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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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2004 taittinger comtes de champagne Champagne

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

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

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

97+
VM
As low as $369.00
2004 krug Champagne

Combining subtleness with complexity, the coolish Krug 2004 Brut opens with a highly elegant, fascinatingly clear, bright and refreshing bouquet of ripe (apple) fruits. Dense and round, with a delicate mineral soul, the pure but perfectly balanced 2004 reveals great finesse and weightless elegance with a long and round finish. This is a gorgeous Krug vintage that is 14 years old but still on the rise. Tasted from ID 316034 in New York in November 2018.At the beginning of November 2018 I met Olivier Krug early on a Friday morning (even before breakfast) in New York’s beautiful Simon & The Whale hotel. If you get the chance to have some Krug cuvées, you will not miss your breakfast too, I suppose. Olivier insisted on naming the 166th edition of the Krug Grande Cuvée as "166ème Édition" and not as "Number 166" or just "Krug 166." Olivier said that "the cuvée represents the history of Krug and is the result of blending potentially 250 base wines from a time span of 20 or 25 years." He also doesn’t like to speak of the 2004 as a vintage Champagne or of the two Clos as single-vineyard wines. "Single-vineyard wines are not our objective, nor are vintage Champagnes," he explains. "We produce Krug, and only the repeated blind tastings of all our 250 or so base wines by five to seven tasters decides which cuvées we are going to produce. If the vintage doesn’t reflect the soul of the vintage, we will not produce it. If we don’t detect the extraordinary quality and singularity of the one or the other Clos, we will not produce it. The two Clos exist because of Krug. There wouldn’t be any Clos without Krug," Olivier added, underlining that there is no hierarchy in the Krug offerings. The tastings of the 2004 vins clairs, however, crystallized the 2004 Brut because it represents the "luminous freshness" of the vintage, as Olivier describes it. Our morning tasting started with the still very young and uneasy or somewhat restless Krug Grande Cuvée 166ème Édition, which was followed by the 2004 Krug. In turn, the 20014 Krug was followed by the outstanding Grande Cuvée 160ème Édition, which is predominantly based on the 2004 harvest and shows the complexity of the cuvée combined with the purity and freshness of the 2004 vintage. Krug fans should download the Krug App, as it includes detailed information about the cuvée, the vintage and the blending partners that can be found by entering the ID code. The first three digits of the ID code represent the date of disgorgement, so that ID316 translates to the third quarter of 2016Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPKrug’s 2004 Vintage is absolutely mesmerizing. Layers of bright, chiseled fruit open up effortlessly as the wine fleshes out with time in the glass. Persistent and beautifully focused, with a translucent sense of energy, the 2004 captures all the best qualities of the year. Moreover, the 2004 is clearly superior to the consistently underwhelming 2002 and the best Krug Vintage since 1996. Readers who can find it should not hesitate, as it is a magical bottle.Antonio Galloni | 97+ AGID: 214041 This is an extremely fresh edition and remains in a restrained mode with an intense serve of chardonnay’s lemon citrus dominating the nose alongside lime zest, bright florals, grassy elements, fresh dough, white stones and very subtle background spice. The palate has a svelte and elegant shape. Smoother than the 2002, it shares the same quality of precision but not the raging power of that vintage. The poise is unquestionable, the wine very reserved, with plenty of lemon-infused citrus flavors, hints of fresh cashew and a lot of potential. Acidity holds superbly, the dosage is exactly where it should be. This is a classic release. It’s all about chardonnay. Best from 2022 and will mature gracefully in linear style in bottle for several decades.James Suckling | 97 JS2004 was a late harvest year, and this vintage Krug, composed of 39% Chardonnay, 37% Pinot Noir and 24% Pinot Meunier, possesses an impressive aromatic richness of hazelnuts, white fruit and spring flowers. There’s both density and freshness on the palate, and an engaging counterpoint between vinosity and tension achieves a compelling, harmonious balance. Worthy of an audacious match with sea urchins! Drinking Window 2018 - 2030Decanter | 96 DEC(Krug Brut Millésime (Reims)) The 2004 Krug Brut Millésime is a superb example of the vintage. The cépages this year is thirty-nine percent chardonnay, thirty-seven percent pinot noir and twenty-four percent pinot meunier. It was aged twelve years sur latte prior to disgorgement and preparation for market. The wine has been out now for more than a year and is really starting to blossom nicely, offering up a deep and complex bouquet of apple, pear, sourdough bread, a superb foundation of minerality, caraway seed and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied and impeccably balanced, with a superb core of fruit, fine mineral drive and grip, elegant mousse and a long, vibrant and complex finish. Some 2004s are in a slightly leaner phase of their development right now, but this is most emphatically not the case with the 2004 Krug, which is drinking very well indeed, despite it still being early on in its journey to complete maturity. (Drink between 2020-2085).John Gilman | 96 JGA graceful Champagne, wowing more for its elegance and fine integration than the underlying power and tension. The delicate mousse caresses the palate, carrying flavors of blackberry, candied kumquat and lemon sorbet with rich accents of espresso crema, pastry cream and chopped almond. Fresh and focused on the lasting, spiced finish. Disgorged autumn 2017. Drink now through 2030.Wine Spectator | 95 WSPrecision sets this wine apart, as if the flavors had diamond-cut clarity. Whatever cool earthiness or spicy-lees broadness there may be is focused and lifted by the structure, so that the wine’s flavors feel restrained and elegant. Deliciously fresh, with an undercurrent of chalky tension and a citrus sting, this would be a great partner to Cantonese dim sum. Moët Hennessy USA, NYWine & Spirits | 94 W&S

97+
VM
As low as $415.00
2004 Bollinger La Grande Annee

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

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

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

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

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

98+
VM
As low as $665.00

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