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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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2008 Moet Chandon Dom Perignon Rose

This shows incredible depth of fruit with strawberry, cherry and phenolics. Full-bodied and layered with an incredible, three-dimensional element to the wine. This is so transparent and dynamic with dark fruit, yet it remains vivid and bright. Refined and precise, it goes on and on. Really savory, fresh and incredibly pinot-noir-like. What a wine. 13 years of maturation in the bottle. So drinkable now, but it will age for many years ahead.James Suckling | 99 JSThe newly released 2008 Dom Pérignon Rosé is a dramatic, perfumed wine, bursting with aromas of blood orange, iodine, sweet citrus fruit, peach and pear mingled with hints of buttered toast, smoke and spices. Full-bodied, textural and enveloping, with terrific concentration, racy acids and a pillowy mousse, it concludes with a long, penetrating finish. It derives its intense hue from red wine produced from Pinot Noir grown in lieux-dits Chants de Linottes in Hautvillers and Vauzelles in Aÿ.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPThe 2008 Dom Pérignon Rosé is magnificent. Rich and deep in the glass, the 2008 offers up an exotic mélange of aromas and flavors. Sweet red cherry, mint, orange peel and rose petal all grace this beguiling beauty. Bright acids and a little less still red Pinot (21%) than in most recent editions yields a Rosé that is delicate and light on its feet, with less of the vinous intensity that marked vintages such as 2006. There is a classic feeling of austerity in the 2018 that is mesmerizing. (Originally published in May 2021)Antonio Galloni | 97 AGAn impeccably balanced and graceful sparkling rosé, with a plushly creamy mousse. It’s hard to tell where the firm spine of well-honed acidity and the expressive range of pureed raspberry, candied ginger, tangerine and lemon thyme flavors begin or end. A rich hint of smoky toasted brioche plays on the finish. Drink now through 2033.Wine Spectator | 97 WSOffering up aromas of white flowers, red berries, toast and fresh pastry, Dom Pérignon rosé 2008 is medium to full-bodied, tense and vibrant, with a vinous texture and sapid nuances. Delicately phenolic, this is a pure and racy gastronomic champagne that’s beginning to drink with style. It concludes with a long and penetrating finish. (Drink between 2021-2035)Decanter | 95 DEC

99
JS
As low as $479.00
2008 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rose

The proportion of Pinot Noir in Comtes de Champagne Rosé has tended to increase in recent years, as evidenced by this 2008 vintage, which is almost 70% Pinot Noir. There is 15% red wine, and the rest is Chardonnay. With notes of spices, black cherry, morello cherry and black fruit, the bouquet is impressively complex and delicious. On the palate, the vinous texture, fine bubbles, depth and complexity allow for a long, chalky, chiselled finish. This is a gastronomic Champagne rosé with great ageing potential.Drinking Window 2021 - 2040Decanter | 97 DECTaittinger’s 2008 Brut Comtes de Champagne Rosé, which arrives on the market this year, has unwound considerably since I last tasted it. Offering up inviting aromas of red berries, plums, sweet spices, orange rind and freshly baked bread, it’s medium to full-bodied, pillowy and vinous, with an ample core of fruit, lively acids and an elegant pinpoint mousse. As I wrote in 2019, Taittinger is using more Pinot Noir and opting for longer sur lattes maturation for this bottling, and the result is that Comtes Rosé is becoming a more gastronomic Champagne. Deceptively charming as this 2008 is today, I suspect it will tighten up with a little age on cork.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPThe 2008 Comtes de Champagne Rosé presents a classically austere façade. Crushed berry, mint, chalk and dried herbs emerge on the bouquet, and yet the wine remains very tight, even with aeration. The Comtes Rosé has a track record of aging brilliantly. Today, though, I am not sure the fruit will ever fully emerge.Antonio Galloni | 93 AG

