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Champagne Collector

Champagne Collector

Champagne Collector

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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2002 pol roger brut Champagne

This is a deep and profound 2002 with such fine bubbles that have the texture of fine silk. Full body. Extremely dense and compact. Just rolls over your palate. Superb quality and satisfaction, after all this time. Drink now.James Suckling | 97 JSPol Roger’s 2002 Brut Vintage is showing beautifully, bursting from the glass with an expressive bouquet of confit lemon and pear mingled with nuances of brioche, wheat toast, honeycomb and dried white flowers. Full-bodied, broad and textural, this is a rich, vinous Champagne that’s ample and complex, underpinned by lively acids and concluding with a long, saline finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPExuberant, yet graceful overall, with rich notes of ripe pineapple, guava, honey and baked peach mixing with a minerally undertow and accents of grated ginger, biscuit and fresh quince. Mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2027. 200 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 93 WSThis is beginning to display the initial hints of maturity with a hint of reduction to the otherwise pretty notes of baked bread, lemon rind and green apple. There is excellent complexity to the reserved and moderately austere finish that is not quite bone dry but it’s close to it. This is a very classy but aloof effort that will most please those who enjoy a certain restraint and understatement to their bubbles. As the description would suggest this could be enjoyed now or held for a few more years first.Burghound | 92 BHWhereas I had loved the 2002 Blanc de Blancs from Pol Roger the last time I tasted it, this most recent bottle of the 2002 Brut Millésime was not cruising at quite the same level. The wine has depth and complexity on the nose worthy of expectations, but the palate impression is a bit leesy and lacking in precision at the present time. I hope that this is just a moment of adolescent grumpiness. The bouquet is really first rate, offering up scents of apple, bread dough, fine minerality, lemon peel, a touch of quinine and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is a tad less interesting, albeit, full-bodied, crisp and nicely mineral. The mousse is customarily refined, there is good complexity, but for some reason the wine is quite defined by leesiness on the backend and really lacks a bit of focus. The raw materials here still merit a good score, but I do hope that the wine is just in a closed phase and will lose some of the yeasty qualities and snap precisely into focus with a bit more bottle age. If it does so, add three or four points. (Drink between 2016 - 2040)John Gilman | 90 JG

95
RP
As low as $159.00
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
2004 Bollinger La Grande Annee

A blend of 66% Pinot Noir and 34% Chardonnay, this is opulent and full bodied, with toast and wood flavors. Rich and ripe, this beautiful wine is generous and still young, with just a touch of bitterness at the end.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WEThe 2004 Grande Année Brut was disgorged in November 2013 and offers a clear, very refined, and complex though still closed bouquet with fruity aromas of fresh and stewed apples, yellow grapefruit, kaki, walnuts, tobacco, herbal tea, nougat and spicy flavors; everything is discreet here, subtle, perfectly melted together and smoky, very smoky. On the palate, this Pinot Noir/Chardonnay blend wine is highly complex and elegant, firmly structured and quite long. This is an excellent Champagne.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RP(disgorged January, 2013): Light, bright gold. Powerful orchard and pit fruit aromas are complemented by smoky lees, iodine, chamomile and buttered toast. At once fleshy and energetic, offering deeply pitched poached pear, peach pit and brioche flavors and a suave floral element. Finishes smoky and very long, with mounting spiciness and lingering floral and vanilla notes.Vinous Media | 94 VMFirm, with well-cut acidity and a fine texture, this is aromatic, delivering a skein of ground spice and graphite notes that mesh seamlessly with the flavors of black currant, black cherry, toasted almond, financier, honey and smoky mineral. Offers a long, mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2024. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 3,000 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 94 WSThis is cool, refined and wonderfully complex with that moderately aged yeasty character that contrasts nicely with the beautifully fresh citrus, green apple and soft floral scents. The bead of the supporting mousse is quite fine but like the 2002 R.D. it’s firm and imparts plenty of punch to the precise middle weight flavors that possess the same complexity and refinement that is displayed by the nose, all wrapped in a crisp and dry but not particularly austere finish. This is terrific and while it could easily be enjoyed now I would be inclined to hold it for another 2 to 4 years first as it clearly seems to be on the way up; indeed the last sip was more interesting than the first.Burghound | 93 BHThe 2004 Bollinger “Grande Année” is comprised of a blend of sixty-six percent pinot noir and thirty-four percent chardonnay, with all of the vins clairs for this cuvée aged in older barrels. Eighty-eight percent of the blend hails from grand crus, with the remainder premier cru, and the wine is absolutely stellar. The deep and youthfully complex nose delivers a superb mix of apple, hazelnuts, fresh-baked bread, a lovely base of soil, a touch of fresh nutmeg and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and absolutely rock solid at the core, with broad shoulders, impeccable focus and balance, elegant mousse, snappy acids, just a touch of oak influence from the barrel aging and excellent length and grip on the powerful and still fairly primary finish. This is a young and outstanding example of the vintage, though it does have just a touch of that old school, Bollinger oxidative quality about it as well in the mid-palate. (Drink between 2018 - 2035)John Gilman | 93+ JG

94
VM
As low as $349.00
2004 tarlant champagne cuvee louis brut nature Champagne

What a grand champagne this is! Stunning depth of savory character, married to concentrated candied-citrus and dried-apricot notes, plus a slew of delicate spicy notes. Very long, driving finish. Still has so much life in it! A single-vineyard wine from the Les Crayons site of Oeuilly that’s a blend of 50% chardonnay and 50% pinot noir ,wild-fermented in wooden casks without malolactic. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 96 JSA blend of equal parts Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the 2004 Cuvee Louis Tarlant is fabulous. Hints of orange peel, tangerine oil, mint, cinnamon, chamomile and dried flowers all grace the 2004. There is a gorgeous sense of transparency to the 2004, a Champagne that is at once vibrant, but also mellowed by the passage of time.Vinous Media | 94 VMBegun by the Tarlant family’s great grandfather, the first release of this cuvée was in 1982. The 2004 Champagne Cuvée Louis Tarlant Brut is equal parts Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, from the bottom of the hillside with more impact from the river. The nose has rich notes of honeyed and fresh orchard fruits of apricot, yellow flowers, and sweet citrus, and there is a balance and interplay between power and elegance. The palate has the most concentration and length of the range, and it is structured and has a long finish. It unfolds with fresh brioche, smoke, and Mirabel plum. It is open and drinking well now, although it will certainly continue to develop over the next two decades. Disgorged November 2021.Jeb Dunnuck | 94 JD(Champagne Tarlant “Cuvée Louis Tarlant” Brut Nature Millésime (Oeuilly)) As I have said before, I love how the Tarlant family is willing to age their non-dosé bottlings for an extended period sur latte prior to disgorgement, which allows for the acids in the wines to relax prior to their being released into the market. Case in point, the 2004 Cuvée Louis Tarlant was disgorged in February of 2021, after more than fifteen and a half years aging on its fine lees! The wine is composed from its customary fifty-fifty blend of chardonnay and pinot noir from the family’s more than seventy year-old vines in the lieu à dit of les Crayons in the village of Oeuilly. The vins clairs are barrel-fermented and aged in cask for an extended period prior to bottling up for secondary fermentation. The 2004 Cuvée Louis Tarlant delivers a superb aromatic constellation of apple, white peach, warm bread, a complex base of soil tones, hazelnut, a touch of buttery oak and plenty of upper register smokiness. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied, focused and rock solid at the core, with beautiful soil signature, refined mousse and a long, complex and impeccably balanced finish. This is outstanding Champagne! (Drink between 2022 - 2050)John Gilman | 94+ JG

