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Champagne Collector Wines

Champagne Collector Wines

Champagne Collector Wines

Champagne Collector Wines

Even if you’re completely ignorant when it comes to wine, you have most certainly heard of Champagne. This shimmering, sparkling wine is one of the most visually pleasing drinks to look at, reflecting a starry cosmos on a canvas of pure gold. The wine simply itches to get out of the bottle, and its desire manifests as soon as the seal breaks, often unleashing an aggressive jet into the air. Collecting Champagne is a noble pursuit, as each bottle tells a long story of the terroir the grapes grew in, the unique identity of the soil and the hard-working hands that created the wine. The spirit of winemaking is felt in every note of flavor, every sip where you get to fully admire the precise, delicate texture of the drink.

If you somehow manage to acquire a bottle of Veuve Clicquot from 1952, treasure it for as long as you can. Collectible Champagne bottles are one of the most gorgeous displays in any wine geek’s collection, and there are many to choose from. However, it can take a very keen eye (and palate) to discern the truly elite blends from the simply “good” ones. You have to know your wine history and be able to tell which new vintage has the most potential. Alternatively, you could trust us to introduce you to the best Champagne anyone could encounter in a lifetime or two, as we are dedicated to identifying and supplying only the finest wines from around the world. If you’re a fan of sparkling wines, these collectibles are a treasure, calling to you from beyond. If you aren’t, you will be after trying some of these masterpieces. Without further ado, let’s look at the best Champagne you can wrap your lips around.
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1985 krug Champagne

(Krug Vintage Brut (served from magnum)) This magnum was sadly the last bottle of the 1985 Krug Vintage in my cellar, but it was shared at a tasting to celebrate my fiftieth birthday and a very good friend’s sixtieth birthday, so I surmised that this must have been the occasion I was saving this magnum for all these years. The wine is drinking splendidly out of magnum and seemed a tad more generous than the bottle of the ’85 I reported on a year ago, jumping from the glass in a deep, complex and very classy nose of pears, apples, beautiful minerality, a delicate touch of almond paste, rye toast and citrus peel. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and very light on its feet for such a broad-shouldered wine, with a superb core of fruit, fine, pinpoint bubbles, lovely acidity and superb length and grip on the complex and à point finish. A beautiful wine. (Drink between 2011-2035)John Gilman | 96 JG(Krug Brut Champagne/Sparkling) I have had a number of bottles, even from the same cellar, that have been showing plenty of age and even occasionally flirting with oxidative hints yet this most recent bottle (from my cellar) was among the freshest I’ve had in a while with its intensely yeasty and toasty aromas of white orchard fruit, citrus peel, marmalade and orange peel. This is arguably the most complex vintage of the 1980s (though not necessarily the most vibrant or the most complete) and in particular I like the way that the mousse has managed to maintain most of its original vigor on the sweet yet ultimately dry finale that delivers very fine persistence. While this bottle was admirably fresh it’s clear that it’s time to drink up sooner than later unless your taste runs to post-mature characters. (Drink starting 2015)Burghound | 94 BHThe 1985 Krug was delicate, perfumed and lithe on the palate, with superb freshness and a more compact frame than the 1988. I came back to it often and never failed to be seduced by its mesmerizing personality. The 1988 Krug was decidedly more intense and full-bodied. It had everything; gorgeous fruit, acidity, texture and loads of complexity. In short, it was stunning.Vinous Media | 93 VM

As low as $955.00
1990 veuve clicquot la grande dame Champagne

Fine burnished gold, apt for a 30 year old Champagne – alive and kicking. What impresses is the fresh Chardonnay, which balances the opulence of 1990 mature Pinot opulence. A lovely interplay of those peach & quince flavours with enlivening citrus repertoire, especially citron confit; still long & vigorous. Model post-disgorgement ageing since 2003. A wine for venison and even foie gras. Drinking Window 2020 - 2035.Decanter | 96 DECI highly recommend the Veuve Clicquot 1990 La Grande Dame. It is exquisitely rich and accessible, yet bursting with potential.Robert Parker | 95 RP(Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame) The 1990 La Grande Dame is a shock to the palate after all the older wines in this tasting. Candied lemon, rosemary, dried flowers and spices are all super-expressive in the glass. The 1990 retain a good bit of brightness, especially for its age. The citrus flavors have still not moved into realm or more orangish tonalities, as is likely to happen over time. The 1990 can be enjoyed now and for the next 20 years or so. (Drink between 2015-2034)Antonio Galloni | 94 AGTight and straightforward, but quite complex. Licorice and lime grace the linear palate. A lot of intense but soft fruit in the mouth. An immensely clear, forward and stately Champagne. One of those “big name” status bubblies that does what it takes to deserve its praise.Wine Enthusiast | 92 WEAssertive and buttery style, dry and bold in flavor, but with the lively effervescence and toasty finish for balance. Drink now through 2002.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

As low as $280.00
1995 Krug Clos d'Ambonnay

The 1995 Brut Blanc de Noirs Clos d’Ambonnay is simply profound from the very first sip. All of the classic Krug elements are there; the signature bouquet, the finesse of the best Clos du Mesnils, but with the broader shoulders of Pinot from Ambonnay. The fruit is intricately layered in sublime, graceful notes of mineral-infused, perfumed berries that linger on the eternal finish. Totally rich and seductive, the 1995 Clos d’Ambonnay is a wine that will stimulate the intellectual and hedonistic senses to the maximum. In a word, it is divine. The 1995 Clos d’Ambonnay is hard to resist today, but it should continue to develop positively in bottle for a number of years. The only problem is the $3,500 price tag, which means the wine will only be enjoyed by an elite few. No disgorgement date provided. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98 RPThrown in as a ringer, the 1995 Clos d’Ambonnay is a real treat to taste next to the 1996. In particular, tasting both vintages together shows that that 1995 is the more complete of these two first releases of Krug’s single-vineyard Champagne from Ambonnay. Finely-cut fruit, expressive aromatics and exceptional textural finesse are the signatures. This is another fabulous showing from the 1995 Clos d’Ambonnay.Antonio Galloni | 98 AGThe 1995 Clos d’Ambonnay is an utterly refined and supremely elegant wine that is still fairly youthful at age twenty. The very complex and elegant bouquet delivers a marvelous constellation of white peach, apple, stony minerality, plenty of smokiness, fresh-baked bread, orange zest, gentle spice tones and a very delicate floral topnote of orange blossoms. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and laser-like in its focus, with a superb core, great mineral drive, and glorious length and grip on the impeccably balanced, refined and electric finish. A brilliant wine. (Drink between 2015-2045)John Gilman | 98 JGFull-bodied and deep, featuring graphite, toast, leather and spice notes augmented by citrus and mineral. This is dry and backed by a racy structure, with a long, structure-driven finish, replete with spice and citrus accents. A Champagne for food or contemplation. Drink now through 2025.Wine Spectator | 95 WS