99
JS
As low as $349.00
2008 piper-heidsieck cuvee rare Champagne

Like a stallion out of the gate, this shows an initial explosion of power, in the form of mouthwatering flavors and fine texture, before quickly settling into an elegant gait. The racy acidity is seamlessly knit, buoying the lacy mousse and flavors of cassis, toasted brioche and tangerine, with accents of candied ginger, hazelnut and fleur de sel lingering on the long, creamy finish. Drink now through 2035. 2,000 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 97 WSA gorgeous, yet tight, backward vintage for this cuvée, the 2008 Champagne Rare is based on 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir with around 10 grams of dosage. Beautiful crisp citrus and stone fruits as well as flinty minerality and just hint of brioche emerge from the glass, and it takes hours for this to really unwind and show its potential. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it has bright acidity, terrific concentration, and a great finish. I wouldn’t think about opening another bottle for a solid 5-7 years, but it should have 30 years or more of ultimate longevity.Jeb Dunnuck | 95+ JDA lively first nose of candied lemon, guava, also a hint of lime. With aeration, notes of almonds and almond flowers come to the fore. On the palate, there is a nervy tension that energises its fine, crystalline texture. This is an upright and elegant Champagne whose long, airy finish is mouthwatering. After some time in the glass, it evolves towards notes of smoke, flint and vanilla. A sumptuous Champagne. Disgorged: November 2019. Dosage: 9g/L. Drinking Window 2021 - 2040.Decanter | 95 DECThe newly released 2008 Brut Cuvée Rare is very promising, unwinding in the glass with a youthfully reserved nose of citrus oil, crisp green apple, freshly baked bread, iodine and oyster shell, as well as some rather herbaceous characteristics that depress my score a little, even if I suspect that they will resolve with a bit more bottle age. Medium to full-bodied, incisive and tightly wound, if the 2006 vintage was gourmand and demonstrative, the 2008 is slower to show all its cards. Built around racy acids and complemented by a pillowy mousse, this rendition of Cuvée Rare will reward a few years more on cork.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93+ RP