95
VM
As low as $159.00
2004 louis roederer cristal rose Champagne (Rose)

Still a baby, the 2004 Cristal Rosé has begun to put on considerable weight over the last few years, which only serves to balance the focus and tension that have always been present. Even at eleven years of age, the 2004 Cristal Rosé remains tightly wound and a touch austere at times. Hints of orange peel, white pepper and cranberry add an exotic flair on the deeply expressive finish. Readers who can find the 2004 should not hesitate, as it is simply stunning by any measure.Vinous Media | 98+ VMFew of the noble wines of the world have the effortless grace of Cristal Rosé. The pinot noir for the blend, planted in the 1960s, grows in the center of the slope in Aÿ. Its flavors are more focused on the soil than fruit, as if the vines are bent on extracting the scent of fossilized seashells from the limestone their roots explore. Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon blends the pinot noir with 40 percent chardonnay from Avize, creating a wine with flavors that reach the horizon line, and an ethereal fragrance that last for minutes after each taste, bright, weightless, elusive and grand.Wine & Spirits Magazine | 98 W&SWith red berry and currant aromas on the pure and salty, complex and delicately vinous nose, the 2004 Cristal Rosé is a juicy but structured, vibrantly fresh and energetic cuvée with very fine tannins, great lightness, finesse and elegance. Tasted in New York, November 2018.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RP

98+
VM
As low as $665.00
2004 taittinger comtes de champagne Champagne

It’s fascinating to taste the 2004 Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne after the 2002, something I have been able to do on a few occasions. The 2004 is all about minerality, precision and tension. It doesn’t have the sheer richness or power of the 2002, but it makes up for that with its crystalline purity and sheer energy. Bright hints of lemon oil, white flowers and crushed rocks are layered into the pointed, vibrant finish. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2034.This is a fabulous set of new releases from Taittinger. The 2002 Comtes de Champagne is easily one of the very best young Champagnes I have ever tasted. Over the next year or so, Taittinger plans to list more information about their NV wines on the back labels, something that is a huge positive for the consumer.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPI am thrilled with the way the 2004 Comtes de Champagne continues to evolve in bottle. A few years ago, the 2004 was quite focused and linear, in the style of the vintage, but more recently, the wine has begun to fill out beautifully. The 2004 remains bright, with a full range of citrus, white flower and mineral nuances that dance on the palate. A brisk, saline-infused finish rounds things out beautifully in a Comtes that impresses for its crystalline purity. I expect the 2004 will always remain a bit cool next to the more opulent 2002, but it is still drop-dead gorgeous.Vinous Media | 96 VM(Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne, Champagne, France, White) It was a dry vintage up to August, which turned exceptionally wet and cool. September saved the vintage with the ideal weather conditions - low rainfall and cool nights. The graceful nose opens to white flowers, ripe apricot and citrus hints. It is tense and refined, with a vivid mineral core balanced by pristine acidity and some toasted notes on the finish. It’s not the most expressive today, but wait for it to awaken. This is built for cellaring. (Drink between 2025-2040)Decanter | 96 DEC(Taittinger Comte de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut) Like so many of the top 2004 bottlings from Champagne, the ’04 Comtes de Champagne is showing all the signs of a very long life of utterly classic evolution for this bottling. At our vertical here in New York in October, the wine was showing great potential, as it wafts from the glass in a blossoming mélange of pear, white peach, very complex, chalky minerality, brioche, a touch of vanilla bean, orange zest, discreet floral tones and a lovely, smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, and racy, with a very fine core, laser-like focus and grip, elegant mousse and great cut and bounce on the very long and still fairly youthful finish. Comtes de Champagne is always so well-balanced out of the blocks, that it always seems accessible, but this wine really deserves at least a solid handful of more years of bottle age before starting to drink, as it is only at the outset of its vinous journey. (Drink between 2018-2045)John Gilman | 95+ JGA rich and enticing aroma of roasted hazelnut heralds this elegant blanc de blancs, with flavors of pastry, poached apple, crystallized honey and candied ginger riding the finely detailed mousse. This is a touch smoky, presenting a resonant minerality on the finish. Drink now through 2029. 500 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