As low as $3,555.00
1995 krug Champagne

A very youthful ’95. Delicate. Intense aromas of ginger, citrus, candied berry and multigrain bread turn to honey, roasted almonds and graphite on the palate. It’s all underscored by a precise structure and creamy texture. Its structure keeps it persistent through the long finish. A picture of precision and intensity. Drink now through 2025. 1,700 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 98 WS(Krug, (Magnum), Champagne, France, White) The grand finale to Olivier Krug’s awe-inspiring masterclass was the fabulous 1995 vintage, poured from magnum. It is one of four Krug vintages from the 1990s and it was one of the last wines which Olivier tasted with his father and grandfather. Today it is still going strong, with a primary and savoury nose of apricot and toast. On the palate this remains vigorous but mature, with oxidative notes of walnut oil, nougat and umami, as well as gingerbread, cappuccino, toast and candied fruits. There’s lots of finesse and freshness and great length – a joy to drink now and for another 15 years at least. (Drink between 2017-2034)Decanter | 96 DECA mature, honeyed nose shows how rich and open this beautiful wine is. It is rich and toasty, with layers of citrus and very ripe, almost honeyed, fruit. It is lively and fresh, with excellent structure. Ready to drink.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WE(Krug Vintage Brut (Reims) served from magnum) The 1995 Krug in magnum is really starting to drink with style and grace, but it remains a wine that has just reached its plateau of maturity and has years and years of life still ahead of it. The lovely and quite classic nose wafts from the glass in a constellation of apple, peach, caraway seed, a lovely base of minerality, a touch of walnut, rye bread and a gently smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, crisp and complex, with a wide open attack, a fine core, elegant mousse and really lovely length and grip on the focused and classy finish. Fine juice. (Drink between 2016-2045)John Gilman | 95 JGThe deep golden color implies just how rich this wine will be. The 1995 vintage provided a baroque canvas of flavors that seems weightier and more robust than a classic Krug, but no less fascinating. The wine is downright huge, aggressive in its savory power, in its aching acidity and persistent minerality. Brusque and mouthcoating in its richness at 11 years of age, this will begin to mellow as it turns 15 or 20.Wine & Spirits | 95 W&SI have a preference for the 1995 Brut Vintage, as it shows quite a bit more freshness and verve than the 1998. Mint, dried flowers, truffles and bright fruit are some of the nuances that flow from this precise, focused Champagne. The vibrant, refreshing finish makes it impossible to resist a second taste. Among recent vintages, the 1996 has rightly received a ton of attention here, while the 1995 is likely to remain an insider’s wine that is available at more favorable pricing.My visit to Krug earlier this year was fascinating, as I had a chance to taste a number of 2009s and reserve wines. A tank sample of the 2009 Clos du Mesnil was one of the most exciting, viscerally thrilling wines of the trip, and remained etched on my mind for several weeks. I also had a chance to glance over newly found, hand-written original records that document the exact village breakdown of all the grapes Krug purchased in each vintage going back to 1928. This year I tasted a number of fabulous wines from bottle. Unfortunately I can’t include my impressions on Krug’s NV Champagnes because of the house’s insistence on not providing disgorgement dates for those wines. I was reminded of the importance of this information when I tasted a fabulous, utterly spellbinding bottle of the NV Rose. It was a truly beautiful Champagne, but owing to its recent disgorgement it needed at least a few years on the cork. Of course Krug gives a general indication of the disgorgement dates for their wines on the corks, but by that time, readers may have opened a bottle that needs more bottle age. Without this information it is impossible to give readers any reliable indication of when the house’s NV wines might start drinking well. With a retail price over $300 a bottle, opening a bottle of Krug’s Rose can be a very expensive learning experience. Krug fans will want to keep an eye out for my upcoming article on Clos du Mesnil, featuring complete notes back to the inaugural 1979.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RPThe 1995 Krug is gorgeous. I chose it because one of my guests loves Krug and I thought the 1995 would have the right amount of complexity to pair beautifully with the smokiness in Saison’s caviar. Although the 1995 Krug is not a truly epic wine, it is in a sweet spot right now.Antonio Galloni | 94 AG(Krug Brut Villages Champagne/Sparkling) Moderately deep golden color. There is a mildly oxidative character present on the toasty, yeasty and apple cider-suffused nose that offers excellent complexity. The fine depth can also be found on the delicious flavors that are definitely full-flavored and relatively powerful, all wrapped in a citrusy finish that, like the nose, reflects a hint of oxidative character. This is borderline post-mature and I would be inclined to be drinking up. (Drink starting 2018)Burghound | 90 BH

As low as $760.00
1996 duval-leroy femme de champagne grand cru Champagne Blend

A sculpted Champagne, with a steely backbone of acidity swathed in a fine and silky texture, offering rich flavors of baked apple and plum fruit, almond financier, crème de cassis, honey and toasted coconut. Long and mouthwatering, and still very, very young. Drink now through 2090. 1,500 cases made, 200 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 97 WSCompared to the 2000, the 1996 Champagne Femme offers a touch more vibrancy and purity in a similarly rich, layered, complex style. Stone fruits, beautiful minerality, hints of charcoal, as well as a touch of brioche and nuttiness, all flow to a textured, balanced, beautifully long and layered Champagne that’s drinking brilliantly today.Jeb Dunnuck | 96 JD(Duval-Leroy Femme de Champagne Brut) The 1996 Duval-Leroy Femme de Champagne is a stunning wine that is now reaching its apogee of peak drinkability and is wide open and absolutely superb on both the nose and palate. The deep, complex and toasty bouquet offers up a classy mélange of apple, tangerine, pain grillé, a beautifully complex base of soil and a topnote of orange peel. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and toasty, with a superb core of pure fruit, crisp acids, utterly refined mousse, laser-like focus and superb length and grip on the wide open, vibrant and very classy finish. This is just a stunning bottle of bubbly. (Drink between 2012-2035)John Gilman | 95 JGDeep yellow in color the 1996 Femme de Champagne offers a complex, superbly clear, multilayered and fresh bouquet of cooked and roasted apples, citrus flavors, brioche, apricots, a touch of caramel and a hint of farmyard smell. Medium-bodied but full-flavored, clear and complex on the palate this is a stimulatingly and persistently pure, fresh and minerally flavored Champagne with citrus flavors in the aftertaste. Impressively vital and young this delicate but expressive Champagne is lovely to drink today but can be stored for another decade.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPThe estate’s 1996 Brut Femme de Champagne is really quite pretty in the way it balances some of the more mature notes from extended lees aging with the freshness of the vintage. To be sure, this isn’t a blockbuster 1996, but the Femme de Champagne offers plenty of class and elegance in an approachable, delicate style for the vintage. The rich, radiant fruit flows effortlessly through to the long, satisfying finish. This is a terrific effort from Duval-Leroy. This is Lot L9250N. Disgorged September 7th, 2009.Antonio Galloni | 91 AG

As low as $799.00
1996 Bollinger R.D.

