and never gives up. One of the many things that makes the 2008 special is a combination of ripe fruit and bright, piercing acidity. Marzipan, lemon confit, dried flowers and orchard fruit all build into the explosive, resonant finish. “We learned from the mistakes of 1996, when we picked more on acid than ripeness, as was the norm in Champagne back then” Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon told me recently. “In 1996, the best fruit turned out to be the last picks, where the fruit was physiologically ripe. Today, we aim to pick all our fruit with that criteria.”Antonio Galloni | 99 AGDisgorged in September 2017 with 7.5 grams per liter dosage, the 2008 Cristal was produced from 37 of the 45 parcels that are candidates for inclusion in this cuvée—some 40% of which were farmed organically back in 2008—and it’s a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. The finest young Cristal in decades, the wine wafts from the glass with a pure and vibrant bouquet of crisp orchard fruit, clear honey, warm brioche, citrus zest and white flowers. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, intense and incisive, with superb concentration, racy acids and a long, searingly chalky finish. Pristinely balanced, there are some 500,000 bottles of this legend-in-the-making.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98 RPThere’s a sense of focus and vibrancy to the overall structure, while the palate is all grace and charm. A fine, lacy texture carries a tapestry of ripe white cherry, toast point, blood orange zest, honey and ground ginger notes, with a minerally, mouthwatering finish. A stunning Champagne with a long future ahead of it. Drink now through 2033.Wine Spectator | 97 WS(Louis Roederer Brut - Cristal Champagne/Sparkling) An ultra-elegant, pure and already highly complex nose speaks of yeast, brioche, Meyer lemon, quinine and green apple. There is equally excellent depth to the utterly delicious and highly sophisticated flavors where the supporting effervescence is very firm yet quite fine while the strikingly long if compact finish makes it crystal clear (pun intended) that this beauty is definitely built for the long haul. I was very impressed with this though with that said, I would observe that it’s presently so firm that at least another 5 years of cellaring will be necessary before this begins to unwind. In a word, excellent. (Drink starting 2028)Burghound | 95 BH

100
JD
As low as $1,299.00
n/v charles heidsieck brut reserve Champagne

One of the best value grandes marques on the market, a blend of 60 crus, with roughly a third each of Pinot Noir, Meunier and Chardonnay, vinified individually by cru and variety, in stainless steel. Compared to other grandes marques, it is high (40%) in reserve wines, averaging 10 years old and dating back to 1990. Quite a floral style with lemon sherbet intensity and bready, leesy characters. It has great concentration and complexity, with a lovely grip of acidity on the finish. Drinking Window 2020 - 2025.Decanter | 93 DEC(NV Charles Heidsieck “Brut Réserve” NV (Reims)) The new release of Charles Heidsieck noon-vintage “Brut Réserve” is a blend of one-third each chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier- for the base year wines, which hail from 2008. However, forty percent of the cuvée is made up of reserve wines, with these being an equal blend of chardonnay and pinot noir, as the maison does not hold back meunier for its reserves. The wine spent eight years aging sur latte and was finished with a dosage of eleven grams per liter after its disgorgement in 2017. The wine is absolutely superb and clearly one of the best bargains out there in the world of non-vintage Brut from the Grandes Marques, as it offers up a pure and complex nose of pear, white peach, brioche, a touch of fresh almond, complex, chalky soil tones and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and refined, with excellent mid-palate depth, frothy mousse, lovely acidity and grip and a very long, complex and classy finish. This is terrific bubbly. (Drink between 2018-2045)John Gilman | 93 JGFresh and fruity while also rich and full in the mouth, this is a superbly balanced nonvintage selection. It is not quite dry with its apple and citrus fruits both given some softness. Disgorged in 2012, it already has two years bottle age that has rounded out the wine. Drink now.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WEThis vibrant version shows a range of toasted brioche, baked cherry, crystalized honey, grated ginger and coconut flavors, remaining light-footed and lively throughout. Beautifully balanced, with a lasting, mouthwatering finish.Wine Spectator | 93 WSBased on the 2014 vintage, complemented by fully 40% old reserve wines, the new release of Charles Heidsieck's NV Brut Réserve was disgorged earlier this year. It's showing very well, opening up in the glass with notes of green apple, dried white flowers, pear, candied peel and walnuts. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, with a textural attack and a racier, tighter-knit core than either the 2012- or 2010-base renditions, displaying good concentration and underlying richness. This is a bottling that continues to punch above its weight and which both merits and rewards a few years in the cellar before opening.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92+ RPThis offers big house complexity in terms of toasty reductive warmth on the nose, as well as an array of grilled peach, praline and wild red berries. The palate has assertive flavorsome appeal, delivered in a well-crafted style. Fresh berries and stone fruits rule the finish. Drink now.James Suckling | 92 JS