96
RP
As low as $235.00
2004 moet chandon dom perignon Champagne

Another stellar wine, the 2004 Dom Pérignon is just starting to show the first signs of aromatic development, as well as a bit of added weight it did not have as a young wine. The 2004 remains a bright, mid-weight DP built on persistence and length more than overt volume. I have always had a soft spot for the 2004. This tasting does nothing to dampen that enthusiasm.Vinous Media | 97 VMA return to regular form after the wild 2003 edition, this is business as usual in terms of the composed and complex swagger that is a hallmark of Dom. Good deep autolysis here, toasty yeasty characters wrap around a wealth of grapefruit and pithy lemon citrus notes; the chardonnay rings clear as a bell at around half of the blend. The palate has assertive, driving power and fully formed deep-seated phenolic presence with a chord of acidity steering it through a long, fresh and gently nutty finish. Classic Dom is back! Best drunk around 2019.James Suckling | 96 JS(Dom Pérignon Brut (Moët et Chandon)) The 2004 Dom Pérignon is another great classic in the making, and this is one of those vintages that will truly deserve all of thirty years’ worth of bottle age, so that it can fully blossom and deliver fully its formidable potential. The beautiful bouquet delivers a refined still youthful constellation of green apple, menthol, salty minerality, white flowers, a touch of iodine and already, the first hints of the crème patissière to come with more bottle age. On the palate the wine is pure, full and very racy in personality, with a lovely core, excellent complexity, refined mousse and superb focus and grip on the very long and energetic finish. This is still a puppy and needs several more years in the cellar to start to blossom, but it will be stunning once it reaches its plateau of peak maturity. Expect it to first start to properly open at age twenty and really hit its stride at age thirty and beyond. (Drink between 2024-2075).John Gilman | 96+ JGWith all the lush plenitude of the 2004 vintage, this wine’s explosive flavors give it a bold, broad, layered impression on the palate. But the tight structure and edgy tension of the acidity reins it in, capturing the wine’s aromatic power and extending it into graceful length. This is a precise and sophisticated Champagne suited to the cellar.Wine & Spirits | 96 W&SA graceful Champagne, with minerally drive. Firm acidity and a rich vein of smoky mineral meshes with the plush texture, offering finely woven flavors of mirabelle jam, toasted brioche, crunchy pear, honey and smoked almond. Delivers a long, mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2029.Wine Spectator | 95 WSThe 2004 Dom Pérignon is one of the more reductive, autolytic vintages of this wine to have been released in the last decade, offering up a toasty bouquet of pears, green apple, iodine, peach and smoke. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, satiny textured and fleshy, with a sweet core of fruit, a fine mousse and a vinous profile. The 2004 is drinking well today: as I wrote earlier this year, between the rich, ripe 2002 and the powerful but racy 2008, the 2004 is an excellent but more classically proportioned example of Dom Pérignon.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RPIn 2004, quality and quantity were happy bedfellows, especially in the vineyards of the Côte des Blancs. Geoffroy said that by now he had the confidence and experience to stand back a little and allow nature to do its worst, or in this instance, its best. He describes ’04’s appeal in terms of a ‘substantial embrace’ and there’s certainly a generous, almost sensual character to this wine. It’s finely manicured with a glorious nose, the faintest touch of reduction and woodsmoke held in perfect counterpoint by a nascent fruit character. Dramatic tension cedes to radiance and harmony. Served from jeroboam. Drinking Window 2019 - 2035.Decanter | 93 DEC(Moët & Chandon Brut - Dom Perignon (magnum) Champagne/Sparkling) In the same fashion as the 2006, here too there is noticeable reduction though in contrast to its younger brother, the reductive notes completely dominate. Otherwise there is very good intensity to the particularly well-delineated middle weight flavors that are supported by an admirably fine mousse while delivering good if not sensational length on the youthfully austere, linear, compact and notably dry finish. I appreciate that this is exceptionally primary and this sense of youthful backwardness is of course enhanced by the magnum format. That said, this seems to lack nuance and the nose is so reduced that it’s not easy to imagine how that level of funk eventually dissipates. In short, while this may eventually come together I found the ’04 Dom to be somewhat disappointing. (Drink starting 2024).Burghound | 90 BH

97+
VM
As low as $369.00
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
2005 taittinger comtes de champagne Champagne

(Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut (Reims)) The 2005 Comtes de Champagne is a stunning young wine. The bouquet is deep, pure and youthfully complex, as it offers up a very classy blend of pear, delicious apple, fresh almond, incipient notes of crème patissière, chalky minerality, brioche and just a whisper of vanillin oak in the upper register. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, focused and rock solid at the core, with exquisite balance, refined mousse, crisp acids and simply superb length and grip on the seamless, youthful and oh, so promising finish. The style of the 2005 vintage gives this some early accessibility that was not evident with the more tightly-knit 2004 out of the blocks, but this wine has the structure to also age long and very, very gracefully. It has been a year since I last tasted this wine and it has started to show more precision to go along with its early generosity and is a classic in the making. My gut feeling today is that it will be superior to the 1989 version, to which I compared it to a year ago. Brilliant wine. (Drink between 2015-2045)John Gilman | 95+ JGThe 2005 Comtes de Champagne is a deep, rich, full-bodied beauty that packs serious amounts of fruit and texture, while never seeming heavy or rustic. Loaded with notions of orchards fruits, toast, caramelized citrus and distinct minerality, it has a broad, expansive, yet fine mousse, beautiful mid-palate depth and a great, great finish. It’s well worth seeking out. (Drink between 2017-2032)Jeb Dunnuck | 95 JDWith just a touch of bottle age giving a toasty character, this impressive wine is already showing some maturity. That said, the apple and citrus character, the mineral tight texture and crisp acidity promise some aging. The wine conveys a sense of elegance, intensity and richness. Drink now, but the wine will also age. Wine Enthusiast | 95 WE(Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne, Champagne, France, White) The cold dry winter was followed by a warm and wet July, and then a cooler than usual August. The temperature then escalated, turning extremely hot towards the end of August. The nose is surprisingly restrained, with lime blossom tea and herbaceous notes. The palate is a bit richer, with a creamy, fat mouthfeel and toasted characters lifted by a cleansing acidity, followed by a chalky, mineral finish. (Drink between 2020-2035)Decanter | 94 DEShows lovely balance, with a chinalike backbone of acidity, finely meshed with a creamy mousse and rich and toasty flavors of roasted hazelnut, creamed apple, lemon parfait and spun honey. A vein of smoky minerality echoes on the finish. Drink now through 2028. 700 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 94 WSTaittinger fans will want to stock away at least a few bottles of the 2005 Comtes de Champagne, if nothing else to satisfy the urge while some of the more important recent vintages continue to age in the cellar. The 2005 is immediate, deep and nicely textured, with overt fruit and fewer of the intense floral, mineral-driven notes that are typical. The first signs of aromatic development appear to off on the horizon by a few years, but at the same time, I don't expect the 2005 to be one of the more long-lived vintages here. Comtes de Champagne remains the best value in grand marque Tête de Cuvée Champagne.Antonio Galloni | 93 AGA flashy, stylish Blanc de Blancs, this has exotic, dark tones to its mature fruit and toasty lees. Severe at first, like a brooding supermodel, this relents with air and gives a little plumpness, sharing some of its riches in a supple, elegant texture. With its heady complexity, this is a Champagne to serve with blini and smoked salmon.Wine & Spirits | 93 W&SThe 2005 Comtes de Champagne has a beautifully composed nose that is extremely cool, mineral and precise and attracts with highly elegant and discreet bright and fresh fruit aromas (white apples, lemons, grapefruits) along with chalk and hazelnut flavors and nougat. Full-bodied, lovely, pure and quite complex on the palate, this is a fresh, buoyant and firmly structured Comtesse with a persistent minerality and an impressive clarity and freshness. It is quite reduced at the moment and lacks, perhaps, complexity but there is a touch of sweetness and a good chance for further development.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92 RP

