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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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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
2002 moet chandon dom perignon rose 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 VM(Dom Pérignon, Rosé, Champagne, France, Rosé) Extraordinarily 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. (Drink between 2019-2040)Decanter | 97 DE(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

99
JS
As low as $549.00
2002 louis roederer cristal Champagne

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

100
W&S
As low as $469.00
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 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
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 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 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
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

97
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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
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

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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

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As low as $94.95
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

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As low as $265.00
2008 Bollinger R.D.

Amazing aromas of sweet uncooked pie crust with almonds. Then you smell dried apples, apricots and pineapple. Grilled fruits, too. Full-bodied. So tangy and energetic with sizzling acidity and creamy tannins. Flavorful and lightly oxidized at the finish. Smacking my lips. Agile. Ginger and spices. A touch of bitter complexity with some salinity. Extreme character that grabs your attention. 13 years and six months aging on the lees with cork. 3 grams dosage. 71% pinot noir and 29% chardonnay. Don’t serve too cold. Drink or hold.JS | 99 JSWhen I was tasting Bollinger’s brilliant Grande Année in this vintage, I was trying to imagine how good the 2008 Extra-Brut R. D. would be, as the style of the vintage seems almost perfectly adapted to this cuvée. Four years later, we have the answer, and the wine is brilliant. Disgorged in 2022, it’s more reserved out of the gates than the dramatic Grande Année was on release, unwinding in the glass with notes of crisp orchard fruit, orange peel, freshly baked bread, subtle hints of fino sherry, wet stones and macadamia nut. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, with a deep core of fruit that’s animated by racy acids and a refined pinpoint mousse, concluding with a bone-dry finish. Extremely harmonious and full of youthful energy, it’s the finest R. D. of the decade and one that will richly reward a bit of additional age on cork. In style, the most obvious comparison is with the 1996, but the 2008 is more integrated and harmonious on release. These bottles were disgorged late last year with three grams per liter dosage.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98+ RPThe 2008 Champagne R.D. Extra Brut is chiseled, powerful, and packaged with a chalky mineral texture. Made from 70% Pinot Noir and the rest Chardonnay, with 3 grams per liter dosage, it pours a bright straw yellow hue, while its aromatics are more mineral-tinged and feel a touch more noble and upright in character. Aromatically, it opens to notes of toasted almond, preserved Meyer lemon, brothy saline, and vibrant fresh fruit. Displaying tension and grace, it has the richness of Bollinger but is more upright, with an electric mineral energy that courses through the finish, which lasts for days. Mouthwatering and long, it’s a stunner. It needs more time to harmonize all its components, but this is a wine to cellar for the ages, and I think this is going to be a vintage of RD we talk about for a very, very long time. Cellar it if you can and drink 2026-2056. Disgorged December 2022.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDEmerging like a genie from a bottle, so full of life and magic, the Bollinger R.D. 2008 unwinds gradually to reveal aromatic layer after layer of white peach, Meyer lemon confit, kumquat, wafer cookies, wet stones and acacia honey intermingling with bready and faintly oxidative, nutty notes. Medium to full-bodied and full of high-toned energy, the palate is wonderfully silky and lithe with a super fine, creamy mousse full of stimulating acid freshness, exquisite saline intensity, and a chalky finish with a beautiful citrus peel note. A blend of 66% Pinot Noir and 34% Chardonnay, it was disgorged 09 December 2022 and finished Extra Brut with a three gram per liter dosage. As beautiful as it is now, it has many years of excellent drinking ahead.The Wine Independent | 98+ TWIThis focused Champagne is all about the graceful definition of power, with an up-front, austere edge to the steely acidity, which is softened by the fine, plush mousse and well-integrated with the rich profile. Toasted hazelnut, crystallized honey, peach skin and nectarine flavors expand on the palate, accented by hints of ground ginger, oyster shell and preserved lemon, with a racy streak of salinity that drives the mouthwatering finish. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Disgorged October 2022. Drink now through 2038. 300 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 97 WSBright in colour with gold reflections, the aromatics are immediately captivating, with marzipan, acacia, apricot and patisserie all vying for attention. It’s impossibly youthful yet reassuringly mature, a bread basket of delicious contradiction. Cerebral seduction ensues on the palate, with dried fruits, bergamot and lime joining the party, then come the hazelnut notes – which have been identified as a leitmotif for the vintage – and a clean, almost chalky finish to restore rigorous harmony. Precision in no way undermines generosity, and generosity in no way undermines potential. A very fine piece of work all in all, tasted from magnum, alongside bottle and jeroboam. Disgorged: November 2022. Dosage: 3g/L.Decanter | 97 DECBollinger’s 2008 R.D. is a powerful, vinous Champagne. Apricot, dried pear, tangerine oil, hazelnut, dried flowers, chamomile and brioche all race across the palate. The 2008 boasts notable depth and textural intensity, with a feeling of phenolic, almost tannin-driven grip from the Pinot that propels the finish.At times the R.D. is quite exotic, even if there is a good kick of energy from the bright, salivating acids and low dosage. The 2008 R.D. is very much a Champagne for the dinner table, a wine that benefits immensely from aeration. In 2008, the blend comprises fruit from 18 villages, 71% Pinot Noir, mostly from Aÿ and Verzenay and 29% Chardonnay, mostly from Mesnil-sur-Oger and Cramant. Dosage is 3 grams of dosage. I would give this a few more years in bottle to fully come together. Disgorged: October 28, 2022.Vinous Media | 96 VMNo written review provided. | 95 W&SHere too the slightly more expressive nose is wonderfully complex with its aromas of citrus peel, yeast, acacia and a vague hint of red fruit, in particular strawberry. There is excellent volume and richness to the full-bodied flavors as the long aging on the lees is very much in evidence on the moderately dry, powerful and equally complex finale. For my taste this is largely mature and while it will hold for several more decades, I don’t see much if any further upside development potential.Burghound | 94 BH