93
DEC
As low as $54.99
2008 bollinger grande annee Champagne

The 2008 La Grande Année is another brilliant 2008 that delivers the goods. Straight-up awesome notes of stone fruits, white flowers, honeysuckle, and an incredible, liquid rock-like minerality all emerge from the glass, and it develops more nuance, spice, toasted bread, and an almost Alsatian Riesling-like petrol character over the course of the evening. It’s a full-bodied, rich, powerful Champagne, yet like the top 2008s, it has brilliant precision, purity, and focus. It’s unquestionably one of the finest versions of this cuvée ever produced, although it needs another 4-5 years of bottle age to hit prime time. It should keep for 3-4 decades. Bravo!Jeb Dunnuck | 99 JDBollinger’s 2008 La Grande Année is superb, wafting from the glass with aromas of crisp orchard fruit, ripe lemons, honeycomb, warm biscuits, dried white flowers and a delicate top note of walnuts and fino sherry. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, broad and vinous, with a beautifully refined mousse, superb concentration at the tightly wound core, incisive acids and a supremely elegant intermingling of Bollinger’s oxidative stylistic signatures with fresh, vibrant fruit. The finish is long, precise and chalky. This is a Grande Année built for the cellar—the real excitement will come with a bit more bottle age—but this is already a thrilling Champagne in the making. Finished with eight grams per liter dosage, it was disgorged by hand in July 2018. This is also the first vintage of Grande Année to be bottled in Bollinger’s new narrower-necked 1846 bottle, which should make for a slower evolving wine.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97+ RPBollinger’s 2008 Grande Année is rich, ample and full-bodied, with all of the pedigree of the vintage on display. Dried pear, dried flowers, chamomile, red plum and mint develop as the 2008 shows the breadth and creaminess that are such signatures of the Bollinger house style. A whole range of brighter, more floral and chalky notes appear later, adding translucence and energy. The 2008 is 71% Pinot Noir and 29% Chardonnay taken across 18 crus, and it is the Pinot that very much informs the wine in both flavor and texture. More importantly, the 2008 is one of the best Grande Années I can remember tasting. Bollinger fans won’t want to miss it. Disgorged November 2018. Dosage is 8 grams per liter.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGGilles Descôtes blends this from 18 crus, pinot noir making up 71 percent of the blend (mostly from Aÿ and Verzenay), the balance from chardonnay (focused on Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Cramant). The base wine ferments in oak barrels, adding to this Champagne’s concentrated power. Its dark intensity has the coolness of Bollinger’s deep aging cellars, even as the wine sustains delicate notes of wildflowers, morels and the perfumed grace of pinot noir. Massive and still youthful, the flavors rounded into a sphere, this is a wine to cellar. Vintus, Pleasantville, NYWine & Spirits | 97 W&SEnticing hints of toasted cumin, ground anise and graphite waft from the glass of this harmonious, mouthwatering version, accenting the finely meshed flavors of crushed black currant, poached apricot, grilled nut and lemon curd. The texture shows a lovely viscosity, extending the flavor range, which expands on the lasting finish. Disgorged June 2018. Drink now through 2033. 833 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 96 WSPinot Noir, mainly from Aÿ and Verzenay, dominates the blend here (71%). Only the free-run juice is used for the fermentation in cask. After ageing under cork for more than nine years, it was disgorged with a dosage of 8g/L. The impression is youthful and fresh, with bright apple and spice notes and a hint of buttered toast. The texture is creamy and dense but very lively and very long. This is superb wine that will age for decades to come. (Drink between 2021-2041)Decanter | 96 DECA wonderfully elegant, pure and airy nose is beautifully layered with its pretty array of green apple, pear, white flower, rose petal, yeast and plenty of citrus elements. The elegance continues on the racy and intense flavors that are supported by a very fine mousse that imparts a lilting mouth feel to the notably dry, crisp and strikingly complex finale. This is an absolute knockout and a wine that should age for a very long time but because the complexity is so impressive, it could actually be enjoyed now. Even so, I will stash my bottles away for at least another 4 to 5 years.Burghound | 95 BHThis is the producer’s equivalent of a Vintage Champagne. Fermented and aged in wood and then kept for nine years before release, this wine comes from an exceptional vintage that manages to combine ripe fruit and acidity, meaning the wine can age extraordinarily well. Although the wine is just ready, it will be much better from 2022 and for many years after.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WE