95+
JG
As low as $159.00
2005 louis roederer cristal Champagne

(Louis Roederer Cristal Brut) The 2005 Cristal is a legend in the making, but this wine is still very young and closed and some extended bottle age will be necessary to really allow all of the multi-faceted elements here to blossom and come to the fore. The cépages is the same as for the 2006, fifty-five percent pinot noir and forty-five percent chardonnay, but this does not mean that Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon selected vins clairs from the same crus for the two vintages! The 2005 vintage was considered strongest for chardonnay, so careful selection of pinot noir vins clairs for the Cristal in this vintage was of paramount importance, though the domaine’s superb holdings in Verzenay and Verzy certainly made the selection process a bit easier. The 2005 Cristal offers up a deep, extremely primary and very promising bouquet of apple, pear, a gorgeously complex base of chalky soil tones, incipient nuttiness, citrus peel, smoke, a touch of lavender and a topnote of peach blossoms. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and absolutely rock solid at the core, with great focus and finesse, very refined mousse, a crisp girdle of acidity and great length and laser-like focus on the poised, primary and utterly refined finish. The 2005 is an utterly brilliant Cristal in the making, but give it time to blossom in the cellar! (Drink between 2019-2060)John Gilman | 97 JGThe iconic Roederer Champagne, Cristal’s latest release, brings a perfect balance of richness and age worthiness. It is full of apple flavor, and the mousse is very fine and almost imperceptible. As so often with a beautifully blended wine like this, a few minutes breathing brings out extra complex flavors. It certainly should age over five years and more.Wine Enthusiast | 97 WEThe complexity and youthful freshness here makes a striking Champagne that offers immense pleasure and a certain richness and depth that reflects the style of the vintage with some warmth reflected in the wine. The nose has rich citrus and stone fruits, some white flowers, light creamy honey notes and fresh sweet pastry, it has a toasty thread that has built quickly in the wine. Plenty of body on the palate, it has a wealth of assertive citrus and more exotic fruits too, the power and concentration undeniable, the length impressive and the balance impeccable. Already great drinking here. Slightly higher chardonnay component at around 45%. -NSJames Suckling | 96 JSEvery vintage can’t be 2002, or even 2004. Even so, this is pretty great, an open, airy, whip-smart delivery of Cristal’s spark, a wine of formidable delicacy. The undertow is there, drawing down a wave of spicy oak notes and heady crème caramel to reveal glints of limestone, the bright shimmer of acidity sustained by the cool rootedness in the soil. In 45 words of my notes on this wine, there’s not a single mention of fruit. Instead, they focus on brightness, subtlety, lusty juiciness, balance and mouthwatering complexity.Wine & Spirits | 95 W&S(L036332A109909): Bright yellow-gold. Heady floral-accented citrus and orchard fruits on the nose, with smoky mineral and floral overtones adding complexity. Velvety and chewy in texture, offering deep, juicy orange and poached pear flavors and suave honey and chamomile nuances. Blends precision with power, finishing with a distinct mineral quality and excellent persistence.Vinous Media | 94 VMVibrant and mouthwatering, this offers a range of patisserie pear and apple fruit, candied lemon zest, pastry dough and marzipan notes set on a finely detailed texture, which imparts a great deal of finesse. The lasting finish echoes a smoky mineral note. Drink now through 2025. 20,000 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 94 WS(Louis Roederer Brut - Cristal Champagne/Sparkling) Like the 2006 this is notably ripe with plenty of yeast, brioche and orchard fruit characters but in this case there is no tropicality. There is fine mid-palate density to the relatively powerful and very rich flavors that possess excellent complexity on the lingering finish that really fans out as it sits in the mouth. Like many 2005s this is not an especially refined vintage for Cristal nor does it possess the effervescent punch it usually does. Those aspects duly noted, this certainly cannot be faulted in terms of richness and complexity and for my taste, this is probably drinking about as well as it’s going to though I underscore that it should drink well for many years to come. (Drink starting 2015)Burghound | 93 BHThe 2005 Cristal stands out for its exceptional inner perfume and elegance. Soft, delicate and pretty, the 2005 is a relatively immediate Cristal with all of the signatures very much in the right place. The 2005 doesn’t have the opulence of the 2002 nor the focus of the 2004, but it is a very pretty, if somewhat small-scaled version of this iconic Champagne. I would drink the 2005 while the 2002 and 2004 age. Although Cristal has an impeccable track record when it comes to aging, personally I would not push it with the 2005. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RP

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As low as $405.00
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

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As low as $175.00
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

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As low as $579.00
2006 louis roederer cristal Champagne