I have drunk this a half dozen times in the last six months and it always amazes me. The Recently Disgorged Bolly is ultra rich with yeast and spice and bread. It's tight and in reserve, but gives lots of lemon rind and apricot character as well. It's full and very racy. Layered palate. An aftertaste that lasts for minutes. What a Champagne.James Suckling | 97 JSThe Bollinger R.D. (recently disgorged) is Bollinger's answer to a prestige cuvée. Keeping the wine long on its lees (this was disgorged in June 2006) yields a wine that is very much in the rich Bollinger style. This is a beautifully balanced wine, with acidity, intensity and structure in perfect harmony. It is still so young, and certainly could age for years.Wine Enthusiast | 97 WEThe 1996 R.D. from Bollinger is another superb wine from this vintage. An expressive bouquet of spices, acacia blossoms and perfumed fruit emerges from the wine's silky-textured frame. This generous R.D. is drinking well today, but also has enough freshness to age well for years. It is a great version of one of Champagne's legendary wines.Antonio Galloni | 96 AGA monumental R.D., the 70% Pinot Noir here is ageing very slowly in the late-disgorged format. The aromatic palate is almost shockingly youthful. There is still plenty of primary bright apple fruit with the spice and toast of the initial fermentation – the overall impression is lovely, lively, and still fruity, with the more developed notes very discreet. The texture is enlivened by the same super-charged acidity we see in the Grande Année from this year, and the finish is intensely long. Marvellous ageing potential. (Drink between 2021-2051)Decanter | 95 DECIf you breed pit bulls, then you know how gentle they can be, trained and treated right. This wine requires the same level of care, or, at least, the respect not to approach without a large decanter. Taste it now without plenty of air and the acidity is punishing, yet the flavors it leaves behind are lovely. A minute afterwards, the taste of red apple lingers as if a repressed memory of grand cru Pinot Noir. Bollinger's program of 'recent disgorgement' often amplifies the power of a vintage, which, in the case of 1996, has made this wine downright fierce. It mellows with air, but remains vast and irrepressible. Long aging is the responsible course of action.Wine & Spirits | 94 W&SA powerhouse. Big and sophisticated, combining lemon and grapefruit notes with candied fruits, roasted nuts and coffee. Fresh, dry and finely detailed, with finesse and a lingering finish driven by acidity.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

As low as $470.00
1996 krug Champagne

It’s hard to imagine how a wine of this power can sustain perfect balance. What is now a more nonchalant intensity in the aroma was, in fact, too much to handle when we tasted this last year, as if the wine had no time for mere humans with their limited sense receptors. If you stop to taste ripe pear, ginger spice, apple blossom and butterscotch the wine leaves you lost in random flavor descriptors as it soars off into a vinous glow that lasts for minutes. This may well be the greatest vintage wine of Henri Krug’s career (unless it is challenged by the 2002). It is impossible to predict how long this wine will thrive in bottle, though considering the current fine condition of the 1959 Krug, the first 50 years are a given.Wine & Spirits | 100 W&SA powerful, majestic Champagne. Deep and compelling, with aromas of whole-grain toast, coconut and dried citrus that draw you in. Lean and racy on the palate, with a creaminess that’s yet to be integrated. A classic ’96, with ripe, exotic aromas and a steely structure. Still a baby, with the long, resonant finish confirming its potential. Best from 2009 through 2040. 10,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 99 WSThe real surprise among Krug’s 1996s is the 1996 Vintage, which is drinking beautifully, even among this rarified air of single-vineyard Champagnes. The 1996 Vintage is explosive and creamy, with just the right balance of power, richness and freshness. The mousse is perhaps just a touch less refined than in the 1996 Clos du Mesnil and Clos d’Ambonnay, but it is also perfectly measured with the wine’s exuberant personality. This multi-dimensional, textured Champagne is at the early part of its drinking window and promises to deliver an incredible drinking experience over the coming decades. The take-away from this flight of 1996s from Krug is simple. Although the 1996 Vintage can’t possibly be described as inexpensive, it shows exceptionally well next to its much more expensive brethren and clearly delivers a similar level of quality. Readers who have the opportunity to pick up this wine should not hesitate. It is a gem. No disgorgement date provided. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2036.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98 RPThe 1996 Vintage is magnificent. A towering, explosive Champagne, the 1996 delivers the house’s signature breadth in a full-bodied, structured Champagne with enough pure density and acidity to age well for decades. Warm nutty and spiced overtones add nuance on the finish. The 1996 is just beginning to enter the early part of its mature stage, where it is sure to remain for several decades. Krug’s Vintage is one of the truly epic wines of the year.Antonio Galloni | 98 AG(Krug Vintage Brut (Reims)) I had not drunk a bottle of the 1996 Krug in several years, as I had deemed the wine still in climbing mode and I am not generally in the business of drinking Krug before its time. But, a friend recently opened a bottle and I was very impressed with how the wine is evolving in the bottle since its release. The bouquet is now starting to show some lovely secondary layering of complexity in its blend of apple, peach, a touch of sweet walnut, patissière, a refined base of minerality, caraway seed and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine flavors on the attack echo the nose nicely, with the wine’s full-bodied format sporting excellent depth at the core, still plenty of the vintage’s snappy acidity, great focus and grip and a very, very long and utterly refined finish. Though this remains quite racy structurally, I really like the point it has reached in terms of aromatic and flavor complexity and it is really not a crime to be opening bottles up at this point in its evolution, though it still has room to grow with further bottle age. A great, great vintage of Krug. (Drink between 2019-2060).John Gilman | 98 JGThis is a handsome yellow-gold colour with hints of bronze. Still fresh and vigorous yet with a ripe acidity. Wow, this is something else in the mouth! There is a lot going on - firm and tight one moment, then a panoply of sensuous flavours. Williams pears and glace à l’orange evolve into lemon and prunes. A splendid finale of great length and vigour demonstrates that this ’96 still has years of life ahead of it. Drinking Window 2017 - 2030.Decanter | 96 DEC