99
JD
As low as $259.00
2007 taittinger comtes de champagne Champagne

This is a step up from the linear and fresh 2006. It shows subtle depth and power with a dense block of vivid fruit that's highlighted with lemon zest, green apples and hints of white peaches. Just the right amount of praline and nuts on the nose. Fine and tight bead give the Champagne a luxurious mouthfeel. One for now or the cellar. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 98 JSAlways one of the great Champagnes, this comes from a year that is generally regarded as good but not great. And yet, with this Champagne is magnificent. The wine has some good bottle age, hinting at toast while also keeping the tight, mineral edge of a great wine from the Côte des Blancs. Drink from 2020.Wine Enthusiast | 97 WEThe 2007 Comtes de Champagne is an astonishing Champagne. With aromas of dried flowers, chamomile and plenty of freshness, the bouquet is complex and dense. The fine and pure texture on the palate is supported by a chalk and iodine finish.Decanter | 96 DEC(Taittinger “Comtes de Champagne” Blanc de Blancs Brut Millésime (Reims)) The new vintage of Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is the 2007 and the wine is simply outstanding. The bouquet is deep, pure and very precise in its constellation of apple, pear, lemon zest, chalky minerality, incipient notes of crème patissière, a bit of fresh almond and a topnote of white lilies. On the palate the wine is brisk, youthful, full-bodied and laser-like in its focus, with a great core of fruit, superb mineral drive, utterly refined mousse, nascent complexity and stunning length and grip on the still very young finish. As is proper for the vintage differences, the 2007 Comtes is quite a bit more youthful out of the blocks than the very fine 2006 version was, but in the long run, this seems likely to be every bit as impressive with a bit more bottle age. (Drink between 2022-2065)John Gilman | 96 JGTaittinger's 2007 Comtes de Champagne will be nearly impossible to resist upon release. Soaring aromatics, mid-weight structure and soft contours give the 2007 its alluring personality. Lemon oil, white flowers, mint, chamomile and green pear add brightness and freshness throughout, with a persistent, clean finish that makes it impossible to resist a second taste. Today, the 2007 comes across as a slightly more open version of the 2004, with freshness that makes that wine so appealing, and a touch of textural richness that recalls the 2002. Although the 2007 does not have the explosive energy or verticality of the profound 2006, it will drink better earlier. The 2007 has been positively brilliant on the three occasions I have tasted it so far.Vinous Media | 96 VMThe 2007 Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne continues to show very well, and it hasn't evolved appreciably since I last tasted it a few months ago. Revealing a pretty bouquet of lemon oil, lily pollen, dried white flowers, blanched almonds and crushed chalk, it's medium to full-bodied, chiseled and tensile, with excellent depth at the core, racy acids and a pure, precise and notably chalky finish. Tight-knit without being austere, it's a very classically balanced middleweight Comtes that has a long future ahead of it.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPAn intriguing 2007, this is 100% Chardonnay from grand cru sites in the Côte des Blancs, a small portion aged in oak barrels, the blend then aged ten years on the lees. Over that time, it developed mature tones of bottle age that add to its vibrant freshness. It’s a grand wine with floral notes of beeswax and nutty tones of yeast autolysis. Age it to let the inherent opulence develop.Wine & Spirits | 94 W&S(Taittinger Brut - Blanc de Blancs Villages Champagne/Sparkling) A relatively restrained nose reflects notes of cool petrol, green apple, citrus rind, white flower and a hint of yeast character. The beautifully refined and equally restrained middle weight flavors possess a really lovely mouth feel, indeed it's almost delicate thanks to the very fine mousse though I was a bit surprised to find a vague hint of sweetness on the nicely complex finish. This is certainly very pretty and I particularly like the mouth feel but I am partial to drier Champagnes and this, good as it is, isn't quite as crisp as I would prefer. I would further observe that this is at an inflection point in terms of its maturity and thus could easily be enjoyed now, or if you favor more obvious secondary influence, it could be held for another 5 to 8 years with no trouble. (Drink starting 2018)Burghound | 93 BHElegant and toasty, with a firm backbone of acidity structuring the brioche, lemon zest, poached apricot and spun honey flavors as they ride the lacy bead. Grated ginger and chalk notes detail the lively finish. Drink now through 2028. 20,000 cases made, 1,250 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

