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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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1995 krug Champagne

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

98
WS
As low as $760.00
1995 Krug Clos d'Ambonnay

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

As low as $3,555.00
1996 krug Champagne

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

99+
VM
As low as $745.00
1998 krug Champagne

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

98
WS
As low as $560.00
1998 veuve clicquot la grande dame Champagne

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

92
WS
As low as $265.00
1998 Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Rose

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

92
ST
As low as $430.00
1999 philipponnat clos des goisses Champagne
95
RP
As low as $425.00
2000 louis roederer cristal Champagne

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

91
WS
As low as $465.00
2002 Bollinger R.D.

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

99
JS
As low as $585.00
2002 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses

(Philipponnat Clos des Goisses Brut) These most recent two bottles of the 2002 Clos des Goisses were both magnificent. The wine is starting to really drink with great style at age twelve, and though it remains early days in the evolution of this wine, it is really already getting irresistible. The deep, pure and wide open bouquet shows quite a bit of the exotica that defines this wine at full maturity, as it soars from the glass in a mélange of ripe pears, musky floral tones, kaleidoscopic minerality, brioche and plenty of smokiness in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and magically complex, with bottomless depth at the core, laser-like focus, bright, zesty acids, pinpoint bubbles and simply stunning length and grip on the impeccably balanced and wide open finish. Intuitively, I know this is still early days for the 2002 Clos des Goisses, but for those wise enough to have a substantial cache of this wine in the cellar, it is a far cry from a crime to be opening bottles now! Sheer brilliance. (Drink between 2014-2050)John Gilman | 97 JGThe flagship 2002 Brut Clos des Goisses is simply stunning in this vintage. Seamless, ripe and beguiling, the 2002 is pure harmony in the glass. Dried pears, apricots, flowers, red berries and spices are some of the many notes that inform this towering, aristocratic wine. At once vertical yet endowed with serious length, the 2002 stands out for its breathtaking balance and overall sense of harmony. Layers of fruit built to the huge, creamy finish. This is a great showing from Philipponnat. The 2002 was disgorged in June 2011. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2032.I tasted a wide range of fabulous wines with Charles Philipponnat this year. Over the years, the knock on Philipponnat was that few of the entry and mid-level wines were consistent in quality with the flagship Clos des Goisses, one of the true icons of Champagne. I find that much less of an issue these days. One criticism I do have with Philipponnat is with the roses, which generally are made by adding still red wine to the blanc versions of those same Champagnes. While this method, called ‘assemblage,’ is quite common in Champagne, it is much less typical of estates that aspire to make world-class Champagnes, as Philipponnat does. At most of the top houses, the roses are made as stand alone wines, in other words, conceived and executed from the bottom up as their own entities rather than based off another wine.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPThe 2002 Clos des Goisses dazzles from start to finish. A huge, tropical Goisses, the 2002 pulses with exotic, tropical fruit wedded to a real sense of textural vinosity. Honey, almonds and yellow stone fruits are some of the many notes that blossom in the glass. The 2002 is just entering the very early part of its plateau of maturity, but it will continue to develop further nuance over the next 20-30 years. The level of complexity and overall sumptuousness make the 2002 nearly impossible to resist today. Disgorged November 2011.Antonio Galloni | 96 AGTightly knit and firm, this is lightly chalky in texture, but shows a sense of finesse overall, offering notes of ripe poached apple and pear, black currant, blanched almond, licorice and ground anise. Disgorged February 2012. Drink now through 2025. 1,000 cases made, 85 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