(Louis Roederer, Cristal, Champagne, France, White) Fantastic from the start. A colossal power of beautiful rumbling Pinot maturity. It’s like chewing on the ripest grapes from Aÿ and Verzenay. At the same time ultra stylish: unmistakable Cristal essence of peach and mango sweetness, pineapple, coconut, vanilla, sprightly acidity and citrus blossom. Many similarities with 2002 but with a clearer Pinot touch. (Drink between 2016-2030)Decanter | 97 DECDeep pinot-driven presence is the first and lasting impression. Power with control. Superfine bead, bread and spiced biscuits, candied ripe red fruits and a sense of tight-knit complexity. Some grapefruit, lemon pith & gently flinty notes too - impressive nose. In the mouth it is rich, powerful, mouth-filling and flavorsome with a core of the same biscuity red fruit flavor, savory nutty notes and a wrap of assertive, persistent acidity that holds rich powerful flavor deep and focused whilst maintaining a polished, gently creamy texture. Long chalky bread and biscuit finish. A superb pinot-driven vintage.James Suckling | 97 JSBroad, ample and resonant on the palate, the 2006 Cristal dazzles with its pure richness and volume. Readers need to give the 2006 another 4-5 years in bottle, perhaps longer, as the wine appears to be shutting down a bit. Tasted next to the 2002, today the 2006 is a bit less opulent but just as intense, layered and deep. This is a fabulous showing. 10,000 cases imported in the US.Vinous Media | 97 VM(Louis Roederer Cristal Brut) The 2006 Cristal is comprised of a blend of fifty-five percent pinot noir and forty-five percent chardonnay, with twenty percent of the vins clairs having been barrel-fermented for this vintage. Despite the 2006 vintage’s predilection towards precociousness, there is no sign of this character in this beautiful rendition of Cristal, which offers up a deep, youthful and very serious bouquet of apple, delicate tangerine, brioche, fresh almond, very classy limestone minerality, incipient smokiness, a touch of orange peel and a floral topnote redolent of white lilies. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and impeccably balanced, with a great core of fruit, laser-like focus, utterly refined mousse, crisp acids and superb length and grip on the very pure and primary finish. Structurally, the 2006 Cristal is decidedly more open than its 2005 counterpart, but aromatically the wine is certainly not more developed and remains a young and very beautiful bottle of Champagne. I really love the background influence from the barrel fermentation here, which gives the wine a hint of roundness out of the blocks, but which does not intrude on the classically racy style of young Cristal. The 2006 Cristal will certainly reach its apogee earlier than the 2005, but this is still a young wine and deserves at least a handful of years in the cellar prior to drinking. (Drink between 2018-2040)John Gilman | 95 JGThe 2006 Cristal shows rich and ripe (tropical) fruit on the nose along with delicate brioche notes. Round and textured on the palate, this is a generous but fresh, fine and salty Cristal with a very long and greatly finessed finish. Tasted in New York, November 2018.Robert Parker | 95 RPAlthough it is still young, this vintage of Cristal promises great things. There’s an impressive balance between ripe fruit and crisp acidity, rich and food friendly, but also a fine apéritif. Apricot and grapefruit flavors are round and rich, but with considerable minerality as well. This is a beautiful wine that can improve with age, at least through 2030. Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEThis elegant version shows beautiful texture and a sense of finesse despite the underlying power of vibrant acidity and smoky minerality. The palate offers a finely layered mesh of blackberry, poached pear, almond pastry, lemon zest and pickled ginger flavors. Drink now through 2028. 20,000 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 95 WS(Louis Roederer Brut - Cristal (magnum) Champagne/Sparkling) Like the wine from 750 ml format, there is an ever-so-vaguely tropical element present on the yeasty, ripe and citrus-suffused nose. I like the solid mid-palate density exhibited by the rich and relatively round medium weight flavors that possess a fine but not especially firm effervescence; indeed the mouth feel of the finish is almost soft. In sum, this stylish effort is certainly complex and classy and the larger format preserves some of the vibrancy that the 750 ml version lacks. Note that this is drinking quite well even in the larger format though it will certainly live for years. (Drink starting 2017)Burghound | 92 BH

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As low as $295.00
2006 billecart salmon cuvee nicolas francois vintage brut Champagne

Created in 1964 as a tribute to the house’s founder, the youngest release is the 2006 Millésime Brut Cuvée Nicolas François, a blend of 60% Pinot Noir from premier and grand crus from the Montagne de Reims and the Grande Vallée de la Marne and 40% Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs. Almost entirely fermented in stainless steel (only 5% was vinified in oak barrels) and aged for 11 years on the lees, this is a beautifully ripe and rich yet pure champagne with ripe fruit flavors intermixed with chalky notes and brioche/nougat flavors. The palate is intense and concentrated in its rich fruit and substantial depth but also tight, highly elegant and perfectly balanced. The typical finesse of Billecart-Salmon is palatable as well as amazingly pure, with the persistent structure of a great Champagne. The 2006 already drinks dangerously well, but there is no need to hurry, this will go a long way.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPThe 2006 Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine, but it needs time to be at its best. I am surprised by how tightly wound it is. But that only makes me think what it might develop into with time in the cellar. Lemon confit, white flowers, mint, crushed rocks and sage meld together in a bright, crystalline Champagne endowed with terrific purity. The 2006 is 60% Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims and the Vallée de la Marne and 40% Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs, mostly done in steel, with just a touch of oak, around 5%. Dosage is 6 grams per liter.Vinous Media | 97 VMThis wine has always been a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay since its inception in 1964, honouring the house's co-founder. Like the other founder's cuvées, 5% of the wine is vinified in old oak barrels and it then spends 11 years on its lees with partial malolactic fermentation. It has a beautiful mousse and fine, fast-streaming bubbles, and is very tight and reserved at first, opening in the glass to reveal refined sous bois, pastry, tart red apple, rich yellow plum and lifted floral notes. Elegant, complex, long and zesty, it's still very young with its full potential yet to show.Decanter | 96 DECA rounded vintage, with very attractive white peach, apricot and nectarine fruits as well as lemon and yellow grapefruit, dried flowers, orange rind and some clotted cream. The palate has an assertive, sturdy and punchy feel to it. Bright acidity that's lime sorbet-like. Good length and plenty of fresh stone fruit flavors. Fleshy and lively. Drink this now.James Suckling | 96 JSNamed after the founder of the house, Nicolas François Billecart (who married Elisabeth Salmon), this wine is now at its peak. It is poised between fresh apple fruits and broader, riper maturity. This balance gives a ripe wine hinting at toast and almonds while still with a dry aftertaste.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEFine and creamy, this harmonious Champagne layers a firm backbone of bright acidity with a lovely range of orange pâte de fruit, marzipan, lime blossom and toasted brioche notes. Tightly meshed and racy, with a long, lightly spiced finish. Drink now through 2030.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

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As low as $179.00
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

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As low as $179.00
2007 taittinger comtes de champagne rose Champagne (Rose)

The light rust and amber color is enticing. Aromas of dried rose petals, cinnamon and nutmeg. Hints of dried meat, smoke and sage. Full body and compact, creamy texture. So fine and delicious. Great, subtle and complex flavors. More like a lightly aged, premier cru Volnay, but with the magic of Champagne. Drink now.James Suckling | 99 JSThe 2007 Comtes de Champagne Rosé is a total knock-out. Racy and exuberant in the glass, the 2007 wraps around the palate with stunning textural depth and resonance. The 15% still Pinot adds structure and persistence to a creamy, inviting Rosé Champagne that will leave readers weak at the knees. Hints of rose petal, dried cherry, cinnamon and dried flowers meld into the sublime finish. This is about as good as it gets. Wow!Antonio Galloni | 97 AGThe Comtes de Champagne Rosé is composed of 30% Chardonnay (Grands Crus from Côtes de Blancs), 70% Pinot Noir (Grands Crus from Montagne de Reims, including 15% Pinot Noir from Bouzy, vinified as red wine). It has strawberry, mint, rose petal and cherry notes on the exuberant nose. The palate is racy and creamy, very compact and fresh, with a delicate salty note on the finish.Decanter | 97 DECThis bottle of Taittinger’s just-released 2007 Brut Comtes de Champagne Rosé was disgorged in December 2018, and it’s showing brilliantly, unfurling in the glass with a complex bouquet of blood orange, minty raspberries, red plums, dried flowers and warm brioche. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, chalky and tensile, sharing a racy, chiseled profile with its Blanc de Blancs cousin. Deep, concentrated and tightly wound, the wine concludes with a long, sapid finish. This is an intense, racy Comtes Rosé with a long future ahead of it. As has been the norm chez Taittinger for several years now, the blend is based upon 70% Pinot Noir and includes 15% still red wine from Bouzy.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPThis harmonious rosé Champagne offers quiet grace, with a pleasing juiciness to the sleek acidity, framing finely knit flavors of raspberry, peach, brioche and candied pink grapefruit zest. Showing a raw silk–like texture, this caresses the palate through to the fresh, ginger-laced finish. Drink now through 2027. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 550 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 96 WS