98
JS
As low as $179.00
2002 bollinger grande annee Champagne

A stunning edition of one of the great vintage Champagnes that sees immense power and freshness carry the inherent complexity that is the cornerstone of the Bollinger style. Lemon rind, chalk, lime juice and light-grilled nuts here, this has terrific freshness and fragrant lift, gently sweet biscuity complexity here too. The palate’s crisp, powerful, assertive and long, delivering a wealth of apple, melon and citrus fruit flavour amid lemon biscuit, almond nougat and a jousting savoury vs. cleansing finish. It’s superb now, but will grow and develop handsomely for some years if well cellared. Drink from 2016.James Suckling | 97 JSThe 2002 Brut La Grande Annee is marvelous. The 2002 is an understated Grande Annee that caresses the palate with layers of effortless, weightless fruit. The mousse is exceptionally fine, which adds to the impression of total elegance. This is a relatively bright, floral Grande Annee with plenty of aromatic lift, inner perfume and no sense of heaviness at all. A rich, creamy finish adds the final note of complexity and pedigree. The 2002 is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, 71% from Grand Cru villages and 29% from Premier Crus. Disgorged February 2011. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022.Robert Parker | 94 RP(60% pint noir and 40% chardonnay; 71% of the fruit is from grand cru sites and rest from premier crus; disgorged February, 2011): Light gold. Ripe pear and honey on the explosively perfumed nose, with sexy floral and marzipan nuances expanding with air. Fat, full and palate-coating, boasting impressive power and thrust. Shows an intriguing blend of richness and energy and finishes long, with smoky and spicy nuances.Vinous Media | 94 VMRipe, appealing flavors of peach, Gala apple, toast and blood orange mix with a streak of minerality and notes of spice, all set on the fine-grained texture. Fresh and focused, with racy acidity and a long, mouthwatering, nut-tinged finish. Drink now through 2025. 1,000 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 94 WSIn contrast to the heightened expressiveness of the 2004 Grande Année Rosé this is actually quite restrained with discreet notes of green apple, pear and citrus peel. The delicious, intense and voluminous flavors enjoy a prominent effervescence that is almost foamy yet the bead is strikingly fine, all wrapped in a distinctly yeasty, dry and admirably complex finish that goes on and on. This too could be enjoyed now or held for a number of years to come depending on how much yeast character you like.Burghound | 93 BH(Bollinger Grande Année Brut Millésime (Aÿ) The 2002 Bollinger Grande Année is a lovely wine that is drinking very well today and shows plenty of structural integrity to keep on cruising at this fine level for another fifteen years or more. The bouquet wafts from the glass in a mature blend of apple, peach, lovely soil tones, a touch of honeycomb, warm biscuits and a fair bit of smokiness in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and beautifully balanced, with a fine core, elegant mousse, crisp acids and lovely length and grip on the wide open and classy finish. (Drink between 2015-2030)John Gilman | 93 JG

96
DEC
As low as $529.00
2008 moet chandon dom perignon (lenny kravitz labels) Champagne

The 2008 Dom Pérignon is the first time the estate has released a wine out of order (the 2009 was released before the 2008) but the estate loved the wine so much they felt it warranted additional aging. This is a rich, powerful wine that still shows incredible purity and elegance, with a stacked, concentrated feel on the palate. It’s rare to find such a mix of ripe, pure, concentrated fruit paired with this level of purity, focus, and precision. This is a legendary Dom that surpasses all the great vintages of Dom I have experience with, including the 1990, 1996, and 2002.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDThe best Dom since 2002. A vintage with very restrained, powerful style that has been released non-sequentially after the 2009. This has a lighter stamp of highly curated, autolytic, toasty aromas than many recent releases. Instead, this delivers super fresh and intense aromas of lemons, grapefruit and blood-orange peel. Incredible freshness here. The palate has a very smoothly delivered, berry-pastry thread with light, sweet spices, stone fruit and fine citrus fruit. This really delivers.James Suckling | 98 JSThe 2008 Dom Pérignon is once again stunning. More than anything else, I am surprised by how well the 2008 drinks given all the tension and energy it holds. Then again, that is precisely what makes 2008 such a unique vintage – namely that the best wines are so chiseled and yet not at all austere. Lemon peel, almond, mint, smoke and crushed rocks are all finely sculpted, but it is the wine’s textural feel, drive and persistence that elevate it into the realm of the sublime. The 2008 will be even better with time in the cellar, but it is absolutely phenomenal even today, in the early going. Three recent bottles have all been nothing short of magnificent.Vinous Media | 98 VM(Dom Pérignon Brut Millésime (Épernay)) I had not tasted a bottle of the 2008 vintage of Dom Pérignon since my interview with Richard Geoffroy at the abbey in Hautvillers just a few months before Monsieur Geoffroy retired. I was very happy to see it generously added by John Chapman to our lineup for the second Vega Sicilia vertical that I reported on in the previous issue, as it is a wine of the same superb quality as all those great old Únicos. As I noted in my feature on Dom Pérignon, the 2008 is an absolutely classic vintage for this wine, which means it is structured, structured, structured, and at twelve years of age, still an absolute infant! The primary bouquet offers up a promising blend of apple, lime peel, menthol, superb minerality, a touch of young DP botanicals and tons of upper register smokiness. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with brisk acids, refined mousse, bruising backend mineral drive and a very long, very pure and seamlessly balanced finish. I scored this a touch lower than the bottle in Hautvillers, but I suspect that this is just the result of context and the wine has not lost any of its luster- it has only hidden its essence even further behind its electric girdle of acidity. This is years away from its apogee, but has utterly brilliant potential. (Drink between 2030-2075).John Gilman | 96+ JGDeparting chef de caves Richard Geoffroy says that 2008 is his best DP vintage since 1990. The first half of the growing season was dull and sunless, but good weather returned in mid-September and led to one of the longest harvests, running into October. The summer provided ideal conditions for a classic, cool, maritime vintage of exceptional, subtle aromas with minerality and freshness. This has a vibrant but controlled acidity, and is above all a memorable symbiosis of mature fruit and salinity derived from top terroirs. The poised mouthfeel makes this a perfect gastronomic wine, strong enough for spicy Asian cuisine from the Pacific rim, but still compatible with classics such as roast turbot and lobster.Decanter | 96 DECThere’s power to this graceful Champagne, with the vivid acidity swathed in a fine, creamy mousse and flavors of toasted brioche, kumquat, pastry cream, candied ginger and poached plum that dance across the palate. An underpinning of smoky mineral gains momentum on the lasting finish.Wine Spectator | 96 WSThe 2008 Dom Pérignon continues to show very well, offering up a pretty bouquet of Anjou pear, fresh peach, citrus oil, fresh pastry, smoke and iodine. On the palate, it's full-bodied, lively and incisive, with an elegantly textural attack and a creamy core of fruit that's underpinned by a bright but nicely integrated spine of acidity. The finish is long, saline and well-defined. As I wrote earlier this year, this is the finest Dom Pérignon since 1996, Richard Geoffroy's push for additional ripeness working well with the late-maturing, high-acid vintage. While it can be appreciated young, the 2008 will really start to blossom with five or six years of bottle age.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95+ RP