As low as $745.00
1996 moet chandon dom perignon Champagne

The brilliant 1996 Dom Perignon, which has largely disappeared from the marketplace, may be the finest young example of DP I have ever tasted. Notes of crushed rocks, honeysuckle, lemon oil, orange marmalade, and white pear provide a stunning aromatic display as well as palate impression. Great acidity and huge flavor intensity backed up by vibrant acidity make this an exquisite Champagne. It should drink well for 20-25 years, possibly longer. Readers should remember that the 1971 Dom Perignon Rose is still drinking exquisitely. I recently had the 1969 and 1970 Dom Perignons (from magnum), and both were drinking brilliantly. It makes one realize just how long-lived these wines can be. Production is confidential, but there must be hundreds of thousands of cases of Dom Perignon since it available in most of the world’s luxury hotels and restaurants.Robert Parker | 98 RPA distinctly reticent but elegant nose with a purity of expression that is truly impressive to experience as it's relatively high-toned and while the yeast comes up with air, it's relatively muted at present, combining with intense, precise and superbly detailed and complex flavors that culminate in an explosive and wonderfully long finish. This may very well rival the sublime '90 in time even if it's not quite as concentrated. This is still a baby so there is absolutely no rush whatsoever.Burghound | 97 BHThis minerally, toasty wine has flavors of almonds and white stone fruits, and a long, finish. It is still young, and is just coming into great balance. Elegant and ethereal.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WE(Dom Pérignon Brut (Moët et Chandon)) This is the original release of 1996 Dom Pérignon and I drank this bottle with friends only a few weeks before I left New York for my planned month on the road tasting in France in March. This bottle is not a whole lot further along its evolutionary path than the P2 reported on below, but still shows the excellent promise of the 1996 vintage. The bouquet offers up a complex blend of wizened apples, lemon peel, stony minerality, sourdough bread, just a hint of the sweet nuttiness to come and a gently smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with excellent focus and grip, lovely mousse, still quite brisk acids and a very long, nascently complex and beautifully balanced finish. (Drink between 2023-2065).John Gilman | 95 JGVery pale color. Wonderfully complex, musky aromas of minerals, ginger, lemon, earth, mushroom, smoke and brioche; with aeration, this showed sweaty saline and chicken broth notes that reminded me of Le Montrachet, as well as a captivating topnote of fresh rose petal. Fat, ripe and mouthfilling without being at all heavy. Loaded with flavor and long and delicious on the aftertaste. In the same quality league as the superb '95, but does it have the grip of that wine? I should note that some other tasters report having bottles more in the backward, structured style of this vintage.Vinous Media | 94 VMThis features floral, candied citrus, pencil shaving and hazelnut aromas and flavors. It's fresh and focused, with a firm structure offset by a mouthfilling richness and a lacy texture. Not a blockbuster, but seamless and seductive in its approach. Drink now through 2010.Wine Spectator | 93 WSReal concentration, yet with better balance than many ’96s. A big wine, quite vinous, and in that sense not a typically fragrant Dom Pérignon of finesse. Not outstanding, but a very good wine surpassed by the subtlety of the ’98 P2. Drinking Window 2017 - 2020.Decanter | 91 DEC

As low as $499.00
1996 moet chandon dom perignon rose Champagne (Rose)

Three 1996s from Dom Perignon are special. After having compared original releases and OEnotheque bottlings across a number of vintages going back to 1964 I am increasingly of the belief that the most enjoyable Dom...Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPBright, amber-tinged pink with pinpoint bubbles. Deep, smoky and complex, with a kaleidoscopic bouquet incorporating wild strawberry, peach, apricot, chestnut honey and cured meat. A firm, strikingly concentrated midweight with powerful flavors of orange peel, raspberry, redcurrant, baking spice and smoked meat and gentle supporting acidity. Smoky, sweet and long on the back, with a slowly building impression of acidity that suggests this will be a long ager. As usual, a stunning Champagne. Also tasted: NV White Star, 1999 Millesime Rose Brut*.Vinous Media | 95 VMWoodland strawberry scents drive this powerful rosé, as intense as a great red Burgundy, made transparent by the chalk soils in which it grew. The fine mousse lifts spicy scents of sandalwood, the long finish starts out dark-toned, growing brighter with air. Tight and young, this is a beautiful, floral pinot noir that carries the essence of Champagne.Wine & Spirits | 95 W&SThis is going to be a great wine: going to be, because it is still firm, dry, serious and very pure with structure over the red fruits and acidity. Give this wine another five years at least—and then it will be both impressive and delicious.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEThis features floral, candied citrus, pencil shaving and hazelnut aromas and flavors. It's fresh and focused, with a firm structure offset by a mouthfilling richness and a lacy texture. Not a blockbuster, but seamless and seductive in its approach. Drink now through 2010.Wine Spectator | 93 WSAn exuberantly fresh nose features notes of strawberry, cherry, apple and a hint of yeast. The vibrant and intense middle weight flavors are on the leaner side and without the same depth that one normally sees and it's not clear that the underlying material is present such that significantly more will develop. To be clear, and fair, this is a delicious effort that is certainly enjoyable for its fruit. At the same time, given how good the '96 vintage is I was a bit disappointed by this.Burghound | 91 BH

As low as $825.00
1996 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses

Next up is Philipponnat’s 1996 Clos de Goisses. Tasted from magnum, the 1996 is remarkably fresh, vibrant and powerful. This is a great bottle.Vinous Media | 97 VMOne of the greatest examples of the ’96 vintage, this wine has it all with elegance, intensity, subtlety and grace, not to mention buckets of unrealized potential that will enable this beauty to improve for at least another decade and perhaps longer. I can only imagine just how good this would be from magnum format! The nose is discreet, reserved and pure with lemon, green apple and layers upon layers of fruit framed by just the right amount of yeast influence that continues onto the exceptionally dry and tight flavors that are crisp and refined as well as superbly intense yet through it all there is this underlying sense of harmony, as though all of the elements are working in concert. The greatest wines, at least those cut from classical cloth, persuade through the subtlest means and so it is with the ’96 Goisses, which is indeed a great wine by any measure. While it is drinkable now, for my taste preferences a lot of potential would be left in the glass and I wouldn’t start in earnest on this for another 5+ years.Burghound | 97 BHAs I noted back in my feature on Clos des Goisses back in the autumn of 2014, the 1996 vintage here is a bit atypical, as its cépages is a fifty-fifty split of chardonnay and pinot noir, rather than the more customary two-thirds pinot. The wine has started to really hit its plateau of peak maturity since I last drank it four and a half years ago, as the musky floral tones and beautiful nuttiness of mature Clos des Goisses are really starting to be felt in the beautiful bouquet of pear, white peach, macadamia nut, brioche, chalky soil tones, a touch of citrus blossoms to go along with the more stridently musky floral overtones. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and shows off beautiful, rock solid mid-palate depth, with lovely mousse, racy acids and laser-like focus on the very long and very complex finish. Though this is a bit of an outlier in the pantheon of Clos des Goisses, with its half chardonnay blend, it is one of my favorite vintages of this great wine and one of the best examples of the vintage, as there is no shortage of fruit here to stand up to the vintage’s snappy acidity. A great, great wine that is getting awfully good to drink, though still in climbing mode and has not yet reached its apex. This bottle was disgorged in June of 2010. (Drink between 2019 - 2060)John Gilman | 96+ JGOne of the most powerful wines of the 1996 vintage, Clos des Goisses grew at the famed walled vineyard in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ. There the vines provide a direct connection between the limestone soil and the wine, the same kind of uncompromised connection that the riesling vines provide at Clos Ste. Hune in Alsace. The tension in the wine is palpable, even after it delivers a blast of flavor, a flavor that might be described as quince paste made of limestone, with so much acidity to balance it that the flavor intensity lasts for minutes and feels cool and clean. This ’96 may be best left in the cellar for another ten years before you pop the cork.Wine & Spirits Magazine | 96 W&SOffering up complex aromas of candied peel, warm biscuits, golden orchard fruit and toast, this perfectly preserved original disgorgement of the 1996 Clos des Goisses is medium to full-bodied, incisive but fleshy, its bright spine of vintage-typical acidity cloaked in lively fruit, and complemented by a pearly mousse. This is one 1996 Champagne that has finally arrived at full maturity.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RPWhile this is unexpectedly reticent on the nose, it’s generous and expansive on the palate, showing golden, honeyed flavours and a pronounced richness. Its acidity is equally as forceful, keeping the finish firm and taut, and while it’s not extremely complex, it’s alluring for its powerful presence and extroverted intensity. Disgorged: April 2006.Decanter | 93 DECHints of orange marmalade vie with whole-grain bread and roasted almond in this dry, mealy Champagne. Turns austere on the finish, but has intensity, so enjoy with food. Drink now through 2015. 2,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