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As low as $245.00
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
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
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
2008 henriot brut millesime Champagne

An undramatic, cloud-filled season came right in a late harvest in October. A textbook cool vintage of great ageing potential. The perfect 50/50 balance of mineral-stamped Chardonnay and powerful, masculine Pinot makes this a champagne for patient drinkers, as it will take time to reach its peak. Vibrant acidity is joined by notes of white flowers and that magnificent mineral structure. Drinking Window 2020 - 2035Decanter | 96 DECPacked with fruit while hinting at mature toastiness, this wine is now in perfect balance. Its white fruits are from half-and-half Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, shot through with acidity while having a ripe character. Rich while also crisp, it is ready to drink.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEThere is ample petrol character to the cool, pure and beautifully fresh nose that combines notes of citrus and yeast with those of green apple and a whiff of pain grillé. I really like the sense of tension and energy to the intense, delineated and solidly complex flavors that are supported by a firm and reasonably fine effervescence before culminating in a very dry, highly complex and superbly persistent finish. The outstanding 2008 vintage in Champagne can count another winner as this is a wine to buy and age in quantity. Note that while this could certainly be enjoyed now, I would continue to hold it for another 2 to 5 years.Burghound | 93 BH(Henriot Brut Millésime (Reims)) The 2008 Henriot Brut Millésime is composed of its traditional cépages of fifty percent chardonnay and fifty percent pinot noir. It was aged eight years sur latte and finished with a dosage of six grams per liter. The wine is beautifully pure on the nose in the style of this lovely vintage, wafting from the glass in a blend of pear, delicious apple, brioche, a touch of almond pastry dough, lovely, chalky soil tones and a bit of orange zest in the upper register. On the palate the wine is crisp, full-bodied, focused and superbly well-balanced, with bright acids, refined mousse, a fine core and a long, complex and vibrant finish. This is drinking very well at age eleven, but is still a tad tightly-knit and more mid-palate generosity will emerge with another five year or so in the cellar. Very impressive juice. (Drink between 2019-2050)John Gilman | 93 JGAn elegant version, featuring expressive ripe white peach and strawberry fruit flavors, layered with biscuit, kumquat, smoky mineral and ground ginger notes. Finely knit and creamy in texture, with vibrant acidity driving the racy finish. Drink now through 2028. 500 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 92 WSHenriot's 2008 Brut Millésimé spent eight years sur lattes before disgorgement with six grams per liter dosage and is a blend of equal parts Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The wine displays a gently reductive nose with notes of citrus and stone fruit mingling with suggestions of freshly baked bread, oyster shell and smoke. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, with a voluminous but notably fine mousse, bright acids and an elegantly chalky finish that's delicate but penetrating. This is a comparatively supple, open-knit example of the taut 2008 vintage, but I suspect it will gain appreciably with bottle age.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 91+ RPHenriot's 2008 Brut Millesime is rich, creamy and super-expressive, all of which make it an excellent choice for drinking now and over the next few years. Pastry, apricot, lemon confit, green pear and white flowers all grace this subtle, inviting Champagne from Henriot. The 2008 has enough fruit to drink well now, but also more than enough vibrancy to develop nicely in bottle.Antonio Galloni | 91 AGTight and austere, focused on brisk grape flavors and the savory richness of its lees, this is a finely blended wine with pale yeasty flavors that last. Maisons & Domaines Henriot America, NYWine & Spirits | 91 W&S

96
DEC
As low as $94.95
2008 delamotte blanc de blancs Champagne

The finest young wine I’ve encountered from Delamotte, the 2008 Blanc de Blancs unfurls in the glass with an expressive bouquet of freshly baked bread, lemon oil, green apple, oyster shell and mandarin. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, textural but incisive, with superb concentration and depth at the core and a long, penetrating finish. Less autolytic in style than the 2004, some 60,000 bottles were produced, around a third less than in an average vintage. This bottle was disgorged a year ago with seven grams per liter dosage.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPBeautifully expressive and complex nose with yellow-citrus and stone-fruit aromas, delivered in a subtly toasty shroud of nutty complexity. The palate is nicely delivered in a layered, fresh-lemon and grapefruit style with a smooth and elegant, soft-pastry finish. Drink now.James Suckling | 94 JSThe 2008 Delamotte is a deep, resonant Champagne endowed with stunning lays of depth. In 2008 Delamotte has all of the kaleidoscopic, multi-dimensional personality of the vintage, but the full malolactic fermentation softens some of the natural angularity of the year. Pastry, vanillin, baked apple, dried flowers and chamomile are all beautifully sculpted in the glass. This is one of the most accessible young 2008 Champagnes readers will come across, but there is real staying power and more than enough depth to support many years of fine drinking. Dosage is 6.5 grams per liter.Antonio Galloni | 93 AGDrawing on fruit from the Côte des Blancs, this wine is concentrated and still young. Density comes from the strong minerality that is balanced by a lemon flavor. Textured and taut, this wine needs time in the cellar. Drink from 2020. Wine Enthusiast | 93 WEIt’s clear when this wine is first opened that there’s something complex and layered, but it gives little of itself. When I came back to it later in the day, the wine had opened beautifully. What had been a contrast of cool and heady had merged into a creamy, intriguing chalk line of flavor, its richness held with tension, those chardonnay-in-chalk flavors presented with clarity. A lovely, classical Blanc de Blancs Champagne.Wine & Spirits | 93 W&SA smoke-tinged note of toasted brioche enriches flavors of glazed apricot, crystalized honey, verbena and chalky mineral in this well-balanced and creamy Champagne, backed by bright acidity. Offers a zesty finish of spice, mineral and citrus. Drink now through 2028.Wine Spectator | 92 WS(Delamotte Blanc de Blancs Brut Millésime (Mesnil-sur-Oger)) The 2008 Delamotte Blanc de Blancs Brut Millésime is a fine example of this very strong Champagne vintage. The bouquet is starting to just show hints of its secondary layers of complexity in its blend of apple, pear, wheat toast, a lovely base of soil tones, incipient nuttiness and plenty of smokiness in the upper register. On the palate the wine is crisp, full and focused, with a good core, elegant mousse, brisk acids and fine length and grip on the toasty and well-balanced finish. This is a well-made wine that will age very nicely, but its toasty personality makes it a tad one-dimensional today. I would tuck it away for a few more years in the cellar and let some of its other constituent components start to emerge a bit more. (Drink between 2020-2045)John Gilman | 91+ JG(Delamotte Brut - Blanc de Blancs Villages Champagne/Sparkling) Cool and restrained aromas of citrus, soft yeast and green apple precede delicious and equally yeasty flavors that are supported by a relatively fine mousse before culminating in a moderately dry and sneaky long if only acceptably complex finish. I normally really like this cuvée but in a great vintage like 2008, I honestly expected more. This has arrived at a stage where it could easily be enjoyed now though I would be inclined to cellar it for another 2 to 5 years in the hopes that more depth will develop. (Drink starting 2020)Burghound | 90 BH