98+
VM
As low as $315.00
2008 pierre gimonnet et fils millesime de collection special club blanc de blancs Champagne

There is an inherent subjectivity in the pricing of wine that rarely sees a prestige cuvée of the utmost finesse and enduring stamina hit the ground at a jaw-droppingly affordable price. This is the epitome of the precision of Gimonnet: beach-fresh, youthful, introverted and tightly coiled. Pure, adroit 2008 acid propels an incredible finish that splashes long and strong with frothy, salty chalk minerality. A cuvée of effortless poise, unmitigated drive and breathtaking fidelity. Drinking Window 2028 - 2048Decanter | 97 DECReleased only in magnum, the 2008 Brut Millésime de Collection Vieilles Vignes is the same wine as Gimonnet's Special Club, bit it sees more than 10 years sur lattes before disgorgement. Unwinding in the glass with a deep and complex bouquet of pear, green apple, citrus zest, oyster shell, smoke and pastry cream, it's full-bodied, chalky and incisive, with terrific depth at the core, promising reserve and a long, resonant finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPOne of the many highlights in this range, the 2008 Brut Millésime de Collection Special Club boasts tremendous depth and overall intensity. Here it is the interplay of crystalline Cramant Chardonnay with layers of deep, explosive fruit that is absolutely captivating. A vertical sense of structure gives the wine its spine and sense of direction. Still quite young, the 2008 could use a few more years in bottle. Still, it is stellar today. Fruit sources are 57% Cramant, 29% Chouilly, 12.5% Cuis and 1.5% Vertus. Dosage is 4.5 grams/liter. Disgorged: March 2015.Vinous Media | 94 VMA beautiful wine, this has fresh acidity, crisp fruits and zesty mineral texture. Apples, citrus and hints of apricots are all there along with an intense tangy character that bursts in the mouth. It's still so young and needs to age; drink from 2018 at the earliest. The Special Club is a group of growers who rate and taste each other's wines before release.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEA layered and intense Champagne with pie crust and lemons. Decadent and beautiful. Full and rich. An opulent and delicious style. Drink now.James Suckling | 93 JSHints of toasted brioche and roasted nut enrich baked plum, orchard blossom, chalk and lemon curd flavors in this well-knit Champagne, with a satiny mousse. Bright and lively through to the zesty finish. Disgorged March 2015. Drink now through 2025. 30 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