As low as $679.00
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

As low as $265.00
1998 Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Rose

There’s a firm, juicy pinot noir at the core of this rosé, a bold young wine that’s packed with citrus acidity and intensely concentrated fruit. If you open it now, the wine will need food to bridge its power, whether roast quail with chanterelles or a steak with sautéed wild mushrooms. Or cellar it, relying on the exceptional balance and depth of flavor to sustain the wine as it ages.Wine & Spirits Magazine | 95 W&SExotic notes of toasted coconut and rum spice accent this fresh and elegant rosé, while flavors of macerated cherry and plum, pastry and pomegranate ride the delicate texture. Graceful, with a mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2020.Wine Spectator | 93 WSCopper-pink with a frothy mousse. Smoky strawberry and cherry aromas are complicated by buttered toast, blood orange and dried flowers. Deep and chewy, with vivid red berry and bitter cherry flavors underscored by dusty minerals. Gains power on the broad, focused and gently nutty finish. Already complex, and ready to drink.Vinous Media | 92 VM

As low as $430.00
1998 krug Champagne

(Krug Vintage Brut (Reims)) It had been three years since I last crossed paths with a bottle of the 1998 Krug Vintage and the wine was just starting to blossom when I had it back in the summer of 2013. Three more years of bottle age have really done justice to this excellent wine and this most recent bottle was absolutely wide open and singing on both the nose and palate. The bouquet is deep, pure and shows a lovely, almost exotic sheen of fresh nutmeg and fresh coconut to augment more classic Krug notes of peach, tangerine, patissière, caraway seed and a glorious base of soil tones. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, crisp and inviting on the attack, with a rock solid core, great transparency, refined mousse and exceptional length and grip on the very long and focused finish. Just a beautiful vintage of Krug that is now reaching its apogee and promises to dazzle for the next several decades. (Drink between 2016-2045)John Gilman | 95 JG(LLLLPK 00178): Bright gold. Ripe orchard fruits, peach pit, toffee, marzipan and dried flowers on the pungent, smoky nose. Broad and fleshy on entry, then tighter in the mid-palate, offering palate-staining pit fruit nectar, apple pie and brioche flavors, enhanced by a toffeed quality. Closes spicy and very long, with resonating smoke and toasted hazlenut qualities.Vinous Media | 94 VM

As low as $560.00
1999 taittinger comtes de champagne Champagne

Intensely Chardonnay, this beautiful wine, named after the ancient rulers of Champagne, is pure mineral, green and citrus fruits, a steely shaft of pure concentration. Now just with a light touch of toast, this still will mature for several years.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WEThe 1999 Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne is beautiful. Understated at first, and also, surprisingly accessible, the 1999 Comtes de Champagne backs up its open, inviting personality with considerable muscle married to vibrant, pure fruit. The long, polished finish bursts with Chardonnay character. As is often the case, Comtes is at its best when it has been opened for at least 1-2 hours, or, even better, with a decade or more of bottle age. This is going to be a fascinating Comtes to follow in the coming years and decades. This is Lot L8283UI00600, disgorged August/September, 2008 (not indicated on label). Anticipated maturity: 2012-2039. Taittinger is one of Champagne’s most consistent large brands. The flagship Comtes de Champagne and Comtes de Champagne Rose, two of the finest wines in the region, sometimes fly under the radar, but they are both super-pedigreed wines with brilliant track records for developing considerable complexity in bottle. Readers who want to learn more about the estate and Comtes in particular may want to take a look at my article on published earlier in the year. Taittinger does so many things well, but it would be great to see the estate add disgorgement dates to its labels. Importer: Kobrand Corp., Purchase, NY; tel. (914) 253-7756Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPThis shows a gorgeous apple, cream and sliced pineapple character. Full and fresh and bright. Always one of my favorite Champers, especially Blanc de Blanc.James Suckling | 95 JSThe 1999 Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne is beautiful. Understated at first, and also, surprisingly accessible, the 1999 Comtes de Champagne backs up its open, inviting personality with considerable muscle married to vibrant, pure fruit. The long, polished finish bursts with Chardonnay character. As is often the case, Comtes is at its best when it has been opened for at least 1-2 hours, or, even better, with a decade or more of bottle age. This is going to be a fascinating Comtes to follow in the coming years and decades. This is Lot L8283UI00600, disgorged August/September, 2008 (not indicated on label).Vinous Media | 95 VM(Taittinger Comte de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut) The 1999 Comtes de Champagne is a lovely bottle of wine that is now drinking very well. Given how ripe the ’99 vintage was in Champagne, the elegance and structural integrity of this bottling is most impressive, as it offers up an utterly classic bouquet of pear, delicious apple, a touch of tangerine, crème patissière, incipient notes of nutskin, glorious chalkiness, brioche and a classically smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and beautifully balanced, with excellent mid-palate intensity, bright acids, excellent focus and mousse and lovely grip on the long, complex and wide open finish. This is a touch more broad-shouldered than the equally fine 2000 Comtes, and the two vintages make lovely bookends. (Drink between 2014 - 2035)John Gilman | 94 JGThis was quite an unusual year, with higher temperatures than normal but also more rainfall. The nose is quite sweet with the scent of honey, and layers of ripe fruit with a hint of vanilla. The palate is opulent, with some coconut oil and caramel characters balanced with subtle toasted oak. It has a long, rich finish and fine acidity.Decanter | 92 DECA fine 1999, this wine is saturated with fruit while still feeling constricted by its youthful structure. Complex scents of pineapple, flint and musk broaden out into a clean, juicy finish. With the pale elegance of a great blanc de blancs, this is developing complexity as it ages.Wine & Spirits Magazine | 92 W&SToasted brioche, mushroom, vanilla and candied citrus flavors mark this delicate Champagne. This is more compelling up front, but balanced and appealing for its poise and texture. Drink now through 2020.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

As low as $345.00
1999 philipponnat clos des goisses Champagne
As low as $425.00
2000 taittinger comtes de champagne Champagne