93
VM
As low as $185.00
2008 egly-ouriet brut grand cru millesime Champagne

The 2008 Brut Grand Cru Millésime was eventually disgorged with only five grams per liter dosage, as Francis Egly and I had discussed last summer, and the wine has turned out just as magically as I anticipated. I have already drunk five or six bottles, and on every occasion, the 2008 has immensely rewarded time in the glass, as it’s as tightly wound as one would expect a great Ambonnay Champagne in a great vintage to be. Blossoming with inviting aromas of orchard fruit, citrus oil, pralines and freshly baked bread, much as I observed last year, it’s full-bodied, deep and layered, with immense depth and concentration, racy acids and elegantly muscular structuring dry extract. Long and penetrating, this will really reward further aging; indeed, Egly mentioned that he intends to keep back some of the 2008 for re-release at a later date, a decision which means more consumers will have the chance to experience the wine at the true peak of its powers. But even at this early stage, it is already a monument to what Champagne’s grower revolution has achieved over the last 30 or so years.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RP(Egly-Ouriet, Montagne de Reims, Champagne, France, White) A timeless, benchmark expression of Ambonnay. Primary fermentation in barrique, no malolactic fermentation. Aged 10 years on its lees and bottled with 5g/l dosage. A stunning, complex nose of candied walnuts, cherry pits, nougat and red apples. The palate has boundless energy, leading with a punch of apricots, golden raisins, almonds and orange zest. The length of the finish is extraordinary, oscillating between airy weightlessness and muscular power. The combination of Francis Egly’s meticulous nature and the sturdy clarity of the 2008 vintage is a thing to behold. A wine to enjoy over the next four decades. (Drink between 2020-2060)Decanter | 99 DECJust being released now, the 2008 Brut Millésime Grand Cru is quite possibly the most elegant, most refined Champagne I have ever tasted at Egly-Ouriet. Francis Egly captures the freshness and verve of 2008 as expressed in his vineyards in Ambonnay. That interplay yields a Champagne that is deep, resonant and pulsing with tremendous energy. The Pinot really comes through on a finish that just expands with superb resonance. In a word: brilliant! Disgorged: July, 2019.Antonio Galloni | 96 AG

100
RP
As low as $1,169.00
2008 taittinger comtes de champagne Champagne

The perfect blanc de blancs. Full-bodied with a lovely framework of acidity and dry fruit, such as apples, pears and peaches. Opulent. Dense and muscular. Yet, it’s balanced and harmonious. Line of acidity at the end. Totally in tune. Superb. Deep and complete. Has everything. One for the cellar. It is the greatest Comte ever. It has everything. A perfect upgrade from two years ago. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 100 JSTaittinger’s 2008 Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne is being released this year, and it will be worth a special effort to track down. I wrote in August 2019 that this is the finest Comtes de Champagne since the brilliant 2002, and this tasting confirmed that. Offering up a deep and complex bouquet of citrus oil, crisp orchard fruit, warm brioche, crushed chalk, blanched almonds and smoke, it’s full-bodied and incisive, with excellent concentration, racy acids and a long, searingly chalky finish. While this is already immensely impressive out of the gates, this 2008 is clearly built for the long haul, and three decades’ longevity won’t be a challenge.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98 RPTaittinger’s 2008 Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne is simply breathtaking. I have tasted it many times over the years in various trial disgorgements and it has never been anything less than compelling. The final, finished wine captures all of that potential. Bright, focused and wonderfully deep, Comtes is a fabulous example of a vintage that expresses so much energy but with real fruit intensity, the signatures that distinguish it from other vintages (1996 comes to mind) that were similarly taut, but more austere in the early going. Although the 2008 impresses right out of the gate, it only really starts to open up with several hours of air. The 2008 Comtes represents the purest essence of the Côtes des Blancs in a great, historic vintage. Readers who can find the 2008 should not hesitate, as it is a truly brilliant epic Champagne that no one who loves the very best in Champagne will want to be without.Antonio Galloni | 98+ AG(Taittinger “Comtes de Champagne” Blanc de Blancs Brut Millésime (Reims)) The 2008 Taittinger “Comtes de Champagne” Blanc de Blancs is a beautiful young wine, with stunning precision on both the nose and palate, a serious girdle of acidity and stellar depth and mineral drive on the palate. This is not anywhere near as accessible and charming out of the blocks as the 2006 was at a similar point in its development, but there is even superior potential here for those with the patience to allow it to truly blossom with some further cellaring. The bouquet jumps from the glass in a vibrant blend of apple, pear, lemon zest, warm bread, chalky minerality, white lilies and just a whisper of buttery oak buried down deep. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with a fine structure and grip, refined mousse, beautiful backend mineral drive and a long, complex and still quite youthful finish. This is a gorgeous wine in the making, but it is realistically still probably a good decade away from blossoming completely and drinking with a semblance of full maturity. (Drink between 2028-2080).John Gilman | 97 JGThe balance between ripeness and acidity that is the hallmark of this fine vintage is expressed well in this impressive wine. Tangy, with a strong streak of minerality, it is crisp and rich at the same time. For its fruitiness, it is ready to drink; for more maturity, it will need to age until 2018.Wine Enthusiast | 97 WE