97
DEC
As low as $135.00
2006 piper-heidsieck cuvee rare Champagne

The flagship release is the 2006 Champagne Rare, a 70/30 split of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that’s a cellar selection from 8 different Grand Cru vineyards. Tight, backward, and straight-up structured, it offers brilliant notes of stone fruits, toasted brioche, white flowers, and obvious minerality. Needing plenty of air to show at its best, this beauty has a wonderful mid-palate, a racy mousse, and the balance and class to cruise for over two decades in cool cellars.Jeb Dunnuck | 97+ JDAromas and flavors of toasted brioche and grilled nut enrich the yellow plum, nectarine and grated ginger notes of this rich and creamy Champagne. Finely woven and beautifully integrated, with a firm backbone of mouthwatering acidity providing precise balance for the lush range of flavor. Drink now through 2029. 14,000 cases made, 1,800 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 96 WSPiper-Heidsieck’s luxury cuvée with its beautifully decorated bottle is a well-matured blend of mainly Chardonnay with some Pinot Noir. Great drive and energy comes from the ripe fruit with its hints of almonds and toast. Drink this wine now.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEThe 2006 Brut Cuvée Rare is a rich, gourmand rendition of this prestige bottling, unfurling in the glass with a complex bouquet that mingles aromas of yellow orchard fruit, pears and fresh pineapple with nuances of buttered toast, iodine and smoke. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, broad and textural, while remaining fresh and surprisingly tight-knit at the core, concluding with a long and saline finish. There’s sufficient structural tension here to promise more than a decade’s graceful evolution, and although this is nicely balanced, it’s a generous, sun kissed rendition of the Cuvée Rare that reflects the warm vintage. The blend is 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RPPiper-Hiedsieck’s 2006 Cuvée Rare is racy and polished to the core. Baked apple tart, apricot, lemon confit, vanillin and brioche infuse the 2006 with striking aromatic intensity and creaminess that builds with time in the glass. Sumptuous and forward, the 2006 offers tons of near and medium-term appeal.Antonio Galloni | 93 AGCellar master Régis Camus sums up each vintage at this tasting with a single word or phrase. In 2006, ‘sunny’ is the word, reflecting both the warm and sometime humid summer conditions, and also the style of the wine: bold and generous. It has a golden hue and seductive aromas of nutmeg, quince and tropical fruit such as mango and kiwi. He describes it as a vintage ‘gorged with the sun’, going on to outline the ‘ping-pong’ match of the palate which glides effortlessly between generosity of texture and freshness. Opulence abounds. Drinking Window 2019 - 2026.Decanter | 91 DEC

98
DEC
As low as $579.00
N/V Taittinger Brut La Francaise
As low as $34.99
2007 bollinger grande annee rose Champagne

Fragrant, with notes of chalk and spring blossom on the nose, this fresh and focused version offers a finely detailed, lacy palate of white raspberry, peach skin, toast and candied ginger flavors. Long and creamy on the spice- and smoke-laced finish. Disgorged November 2016. Drink now through 2030. 99 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 95 WSHoney and roses with fresh almonds and an array of dried berries, amid deep, rich, toasted-nut, autolysis character. The palate has a bold array of rich, concentrated berry flavors in a fresh core, surrounded by a warming wrap of grilled hazelnuts. Roasted coffee to close. Terrific complexity. Drink now.James Suckling | 95 JSContaining some 6% red wine from Bollinger’s La Côte aux Enfants vineyard, the 2007 La Grande Année Rosé offers up a complex bouquet of dried orange peel, walnuts, confit lemon and crisp orchard fruit. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, chalky and structured, with bright acids and a more overtly phenolic chassis than its white counterpart, concluding with a long, delicately nutty finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RPThe age shows in the onion-skin color of this wine. On the palate it reveals itself in the sort of toastiness for which this producer is famed. The fruit is ripe, still hinting at red berries while moving much more to spice, almonds and mature acidity. Drink this remarkable wine now.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WE(Bollinger “Grande Année” Brut Rosé Millésime) The 205 Bollinger “Grande Année” Brut Rosé is an excellent wine and is drinking very well indeed, with a vibrancy on the nose and backend energy that is most impressive. The bouquet offers up a fine combination of tangerine, wild strawberries, wheat toast, chalky minerality and a topnote of dried flowers. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and zesty, with a very suave attack, a lovely core, elegant mousse and a long, refined and bouncy finish of impressive complexity and delineation. Fine, fine juice. (Drink between 2018-2035)John Gilman | 93 JGThis gains its light pink color from six percent of still pinot noir wine from Bollinger’s Côte aux Enfants vineyard. It’s tight, austere and tannic, still youthfully inaccessible at more than ten years of age. The scents of red apple skin, hibiscus and sage complement the red fruit, adding spicy intensity that lasts on the breath. Built to cellar. Vintus, Pleasantville, NYWine & Spirits | 93 W&SMade entirely in barrels, the 2007 rosé includes 6% red wine from the Côtes aux Enfants. With notes of redcurrant, mint and spring flowers, the bouquet is lively, energetic and subtle. The palate is moderately dense, well-defined and fresh. It’s beautifully balanced and calls for a carpaccio of raw salmon.Decanter | 92 DEC(Bollinger Brut - La Grande Année Rosé Rosé) A restrained, cool and relatively high-toned nose features notes of raspberry, cherry, strawberry, yeast and a hint of quinine. There is an equal sense of restraint to the almost delicate middle weight flavors that possess good energy thanks to the firm but fine mousse that also suffuses the delicious, clean, dry and crisp finale. This is certainly a very pretty effort but it doesn’t have a lot to say in terms of complexity, at least not at present, and as such I would be inclined to allow this to slumber for another 3 to 5 years. (Drink starting 2022).Burghound | 90 BH