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As low as $345.00
2012 bollinger grande annee Champagne

This goes from zero to 60 right out of the gate, with an intense spine of acidity driving tightly meshed flavors of crushed black currant, ground coffee, candied grapefruit peel and toasted almond. The profile expands on the palate, carried by the fine, raw silk–like mousse. Richly aromatic and expressive from start to lasting, spiced finish. Disgorged July 2019. Drink now through 2037. 850 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 97 WSStill young for a wine of this caliber, this rich Champagne has an immense future ahead of it. The freshness of the wine will mature into the rich toastiness that is such a hallmark of this brand. Oak fermentation and aging have added to the great promise of this fine wine. Drink from 2022.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WEDisgorged in July 2019, Bollinger's 2012 Brut La Grande Année is showing well, offering up an incipiently complex bouquet of crisp yellow orchard fruit, fresh peach, orange oil, toasted walnuts and dried apricot that's still quite reserved with less than a year on cork. Full-bodied, deep and muscular, the 2012 is blockier and broader-shouldered than its 2008 predecessor, with a weightier and even more concentrated palate built around a bright spine of acidity, concluding with a chalky finish that carries appreciably dry extract. This isn't quite as elegant as the exquisite 2008, but it is a superb effort and obviously built to age.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPThe 2012 Grande Année is vibrant and wonderfully nuanced. Citrus peel, orchard fruit, brioche, dried flowers and chamomile are all finely knit in a Grand Année built on energy and persistence more than size. Readers will find a restrained Grand Année in 2012. There is plenty of the textural richness that is such a signature of the house style, but I am also struck by the wine's freshness. Best of all, the 2012 will drink well right out of the gate. It is quite expressive today, even in the early going. (Originally published in August 2020).Vinous Media | 94 VM(Bollinger Brut - La Grande Année Red) A markedly restrained and decidedly cool yet strikingly elegant nose combines notes of spiced apple, pear, white flowers, citrus rind and a background suggestion of brioche. The wonderfully vibrant and intense flavors are supported by a notably fine effervescence that perhaps isn't quite as firm as one might think for such a young wine. This classy and ultra-refined effort should drink well earlier than usual though I underscore that it definitely is not at its peak. With that said, it could easily be enjoyed now for its youthful exuberance. Lovely. (Drink starting 2024).Burghound | 93 BHTexture is key here, with a fruit basket of indulgence tempting the senses, the predominant Pinot Noir adding plums, cherry and hints of cedar to the creamy, toasty core that has been bequeathed by the barrel fermentation. Energetic, vital and brimming with potential, its 8g/l of sugar is lightly worn. This is a seductive Grande Année, hard to resist in its youth but far from lacking gravitas and matière to secure a happy development. Drinking Window 2020 - 2030.Decanter | 93 DEC

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As low as $149.00
n/v bollinger special cuvee Champagne

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

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As low as $39.99
n/v charles heidsieck brut reserve Champagne

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

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As low as $54.99

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