100
JS
As low as $265.00
2008 philipponnat clos des goisses Champagne

The 2008 Clos des Goisses is just as impressive today as it has always been. Rich, dense and explosive, the 2008 exists in three dimensions, with remarkable textural depth and vertical intensity to burn. Clos des Goisses is notoriously slow to develop. Readers who can be patient will be treated to a spectacular Champagne. The blend is 55% Chardonnay and 45% Pinot Noir, which makes the 2008 a rare Clos des Goisses that favors Chardonnay. About 75% of the lots were fermented in oak. Disgorged April 2017. Dosage is 4.25 grams per liter.Antonio Galloni | 98 AGFrom a cooler, fresher vintage and based on more Chardonnay than usual (55%), with 45% Pinot Noir, the Philipponnat 2008 Clos des Goisses Extra-Brut shows an exciting bouquet of bright fruits, crushed chalk, bread and iodine notes. On the palate, this is an excitingly vibrant, fresh and chalky Clos with lovely citrus and cumquat flavors on the finish. The 2008 is very complex, bright, super clear and fresh, with a tightly woven structure but still great finesse and elegance. This is a fabulous Clos for the next three decades. The dosage is 4.5 grams per liter. Disgorged in April 2017 (?), tasted at the domaine in April 2018.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96+ RPShimmering pale gold with green flecks. The slight majority of Chardonnay is a fine decision, as unlike a lot of ’08s, the wine is already a pleasure to drink - but it will continue to live a long and distinguished life. Terrific expression of a complex range of citrus scents, confit of lemon and a touch of bergamot. The palate is stunning, with a promise of burgeoning flavours into the 2030s. The fruit is ideally, subtly ripe in classic cooler conditions, but also mineral-stamped in the Clos’ tradition. The 2008 has everything - a true great. Drinking Window 2019 - 2035Decanter | 96 DECRefined and seamless, showing effortless integration of the expressive, chalk-tinged minerality, the frame of sleek acidity, and the flavors of poached apple, pastry dough, orchard blossom, ground ginger and graphite carried on a delicate mousse. Impressive for the finesse and grace it projects today, but the restrained power here suggests a long future in the cellar. Disgorged April 2017. Drink now through 2035. 2,300 cases made, 750 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 95 WS(Philipponnat Clos des Goisses Brut Millésime (Mareuil-sur-Aÿ) Magnum) I wrote about the 2008 Clos des Goisses back in June of last year, as it was part of a superb vertical tasting I had the pleasure to participate in at that time. As I mentioned, it is a pretty unique vintage of Clos des Goisses, as there is more chardonnay in the blend than pinot noir, and, to the best of my knowledge this has only happened once before back in 1964. The cépages of the 2008 is fifty-five percent chardonnay and forty-five percent pinot noir. After first tasting it last summer, I was delighted to cross paths with it out of magnum during my recent trip to Burgundy and the wine was showing beautifully. The superb bouquet offers up a youthful blend of apple, white peach, chalky soil tones, dried flowers, bread dough, a touch of citrus peel and incipient smokiness in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, young and nascently complex, with a great core of fruit, zesty acids, pinpoint bubbles and great cut and grip on the long and vibrant finish. This was still youthful out of regular-sized format in the summer and is even younger out of magnum! It will be a great, great vintage of Clos des Goisses, but it will need time. (Drink between 2030-2085)John Gilman | 95+ JGThe Clos des Goisses is a 13.6-acre parcel on a chalk hillside in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, a steep, 45-degree slope facing due south, planted to chardonnay (55 percent) and pinot noir. A majority of the wine ferments in oak casks...Wine & Spirits | 95 W&SVery fragrant chardonnay here, offering white flowers, sweet smelling honey, almond nougat, lemons and peaches. The palate is very crisp, very focused and long with brioche flavor and a finely layered texture. Some chalky lemons and peaches to close. Drink now or hold.James Suckling | 94 JS

98
VM
As low as $295.00
2008 Billecart Salmon Vintage Champagne

A blend of 65% Pinot Noir consisting of Premier and Grand Crus from the Montagne de Reims and the Vallee de la Marne and 35% Chardonnay from the Cote des Blancs. Significantly, this has nine years ageing on its lees (longer than some Prestige Cuvees), the 2008 was first released onto the global market back in March 2019. With an Extra Brut dosage of 4g/l, this is a highly expressive, confident and convincing interpretation of the vintage. Right now, it is youthfully sharp and focused with fine salinity, depth, acidity and balance, and as such is already extremely approachable. The flavour spectrum encompasses toast, oyster shell, citrus, cream and a flinty, mineral depth. There’s supreme balance and elegance here, combined with a hidden underlying power that will continue to emerge and broaden with time. The finish is dry and long.Decanter | 97 DECA stunningly pure nose with aromas of apples, pears, grapefruit, dried flowers and fresh bread dough, all intermingled. The palate has a super fresh, sleek and vibrant feel with elegance, length and precision. The finish is so long and so precise. A stunning Champagne. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 96 JSBuilding on the structured Pinot Noir, often a hallmark of this producer’s Champagnes, this wine is densely textured and full of white fruits from the Chardonnay. Still young, it remains on the fruit spectrum so wait until 2021 for the full glory of the maturity to come through.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEDisgorged with four grams per liter dosage, the 2008 Extra Brut Vintage hasn’t appreciably evolved since I last tasted it. Offering up pretty aromas of honeycomb, crisp green apple, white flowers and fresh pastry, it’s medium to full-bodied, tensile and incisive, with a tightly wound core, racy acids and an elegant pinpoint mousse. I wouldn’t open bottles from my own cellar for another five years, as this is evolving at a glacial pace.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPA graceful Champagne that swathes the palate in a fine and creamy mousse, carrying flavors of baked blackberry, lemon meringue pie and chopped almond. Vibrant acidity creates a mouthwatering impression on the minerally finish. Drink now through 2026.Wine Spectator | 93 WSThe 2008 Brut Vintage is a delicious wine with which to explore the vintage, as it offers a lovely combination of richness, energy and early approachability. There is a sense of vibrancy that is so appealing. Orchard fruit, dried flowers, mint, spice and hazelnut all grace this enticing, impeccably rendered 2008 from Billecart-Salmon. Lovely. The blend is 65% Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims and the Vallée de la Marne and 35% Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs done entirely in stainless steel. Dosage is 4 grams per liter. (Originally published in August 2020)Vinous Media | 92 VM

92
VM
As low as $115.00

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