The 2000 Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne is a huge wine bursting with ripe varietal fruit, smoke, ash, crushed rocks and slate. This is an unusual Comtes that deftly balances richness and power while maintaining considerable minerality. The 2000 will be hard to resist in its youth, but should also age beautifully for a number of years. It is a stunning, flat-out great bottle. This is Lot L0346UJ05700. Disgorged October 2010. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2030.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPThe 2000 Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne is a huge wine bursting with ripe varietal fruit, smoke, ash, crushed rocks and slate. This is an unusual Comtes that deftly balances richness and power while maintaining considerable minerality. The 2000 will be hard to resist in its youth, but should also age beautifully for a number of years. It is a stunning, flat-out great bottle. This is Lot L0346UJ05700. Disgorged October 2010.Vinous Media | 96 VMAfter hot weather early in the year, Champagne was hit in 2000 with hail and rain. Fortunately, conditions improved late in the year, and the quality of the final results is sometimes underestimated. I find the Comtes de Champagne delightful, with perhaps more ripe apple than lemon on the nose and a distinct note of butter and brioche. On the palate, the texture of the wine was very fine, with crisp acidity and a lingering finish. Lovely.Decanter | 95 DECA savory, aromatic accent of dried herb and candied orange peel notes mixes with yellow peach, kumquat, honey, graphite and creamy mineral. Very refined and elegant, with finely tuned acidity driving this to the mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2020. 1,700 cases made, 750 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 94 WS I have always liked the 2000 vintage of Comtes de Champagne, and this most recent bottle at our vertical was absolutely singing. The pure and vibrant nose wafts from the glass in a wide open blend of pear, peach, creosote, complex, limestone minerality, blossoming notes of nuttiness, orange peel, brioche and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and really starting to get into its apogee of peak drinkability, with lovely mid-palate concentration, elegant mousse, outstanding focus and grip and a very long, pure, vibrant and wide open finish. This wine has now reached its plateau of maturity, but it will be here for many decades and there is clearly no rush to be drinking the wine, but it is ready and an awfully fine glass of Blanc de Blancs at the present time. (Drink between 2014 - 2035)John Gilman | 94+ JGThis chalky char­donnay yields scents of toasted brioche and apple butter. There’s a lot of creaminess to it, while the nutty savor and precise bubble keeps it firm. For grilled langoustines.Wine & Spirits Magazine | 91 W&S

As low as $279.00
2000 louis roederer cristal Champagne

From a difficult vintage with destructive hailstorms and botrytis, the 2000 Cristal opens with an elegant and delicate bouquet with brioche, ripe apple, green olive and iodine aromas. Complex and very salty, with oyster and umami flavors, this is a generous and very long Cristal that is excellent with Japanese food, such as sashimi for example, as chef de cave Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon said during the tasting in New York in November 2018.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPSadly now in something of a lacklustre phase, but on first tasting this was delightfully sensual, seductively mellow and silkily replete with honey-toffee notes. At that stage the fruit was young and bursting with energy, with tones of spring flowers, gooseberries, papaya, redcurrants, pineapple and mango.Decanter | 95 DECRiper and richer than the 2002 Cristal, this wine has a substantial structure to hold its sensuous, pearlike fruit in place. Tropical notes of guava contribute to the vinous impression, as does the foresty mushroom savor. Haute couture to drink now, this will develop deeper complexities with age.Wine & Spirits Magazine | 94 W&SBright gold. Deep, subtly smoky nectarine and musky yellow plum aromas are energized by a suave mineral quality. Broad and fleshy, with deep, chewy pear, pit fruit and buttered toast flavors. A serious style, with velvety texture and excellent finishing punch. This has the concentration to repay cellaring but is open-knit enough to enjoy on the young side.Vinous Media | 92 VMThis is a lightweight Cristal, floating and fresh, without the punch this great wine can have from Pinot Noir. It is also way too young. To taste, there is good balance, but the persistent grapefruit flavor shows the wine’s youth.Wine Enthusiast | 92 WEThis goes for personality and finesse. An assertive, honeyed style, with plenty of citrus flavors. Mature coffee and roasted nut accents are peeking through, with a robust structure and a dried citrus aftertaste. Drink now through 2025. 32,000 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

As low as $465.00
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

As low as $3,175.00
2002 louis roederer cristal Champagne

Roederer’s 2002 Cristal, from magnum, is just off the charts. What else is there to say? The magnum format is so well-suited to Champagne. As opposed to still wines, which are just aged in glass, for Champagne, the secondary fermentation takes place in the glass. I am convinced that is a major part of what makes Champagne from magnum (or larger) often so compelling. The texture, breadth and overall pedigree here is just remarkable, with layers of apricot, spice, dried flowers and citrus confit that continue to build over time. The 2002 is neither old nor young; it is quite simply eternal. What a great way to start the night. Wow!Antonio Galloni | 100 AGIf a wine could ever make you want to pull the top down on your ’68 Ferrari convertible, rip off the rearview mirror and take off, this is it. It has a different kind of energy than the ’02 Cristal Rosé, which is more ethereal, like strawberries at the right hand of some ancient Gallic god. This is more insolent, brash, earth bound. All the scents and flavors seem to emanate from limestone, as does the acidity, which hits at the front of the mouth and powers through the wine with the kind of solar energy that lifts mist off the white chalk on a cool morning in Cramant. The wine goes on for miles. It’s already irresistible, and will only improve with ten, 20, 30 and 40 years of age.Wine and Spirits | 100 W&SA re-release of the original 2010 disgorgement. Super fine, super fresh and super savory aromas of chalky stones with hints of flowers, white almonds, lemon peel and grapefruit. The palate has intense, mouth-filling, lemon-curd flavor. Very powerful, very concentrated and very expressive. Smooth finish that’s full of life, leaving a bright, white cherry note. Drink in 2022.James Suckling | 98 JSThis is an exceptional wine, as is the vintage. The fruits—grapefruit, crisp red apple—balance with a fine yeasty character. There is a great depth of flavor, the fruits going in a pure line of freshness. The one problem is that it is much too young, the result of the demand from the market for the next vintage. Age this wine for at least four years.Wine Enthusiast | 98 WE(Louis Roederer Cristal Brut) I last tasted the 2002 Cristal back in the autumn of 2013, when the wine was still a bit on the young side, but it has now started to really blossom beautifully and is really entering its plateau of maturity in 2018. The 2002 Cristal is composed of a blend of fifty-five percent pinot noir and forty-five percent chardonnay, with none of the vins clairs having gone through malo and the finishing dosage ten grams per liter in this vintage. This has been a brilliant vintage of Cristal since its inception and at age sixteen, the wine is just beginning to properly blossom and show some of its secondary layers of complexity, The nose jumps from the glass in a refined blend of pear, apple, fresh almond, gentle smokiness, a touch of the tangerine to come, chalky soil tones and brioche in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and a powerfully-built vintage of Cristal, with a great core, elegant mousse, bright, racy and well-integrated acids and stunning mineral drive on the very long, complex and perfectly balanced finish. This is a great vintage of Cristal, and though it is now beginning to show some lovely generosity and secondary layering, a bit more cellaring would still be richly rewarded. (Drink between 2018-2075)John Gilman | 97+ JG(Louis Roederer, Cristal (Magnum), Champagne, France, White) From one of the true landmark vintages of Champagne, this is a titanic Cristal which pulsates with energy and verve. Though already fifteen years of age, it is still remarkably young and taut with tensile mineral strength. The stone and citrus-laden fruit is still in its infancy with just a developing hint of toasty brioche, vanilla and almond. Its purity, depth, weight and mouthfeel is balanced by a great arc of acidity, which will frame the wine for the long haul. A hugely impressive Cristal, but this is still not ready. (Drink between 2022-2050)Decanter | 97 DECThe 2002 Cristal is one seriously big, huge even, Champagne, and while this cuvee normally shows a seamless, elegant style, the 2002 vintage’s fruit profile dominates this wine. Toasted bread, oak spice, orchard fruits and toasted nuts give way to a full-bodied, mouthfilling, rich 2002 that stays light, graceful and elegant on the palate, with good to moderate acidity. It’s beautiful today, yet has two more decades of longevity.Jeb Dunnuck | 96 JDTasted from the original 2009 disgorgement, the 2002 Cristal is a broad, vinous wine, bursting with aromas of honeyed yellow orchard fruit, warm butter, brioche and fresh peaches. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, textural and mouthfilling, rendering the fine-boned chalky structure and textural finesse that distinguish this quintessentially elegant style of this cuvée in a broader-shouldered, more enveloping register. The 2002 is beginning to enter its plateau of maturity and is drinking beautifully today, though it still has many years ahead of it.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPA suave customer, with hints of citrus, berry and coffee. Harmonious and refined, with freshness and a bright structure. The finish shows a lot of potential, with a mouthwatering aftertaste. Better than previously reviewed. Drink now through 2030. Wine Spectator | 92 WS