As low as $400.00
2002 krug clos du mesnil Champagne

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

100
JG
As low as $3,175.00
2002 krug Champagne

(Krug Brut Millésime (ID# 415064)) It is hard to believe that two and a half years have now passed since Champagne Krug unveiled its long-awaited 2002 Vintage Brut. I do not know if there have been different disgorgements of this bottling, but this one is the same as the last bottle that swept me off of my feet back in the spring of last year, having been disgorged in the autumn of 2015. The wine is a blend of forty percent pinot noir, thirty-nine percent chardonnay and twenty-one percent pinot meunier in 2002 and is already one of the legendary vintages of Krug ever produced. The bouquet is deep, pure, ripe and vibrant, wafting from the glass in a marvelous blend of pear, apple, almond, a stunningly beautiful base of soil tones, subtle spice shading, patissière, a touch of citrus blossoms and that signature Krug smokiness in the upper register. On the palate the wine rock solid, mineral-driven and shows off stellar purity, with its full-bodied format seamlessly supported by great structure and grip. The mousse is impeccable, the complexity still youthful and growing with each visit and the finish, long, refined and absolutely perfect. This will last almost forever and I suspect at age fifty-seven, I will never drink it at its absolute zenith of evolutionary perfection. But, I admit very much enjoying my occasional visits as the wine is in climbing mode to that future peak! (Drink between 2022-2095)John Gilman | 100 JGExotic and opulent with dried peaches and apricots, yet wild with croissant and pie crust. Full body. Layered and energetic. So complex with nutmeg and cinnamon. Perfect Champagne. ID415065James Suckling | 100 JSThis is a fabulous wine from the greatest Champagne vintage so far this century. Still young, it blends almost equal amounts of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay fleshed out with Pinot Meunier. The minerality and the rich apple and green fruits are balanced, and acidity cuts into the wine with a pure, perfumed line of freshness. The wine could be drunk now, but it will age well into the the 2020s.Wine Enthusiast | 100 WEThis has the stamina of the 2002 vintage from the first scent, a fragrance like pear skin and butterscotch, and something fresher, like meadow flowers. All of that fragrance comes in a wine that’s expansive and dry, almost austere in the power of its acidity. Over the course of several days, the wine remains impervious to the fraying of oxidation, instead building on its flavors, deepening to scents of white truffles. Initially, the power of the acidity not only cleans up after the wine’s substantial flavor, but also seems to lash all those notes together and rocket them through a buzz of energy that lasts for minutes. That energy, undiminished four days later, when the bubbles have finally gone, takes on a gentler power, presenting the harmony and elegance at the center of the wine. The 2002 may well be the greatest vintage wine Henri Krug produced during his four-decade career. Wine & Spirits | 100 W&S(Krug, Champagne, France, White) Without question one of the most perfect vintages in Champagne, in which Krug has once again excelled. Released after the 2003 (as with the ’89 and ’88), this is a sumptuously magnificent 2002 which manages to eloquently express both the vintage and the maison’s unique savoir-faire. To my palate, this majestic effort is drinking exquisitely now, but will keep and improve for many more years. It is dense, exotic and powerful, underpinned and framed by a firm spine of acidity. There are so many hedonistic sensations to tease the supply textured palate, including honey, roasted almonds, cream, minerals, stone fruits and hazelnuts. Superbly constructed, this is a symphony of flavours that linger effortlessly on the palate for minutes, it is pure pleasure. Sixteen years on, this is just hitting its stride. (Drink between 2017-2045)Decanter | 99 DECKrug’s 2002 Brut (ID 415064 – disgorged IV/2015) has an intense citrus color and opens with a generous, intense yet fine and precise bouquet that indicates great depth and elegance. Red fruit flavors on the nose lead to a generously rich yet pure, highly refined and elegant palate, with lots of ripe cherry fruits and delicious yeasty flavors. This is a highly complex and tensioned but beautifully balanced 2002 with a charming dosage that gives perfect roundness. The finish, however, is clear, fresh and well-structured, if not taut, and very mineral. Tasted in Reims in April 2018.Robert Parker | 97+ RP(Krug Brut Red) There is a subtle phenolic character to the secondary-tinged yet super-fresh nose reflects notes of baked bread, yeast, pear, baked apple, spice and a hint of citrus. The bold and full-bodied flavors possess superb complexity while being underpinned by a notably fine but dense mousse, all wrapped in a gorgeously persistent finish. This full-bodied effort is seriously impressive and one that is aging effortlessly though for my taste, it could certainly be enjoyed now. (Drink starting 2020)Burghound | 96 BHBeautifully aromatic, this leads with aromas of ground clove, coffee liqueur and mandarin orange peel, adding crystallized honey, dried cherry, acacia blossom and toasted brioche notes on the expansive palate. Rich in flavor and broad in structure, with verve driving this through to the long, satiny finish.Wine Spectator | 96 WSThis is perhaps the best bottle of Krug’s 2002 Vintage I have tasted. Expansive and creamy on the palate, with lovely finesse and brightness, the 2002 is quite expressive today. I don’t see the depth or pedigree that might place this wine among the best examples of the year. Instead, the 2002 Vintage continues to be an underwhelming wine by Krug standards.Antonio Galloni | 94 AG

100
JG
As low as $570.00
2005 louis roederer cristal Champagne

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

94
WS
As low as $405.00
2008 delamotte blanc de blancs Champagne

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

93
VM
As low as $185.00

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