97
DEC
As low as $349.00
2004 krug Champagne

Combining subtleness with complexity, the coolish Krug 2004 Brut opens with a highly elegant, fascinatingly clear, bright and refreshing bouquet of ripe (apple) fruits. Dense and round, with a delicate mineral soul, the pure but perfectly balanced 2004 reveals great finesse and weightless elegance with a long and round finish. This is a gorgeous Krug vintage that is 14 years old but still on the rise. Tasted from ID 316034 in New York in November 2018.At the beginning of November 2018 I met Olivier Krug early on a Friday morning (even before breakfast) in New York’s beautiful Simon & The Whale hotel. If you get the chance to have some Krug cuvées, you will not miss your breakfast too, I suppose. Olivier insisted on naming the 166th edition of the Krug Grande Cuvée as "166ème Édition" and not as "Number 166" or just "Krug 166." Olivier said that "the cuvée represents the history of Krug and is the result of blending potentially 250 base wines from a time span of 20 or 25 years." He also doesn’t like to speak of the 2004 as a vintage Champagne or of the two Clos as single-vineyard wines. "Single-vineyard wines are not our objective, nor are vintage Champagnes," he explains. "We produce Krug, and only the repeated blind tastings of all our 250 or so base wines by five to seven tasters decides which cuvées we are going to produce. If the vintage doesn’t reflect the soul of the vintage, we will not produce it. If we don’t detect the extraordinary quality and singularity of the one or the other Clos, we will not produce it. The two Clos exist because of Krug. There wouldn’t be any Clos without Krug," Olivier added, underlining that there is no hierarchy in the Krug offerings. The tastings of the 2004 vins clairs, however, crystallized the 2004 Brut because it represents the "luminous freshness" of the vintage, as Olivier describes it. Our morning tasting started with the still very young and uneasy or somewhat restless Krug Grande Cuvée 166ème Édition, which was followed by the 2004 Krug. In turn, the 20014 Krug was followed by the outstanding Grande Cuvée 160ème Édition, which is predominantly based on the 2004 harvest and shows the complexity of the cuvée combined with the purity and freshness of the 2004 vintage. Krug fans should download the Krug App, as it includes detailed information about the cuvée, the vintage and the blending partners that can be found by entering the ID code. The first three digits of the ID code represent the date of disgorgement, so that ID316 translates to the third quarter of 2016Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPKrug’s 2004 Vintage is absolutely mesmerizing. Layers of bright, chiseled fruit open up effortlessly as the wine fleshes out with time in the glass. Persistent and beautifully focused, with a translucent sense of energy, the 2004 captures all the best qualities of the year. Moreover, the 2004 is clearly superior to the consistently underwhelming 2002 and the best Krug Vintage since 1996. Readers who can find it should not hesitate, as it is a magical bottle.Antonio Galloni | 97+ AGID: 214041 This is an extremely fresh edition and remains in a restrained mode with an intense serve of chardonnay’s lemon citrus dominating the nose alongside lime zest, bright florals, grassy elements, fresh dough, white stones and very subtle background spice. The palate has a svelte and elegant shape. Smoother than the 2002, it shares the same quality of precision but not the raging power of that vintage. The poise is unquestionable, the wine very reserved, with plenty of lemon-infused citrus flavors, hints of fresh cashew and a lot of potential. Acidity holds superbly, the dosage is exactly where it should be. This is a classic release. It’s all about chardonnay. Best from 2022 and will mature gracefully in linear style in bottle for several decades.James Suckling | 97 JS2004 was a late harvest year, and this vintage Krug, composed of 39% Chardonnay, 37% Pinot Noir and 24% Pinot Meunier, possesses an impressive aromatic richness of hazelnuts, white fruit and spring flowers. There’s both density and freshness on the palate, and an engaging counterpoint between vinosity and tension achieves a compelling, harmonious balance. Worthy of an audacious match with sea urchins! Drinking Window 2018 - 2030Decanter | 96 DEC(Krug Brut Millésime (Reims)) The 2004 Krug Brut Millésime is a superb example of the vintage. The cépages this year is thirty-nine percent chardonnay, thirty-seven percent pinot noir and twenty-four percent pinot meunier. It was aged twelve years sur latte prior to disgorgement and preparation for market. The wine has been out now for more than a year and is really starting to blossom nicely, offering up a deep and complex bouquet of apple, pear, sourdough bread, a superb foundation of minerality, caraway seed and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied and impeccably balanced, with a superb core of fruit, fine mineral drive and grip, elegant mousse and a long, vibrant and complex finish. Some 2004s are in a slightly leaner phase of their development right now, but this is most emphatically not the case with the 2004 Krug, which is drinking very well indeed, despite it still being early on in its journey to complete maturity. (Drink between 2020-2085).John Gilman | 96 JGA graceful Champagne, wowing more for its elegance and fine integration than the underlying power and tension. The delicate mousse caresses the palate, carrying flavors of blackberry, candied kumquat and lemon sorbet with rich accents of espresso crema, pastry cream and chopped almond. Fresh and focused on the lasting, spiced finish. Disgorged autumn 2017. Drink now through 2030.Wine Spectator | 95 WSPrecision sets this wine apart, as if the flavors had diamond-cut clarity. Whatever cool earthiness or spicy-lees broadness there may be is focused and lifted by the structure, so that the wine’s flavors feel restrained and elegant. Deliciously fresh, with an undercurrent of chalky tension and a citrus sting, this would be a great partner to Cantonese dim sum. Moët Hennessy USA, NYWine & Spirits | 94 W&S