As low as $469.00
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

As low as $529.00
2002 pommery cuvee louise brut Champagne

This well-aged wine from a top Champagne vintage is just now ready to drink after 12 years. It has a touch of toast, but it’s the rich, complex texture and fine structure that set it apart. It’s not a dry wine, it feels soft. It is so well integrated, elegant with hints of apples, a layer of minerality and still-fresh final acidity. Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEA beautifully seductive and creamy nose with plenty of honey and clotted cream across lemon and grapefruit. Some white peach too, really alluring. The palate’s nicely orchestrated and balanced; it builds in stages and delivers pithy lemon and grapefruit flavor amid assertive driving acidity, good depth and concentration. Another great ’02. Drink now or in five or more years.James Suckling | 94 JSThe 2002 Cuvée Louise Brut is dressed in an intense citrus colored robe and offers – as if it was a Pfalz Riesling – ripe yellow fruit aromas of pineapples, oranges and ripe peaches along with noble yeasty layers in the background. Full-bodied, rich and fresh on the palate, Madame Louise is a firm and almost mineral structured, persistent Champagne of complexity, finishing with a refreshing citric aroma as well as a stimulating salinity and purity. Good length and balance.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPA lacy Champagne, with ripe apricot and apple fruit layered with a base note of smoky minerality and hints of ground cardamom, berry tart and lemon parfait. Finely balanced and elegant overall. Drink now through 2022. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 16,666 cases made, 125 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

As low as $149.00
2002 tarlant champagne prestige millesime letincelante Champagne Blend

An assemblage of 57% Chardonnay, 29% Pinot Noir and 14% Pinot Meunier, the 2002 Millésime Prestige l’Étincelante (literally: the sparkling one) opens with an exciting bouquet that displays lovely matured yet precise fruit aromas along with brioche, stony and flinty notes. On the palate, the 2002 is intense, firm and vibrantly fresh, showing a juicy, chalky texture and stimulating salinity in the long yet still young finish. This is one of the best vintage Champagnes I have tasted here so far. Tasted in April 2018.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95+ RPThe 2002 Brut Nature L’Étincelante is one of the most restrained 2002 Champagnes readers will come across. And it is absolutely exquisite. Delicate scents of apricot, chamomile, pear, baked apple tart, brioche and yellow flowers all lift from the glass. Medium in body and super-refined, the 2002 has so much to recommend it. This is a tremendous showing from Benoit Tarlant.Vinous Media | 95 VMThe 2002 Champagne l’Etincelante Brut Nature is 57% Pinot Noir, 29%, Chardonnay, and the rest Meunier, and was aged for 15 years on the lees prior to disgorgement in September 2018. It comes from two terroirs of Campanian chalk and Lutetian limestone. A medium yellow hue, its nose is floral with pure red fruits of marasca cherry, rose petal, croissant dough, and chalk. The mousse is refined and adds richness where it is otherwise is driving with mineral persistence. It is quite remarkable in that the texture is so well rounded when it could feel mean. It is still youthful at this stage and will continue to improve over the coming 20 or so years.Jeb Dunnuck | 95 JDComplex nose of hazelnuts, salted caramel, sourdough brioche, salted lemons and dried fruit. Medium-bodied with tangy acidity with very fine bubbles. Delicious, salty character. Long and persistently sharp. 57% chardonnay, 29% pinot noir and 14% pinot meunier. Dosage 0g/L dosage. Disgorged in September 2020. Drink now.James Suckling | 94 JS

As low as $185.00
2002 ployez-jacquemart liesse d’harbonville millesime brut Champagne

Laurence Ployez’s 2002 Tête de Cuvée, the “Liesse d’Harbonville” is a magnificent bottle of Champagne. The wine is composed from a cépages of seventy percent chardonnay and fifteen percent each of pinot noir and pinot meunier, with the vins clairs barrel-fermented in two and three year-old barrels and given an elevage of six months in cask prior to bottling up for secondary fermentation. The vins clairs do not go through malolactic fermentation. It was disgorged in February of 2021, after aging sur latte for more than seventeen and a half years on its fine lees. The wine delivers a totally refined bouquet of apple, pear, sourdough bread, macadamia nut, a complex base of chalky soil tones, dried flowers, a very discreet touch of buttery oak and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, focused and complex, with great depth at the core, supremely elegant mousse, bright acids and impeccable balance on the long, vibrant and very refined finish. Though this is already more than twenty years of age, it is still a handful of years away from its plateau of peak maturity and has decades and decades of life still ahead of it. (Drink between 2023 - 2075)John Gilman | 96 JG

As low as $199.99
2002 Bollinger R.D.

