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Champagne Wines

Champagne Wines

Champagne Wines

Champagne Wines

"The sharp, biting acidity, cutting through the richness; the explosive force that shatters the bubbles as they rise to the surface; the intense flavor and compelling, lively mouthfeel; these are all hallmarks of a good Champagne. Most wines are made from a combination of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, but there are pure-Chardonnay variants and ones that blend only Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. As a result, most wines come with a feeling of familiarity, if not nostalgia. Each Champagne house has its own unique style, so different bottles of Champagne may not resemble each other outside of the core varietal strengths. The soil composition of the subregion is characterized by belemnite and chalk, which lets it absorb heat during the daytime and release it at night. This terroir helps create the feeling of airy, playful lightness of fine sparkling wine.

These wines were originally marketed towards royalty, and you can feel a hint of that elusive blue-blood elegance and confidence while drinking one. A good Champagne carries you away like a hurricane carries small debris, and you can feel the powerful life force in each bubble even. The characteristic Champagne “pop” has become a staple at parties and celebrations around the globe – when you hear it, good times are right around the corner."
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1985 krug Champagne

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

96
WS
As low as $1,105.00
1996 moet chandon dom perignon Champagne

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

96
RP
As low as $499.00
1996 duval-leroy femme de champagne grand cru Champagne Blend

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

97
WS
As low as $799.00
1996 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses

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

As low as $679.00
1999 taittinger comtes de champagne Champagne

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

95
VM
As low as $345.00
2000 taittinger comtes de champagne Champagne

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

96
RP
As low as $279.00
2002 moet chandon dom perignon rose (dark jewel metal labels) Champagne

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

98
RP
As low as $749.00
2002 taittinger comtes de champagne Champagne

Taittinger’s 2002 Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne is off the charts. I have tasted the 2002 now many times, and it has never been less than thrilling. A vivid kaleidoscope of pure Chardonnay aromas and flavors opens up in the glass. The 2002 is at once incredibly rich yet also totally weightless and impeccable in its balance. All the classic Comtes notes are there, but with a level of detail and nuance I don’t think I have ever seen before. The 2002 is breathtakingly beautiful today, but also appears to have the stuffing to age for decades. Personally, I would be looking to buy the 2002 in magnums if at all possible. Sadly, there is little wine to go around as 2002 was a very short crop. Readers who can track down the 2002 are in store for something truly great. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2042.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98 RPTaittinger’s 2002 Comtes de Champagne (magnum) is one of the greatest Champagnes ever made. In magnum, it is especially explosive and heady, not to mention superb alongside Daniel Humm’s hors d’oeuvres, where the brilliance of the wine plays off the flavors and textures of the food brilliantly. What a great way to start this dinner.Vinous Media | 98 VM(Taittinger Comte de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut) The 2002 Comtes has been a legend in the making since its first release, and at age twelve, the wine is starting to really stretch its wings and aim for the stars. The utterly brilliant nose is still a tad on the reticent side, but as the wine warms up in the glass, it offers up a stellar constellation of pear, delicious apples, complex chalkiness, brioche, apple blossoms, incipient notes of pastry cream, plenty of smokiness and a topnote of lemon peel. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and utterly seamless, with stunning focus and balance, unrepentant refinement, elegant mousse, zesty acids and stunning cut and grip on the endless and dancing finish. I am hard-pressed to think of a finer young vintage of Comtes de Champagne that has ever crossed my path! It seems to me that it is still infanticide to be drinking this wine today, as there is so much more to unfold with more bottle age, and I would not touch a bottle until it starts to close in on its twentieth birthday. Chapeau! (Drink between 2020-2075)John Gilman | 98 JGA rich base of toasted brioche and briny mineral supports flavors of poached quince, white peach puree, fleur de sel, pastry and smoked almond. There’s a quiet verve to this wine, with a fine, silky texture throughout. Drink now through 2025. 150 cases imported. — ANWine Spectator | 94 WS(Taittinger Brut - Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Red) A beautifully elegant and ultra-pure nose serves up attractively layered and mature aromas of spiced pear, white rose, citrus, brioche and hints of green apple. There is very good if not stunning complexity to the moderately vibrant flavors that are supported by an impressively refined effervescence before terminating in a balanced, dry, clean and lingering finish. For my taste this has arrived at its apogee though it should have no trouble holding for at least another decade. (Drink starting 2020)Burghound | 94 BHThe latest release of the legendary Comtes de Champagne comes from a great vintage. It has full, toasty bottle-age notes that give the wine depth of flavor, with a ripe, rounded mouthfeel and taut acidity. An almond note combines with the citrus-driven acidity on the finish.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WE(Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne, Champagne, France, White) From a warmer year, which is also transcribed into the glass. It’s richer and more concentrated, with some dried apricot and brioche aromas. It’s complex on the palate, with intensity and focus, showing a hint of vanilla alongside generous brioche and leesy characters. It has power and concentration, with some fruit development apparent, and a long-lasting finish. It was one of the favourites at the tasting, but I favoured the more elegant styles. (Drink between 2018-2030)Decanter | 93 DE

99
JS
As low as $459.00
2002 bollinger grande annee Champagne

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

96
DEC
As low as $529.00
2002 ployez-jacquemart liesse d’harbonville millesime brut Champagne

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

96
JG
As low as $199.99
2002 tarlant champagne prestige millesime letincelante Champagne Blend

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

95+
RP
As low as $185.00
2002 pommery cuvee louise brut Champagne

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

93
RP
As low as $149.00
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 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 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
2005 taittinger comtes de champagne rose Champagne (Rose)

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

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

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

98
VM
As low as $175.00
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

97
VM
As low as $179.00
2006 piper-heidsieck cuvee rare Champagne

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

98
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As low as $579.00
2007 taittinger comtes de champagne Champagne

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

98
JS
As low as $179.00
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

99
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As low as $245.00
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

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