97+
VM
As low as $415.00
n/v krug grande cuvee 171eme edition Champagne

Deliciously balanced, this Champagne is impressive. The iconic wine is in its 171st blend, meaning it combines vintages for the best result for each bottling, not a specific vintage. The 171st essence is dry, while also having fine textured fruit. This is a magnificent wine and worth aging for another year. Wine Enthusiast | 97 WEA vivid Champagne, with chiseled acidity and a fine, vivacious mousse creating a buoyant frame for layered flavors of crushed black raspberry, grilled nuts, pink grapefruit sorbet and coffee liqueur, plus fragrant accents of ground ginger and anise, graphite and lime blossoms. Long and expressive on the finish, crackling with a lingering fleur de sel note. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier. Disgorged winter 2022 to 2021. Drink now through 2033.Wine Spectator | 96 WSThe Krug Grande Cuvée “171ème Édition” is from the base year of 2015. The final cépages is forty-five percent pinot noir, thirty-seven percent chardonnay and eighteen percent pinot meunier. It includes fully forty-two percent reserve wines in this iteration, with the wines stretching all the way back to the 2000 vintage. It was disgorged in the first months of 2022 after six years aging sur latte. The wine is supremely elegant on both the nose and palate, with the bouquet wafting from the glass in a beautifully complex blend of apple, pear, fresh apricot, brioche, a complex blend of chalky soil tones, gently musky floral tones, almond, a lovely touch of buttery oak and incipient notes of caraway seed in the upper register. On the palate the wine is pure, precise and full-bodied, with superb depth of fruit, lovely soil undertow, very refined mousse, great balance, snappy acids and a very, very long, complex and utterly seamless finish. Though this is still most emphatically still a young wine, its impeccable balance makes it all too easy to drink today! I would try to leave it alone in the cellar for five to ten years and really let it hit its apogee, but it is not going to be an easy wine with which to exercise self-restraint! (Drink between 2023 - 2085)John Gilman | 96+ JGThe NV Grande Cuvée 171ème Edition is a delightful blend of 45% Pinot Noir, 37% Chardonnay and 18% Pinot Meunier and boasts an attractive and captivating aroma of dried fruits, pastry, lemon oil, marzipan, spring flowers and ginger, with hints of almond and vanilla notes that become more pronounced over time. This medium to full-bodied wine is precise and well-structured, with a fleshy core of fruit and a sapid, incisive finish. Crafted around the 2015 vintage, the blend comprises 131 reserve wines from as far back as 2000 (42% of the total blend) and is expected to age beautifully over the next decade.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RPSpanning from 1998 through the 2015 vintage, the NV Champagne Grande Cuvée 171 is lush with a kaleidoscope of aromas including orange marmalade, toasted brioche, almond, and ripe peaches. Full-bodied and rounded, it has a hint of warmth on the finish, but it’s highly attractive, balanced, and long, with outstanding depth and richness. This fantastic expression of the Grand Cuvée is gorgeous right out of the gate and will be a great addition for collectors to enjoy over the coming two decades. Drink 2023-2043.Jeb Dunnuck | 94 JDKrug’s Grand Cuvee 171ème Edition is a 45% Pinot Noir, 37% Chardonnay and 18% Pinot Meunier barrel fermented assemblage of 131 wines from 12 years. The youngest and predominant base wine was from 2015, and the oldest reserve wines from 2000. This 171eme Edition reveals an aromatically complex nose of warm citrus, poached Anjou pear, dried apricots, lemon balm and toast. Medium to full-bodied, the palate balances a beautifully energetic acid frame alongside rich flavors of Meyer lemon, apple crumble and honeycomb with a kiss of vanilla before finishing long, generous and refreshing. According to the Krug iD122014 the bottle tasted was disgorged in the spring of 2020 and released a year later in 2021.The Wine Independent | 94+ TWI

99
JS
As low as $269.00

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