It’s striking that is as fresh as it is given the ten years in the cellars. It has a fine citrus nose with plenty of lemons, grapefruit and yellow chalky notes, not to mention some lighter floral elements. The palate is super dry (dosage at 3-4g), and there’s a silky, sherbet-like texture that makes this smooth fine and long. The citrus flavors give way to the surging acidity and the finish twists very slowly through to lightly toasted cashew nuts mingled with complex fruit and citrus flavors. Disgorged October 22, 2013.James Suckling | 99 JSWhen we tasted the 2002 Grande Année in 2012, I scored it 95 points, impressed by its pale chalk power, its muscularity and the freshness it expressed as a ten-year-old wine. It had the scent of a sunny meadow. With two years of additional time on the lees and a lower dosage, the current R.D. version of that wine is more extreme. If you break it apart you might consider how the barrel-aged base wines from 23 crus intensify the structure, or how the acidity of the vintage has sustained the bright, buzzing freshness of the peach and apple flavors. The fruit seems to be wedded to rock, so strong is the chalk streak of limestone. And yet the resonance of the wine, subsuming any and all of those factors, brings it together in a sumptuous texture, making it a pleasure to drink even now. It’s more sensible, however, to wait. In ten years, this should begin to fulfill its promise, at the start of its prime.Wine & Spirits | 97 W&SA wine that really needs time in the glass to show at its best, Bollinger’s 2002 RD comes from a total 23 different crus (71% being Grand Cru) and is a 60/40 split of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Disgorged in 2013 after spending 11 years in bottle, it offers a dry, savory style that quickly morphs toward more stone fruits, toasted nuts, dried earth and exotic spices. Deep, pure, and incredibly chiseled on the palate, with a gorgeous texture and great finish, this is a Champagne I’d decant if drinking anytime soon. The dosage is in the 3-4 grams range, and while it’s certainly on the dry/savory end of the spectrum, it offers incredible complexity and depth.Jeb Dunnuck | 96 JDA fine example of power married to elegance, this is impeccably balanced, with a mouthwatering palate of crème de cassis, toasted brioche, fleur de sel and crystallized honey flavors. The rich, smoky underpinning is carried on a finely detailed bead. Disgorged March 2014. Drink now through 2030. 200 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 96 WS(Bollinger “R. D.” Brut Millésime (Aÿ)) The 2002 Bollinger R.D. is comprised of a blend of sixty percent pinot noir and forty percent chardonnay, with the wine being finished with a low dosage of 3.5 grams per liter. This is one of the most beautiful young vintages of R.D. that I have ever had the pleasure to taste, as the wine soars from glass in a blaze of apple, peach, patissière, a touch of hazelnut, beautifully complex soil tones, gentle smokiness and a topnote of dried flowers. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and generous with pure fruit at the core, with utterly refined mousse, bright acids, lovely focus and grip and a very long, focused and complex finish. At age fourteen, this wine is nicely open for business and utterly charming, but it has the balance to also age long and very gracefully. A simply beautiful vintage of R.D. (Drink between 2016-2040)John Gilman | 95 JGThe most remarkable thing about the 2002 Extra Brut R.D. is how tense and structured it is. Despite having been disgorged over two years ago, the 2002 is very much tightly wound. After several hours, the power and resonance of the vintage start to come through, along with the natural richness of Pinot from Aÿ. Whereas most 2002 Champagnes are quite ripe in profile, the 2002 R.D. has plenty of depth, but it is depth through concentration as opposed to elevated ripeness. The low dosage style further adds to that sensation. Hints of chamomile, sage, dried flower and red fruits emerge over time, but only with reluctance. I would prefer to cellar the 2002 for at least a few years. If that is not possible, readers should open the wine at least a few hours in advance. Even so, the 2002’s best drinking lies somewhere in the future. My sense is that the 2002 will be at its best between the ages of 20 and 30. Disgorged: September 11, 2015.Antonio Galloni | 95 AG(Bollinger Extra Brut - R.D. Red) Fully mature aromas are comprised by really lovely brioche, citrus and baked apple nuances. There is a notably refined bead to the mousse that is dense yet a little aeration allows the beautifully delineated yet subtly shaded full-bodied flavors to shine before culminating in a beautifully long, complex, intensely yeasty and classy finish. As the R.D. almost always is, this is full-flavored yet it arguably drinks like a blanc de blancs because of its purity and subtlety. In a word this is gorgeous. Note that I have experienced some bottle variation with some bottles seeming to be distinctly more youthful than others. (Drink starting 2020).Burghound | 94 BHThis late-release version of the vintage wine from Bollinger was 13 years on the lees before being disgorged in May of 2017 with an extra-brut dosage of just 3g/L. The initial blend was 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, fermented in cask, and aged under cork. The wine is a sublime expression of the late-disgorged style, both very fresh and showing characteristic notes of coffee and toast that long lees ageing brings. The texture is very lively and crisp, and the energy of the 2002 vintage carries this to an immense finish. This wine should age for decades. (Drink between 2021-2051)Decanter | 94 DECBig names do not help if you are not familiar with a certain house style, and so I can understand everyone who dislikes Bollinger’s 2002 RD Extra Brut, which at first sight reveals a matured if not an old wine displaying toffee, floral (hyacinths, narcissus, sage), vegetal and spicy aromas (oak, cannabis, frankincense, black bread) -- but almost no fruit (at least no fresh fruit). This wine was disgorged in March 2014, but just needs a lot of time in the glass to develop its complexity. On the palate this is a very pure, fresh, lively, firmly structured and almost ascetic wine with complexity, but almost no sensuality. Very distinctive style.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92 RP

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2002 moet chandon dom perignon rose (dark jewel metal labels) Champagne

Unfortunately there is only one new release from Dom Perignon on the market, but what a wine it is! The 2002 Brut Rose explodes from the glass with endless layers of huge, voluptuous fruit, A big, full-bodied wine, the 2002 is probably the most overly vinous, intense Rose ever made by long-time Chef de Caves Richard Geoffroy. Layers of cool, insistent minerality balance the fruit beautifully on the crystalline, vivid finish. The 2002 will be nearly impossible to resist young, but take my word for it; the wine is extremely closed right now. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2032.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98 RPThe 2002 Dom Pérignon Rosé is a tremendous example of this vintage at its very best. A Champagne of vertical thrust and intensity, the 2002 is rich, opulent and hedonistic from the very first taste. Readers should expect a Rosé built on a huge core of fruit. Rose petal, passion fruit and exotic flowers add shades of dimension to the wine’s decidedly flamboyant personality. What a wine!Vinous Media | 98 VMExtraordinarily powerful yet astonishingly beautifully constructed, the 2002 rosé is subtly different to its siblings, yet still seamless of architecture and impressive of length. Beyond the herbs and mellow autumnal berries there’s salinity at the back of the mouth. It’s perhaps a little unexpected from a rosé, but undeniably adds further layers to an already multi-faceted persona. Youthful yet wise beyond its years, this makes a wonderful pairing with the final wine, the 1990 P2 rosé. Drink with the most lavish crustacean dishes. Served from magnum. Drinking Window 2019 - 2040.Decanter | 97 DEC(Moët & Chandon Brut - Dom Perignon Rosé (magnum) Rosé) As it often is, this is quite aromatically discreet with its elegant and beautifully layered blend of soft yeast, cherry, raspberry, apple and rose petal. The still tightly coiled, intense and beautifully textured medium weight flavors possess an extremely fine effervescence before terminating in a clean, delineated and sneaky long finish that is markedly dry but not really austere. While the 750 ml version is drinking perfectly well now, in magnum format this striking beauty could still benefit from a few more years of keeping. (Drink starting 2027).Burghound | 95 BH

As low as $749.00

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