97
WS
As low as $195.00
2008 louis roederer cristal Champagne

Disgorged October 2016 and will be the first Cristal to be released ten years from harvest when it is offered in 2018. 35 parcels used from a possible 45 in this vintage. The assemblage is 60% pinot noir and 40% chardonnay. This is so fresh and tense and mineral with extremely exuberant chardonnay notes on the nose of white peach, lemon and yellow grapefruit, and hints of almost brambly sous bois aromas. The yeast characters are also super fresh, and there are subtle woody notes, with a hint of vanilla bean and light spices. The palate is super long, and very pure, powerful and focused. It drives deep and taut. Pinot noir is a strong core and the chardonnay sits at the edge offering lemon and white nectarine sorbet flavors. Staggeringly concentrated, yet the balance makes it seem airy and light. Acidity is perfectly positioned, and the power is intense and long. This is an ultra precise Cristal, finishing with a mere suggestion of savoriness and warmth to come. Impressive on release, this will be at its best drinking from 2025.James Suckling | 100 JSThis latest incarnation of the famous brand is a superb wine. It is on par with, maybe even better than, the already legendary 2002. Its balance is impeccable: Apple and citrus flavors working with the tight minerality to give a textured yet fruity wine. Produced from Roederer’s own vineyards which are mainly biodynamic, the wine has its own intense purity and crispness. It has amazing potential and is likely to age for many years. Drink from 2020.Wine Enthusiast | 100 WEThe 2008 Cristal is a perfect wine, and Champagne simple does not get any better. This incredible wine offers a beautiful perfume of clean, crisp fruits, layers of complexity in its toasted spice and white flowers, and an utterly seamless, yet powerful style on the palate. This is a rich, decadent expression of Cristal yet it’s still crystalline and elegant, with no sensation of weight, and it just glides over the palate. Haut Couture at its finest and this majestic, profound, legendary Cristal can be drunk anytime over the coming 2-3 decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JD(Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Millésime (Reims)) As I mentioned in my feature on Maison Louis Roederer a couple of years ago, the 2008 Cristal was the first vintage here to spend fully ten years in the cellars in Reims prior to release. It is a great, great vintage of Cristal and I was very much looking forward to revisiting it this past November, as it is now due for its re-release from the maison. Readers may recall that this is the “rare bird” of Cristal vintages that included some vins clairs that went through malo, as about sixteen percent of the blend underwent its secondary fermentation prior to blending and bottling for aging sur lattes. The wine is brilliant on both the nose and palate, with time not really seeming to have touched it much since I last tasted a bottle. The bouquet is deep, complex and still properly youthful in personality, wafting from the glass in a fine blend of apple, pear, a touch of fresh almond, complex, chalky minerality, incipient notes of caraway seed, citrus peel and lovely floral tones in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and still fairly primary, with a rock solid core, lovely cut and grip, laser-like focus, refined mousse and a very, very long, very pure and still quite youthful finish. As I have noted in the past, twenty percent of the vins clairs for the 2008 Cristal were barrel-fermented and the wine was finished with a dosage of 7.5 grams per liter. It was disgorged in September of 2017. (Drink between 2030-2095)John Gilman | 99 JGThe 2008 vintage in Champagne is one of the most interesting of the last decade, and Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon has made an outstanding Cristal. It’s a blend of Pinot Noir (60%) and Chardonnay (40%) from 36 plots in Grand Cru terroirs, with a dosage of 7.5 g/l. Fresh, delicate and lively, the bouquet is complex and shows elegant aromas of citrus, flowers, mirabelle and spices. The palate is chiseled and precise, with a powerful mid-palate and plenty of freshness supported by a chalky and saline finish.Decanter | 99 DECThe 2008 Cristal is one of the most complete, most dazzling Champagnes I have ever tasted. A stunning wine from any and all perspectives, the 2008 simply has it all. Spherical in construction, with superb persistence. The 2008 takes hold of all the senses and never gives up. One of the many things that makes the 2008 special is a combination of ripe fruit and bright, piercing acidity. Marzipan, lemon confit, dried flowers and orchard fruit all build into the explosive, resonant finish. “We learned from the mistakes of 1996, when we picked more on acid than ripeness, as was the norm in Champagne back then” Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon told me recently. “In 1996, the best fruit turned out to be the last picks, where the fruit was physiologically ripe. Today, we aim to pick all our fruit with that criteria.”Antonio Galloni | 99 AGDisgorged in September 2017 with 7.5 grams per liter dosage, the 2008 Cristal was produced from 37 of the 45 parcels that are candidates for inclusion in this cuvée—some 40% of which were farmed organically back in 2008—and it’s a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. The finest young Cristal in decades, the wine wafts from the glass with a pure and vibrant bouquet of crisp orchard fruit, clear honey, warm brioche, citrus zest and white flowers. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, intense and incisive, with superb concentration, racy acids and a long, searingly chalky finish. Pristinely balanced, there are some 500,000 bottles of this legend-in-the-making.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98 RPThere’s a sense of focus and vibrancy to the overall structure, while the palate is all grace and charm. A fine, lacy texture carries a tapestry of ripe white cherry, toast point, blood orange zest, honey and ground ginger notes, with a minerally, mouthwatering finish. A stunning Champagne with a long future ahead of it. Drink now through 2033.Wine Spectator | 97 WS(Louis Roederer Brut - Cristal Champagne/Sparkling) An ultra-elegant, pure and already highly complex nose speaks of yeast, brioche, Meyer lemon, quinine and green apple. There is equally excellent depth to the utterly delicious and highly sophisticated flavors where the supporting effervescence is very firm yet quite fine while the strikingly long if compact finish makes it crystal clear (pun intended) that this beauty is definitely built for the long haul. I was very impressed with this though with that said, I would observe that it’s presently so firm that at least another 5 years of cellaring will be necessary before this begins to unwind. In a word, excellent. (Drink starting 2028)Burghound | 95 BH

100
JD
As low as $1,299.00
2008 bollinger grande annee Champagne

The 2008 La Grande Année is another brilliant 2008 that delivers the goods. Straight-up awesome notes of stone fruits, white flowers, honeysuckle, and an incredible, liquid rock-like minerality all emerge from the glass, and it develops more nuance, spice, toasted bread, and an almost Alsatian Riesling-like petrol character over the course of the evening. It’s a full-bodied, rich, powerful Champagne, yet like the top 2008s, it has brilliant precision, purity, and focus. It’s unquestionably one of the finest versions of this cuvée ever produced, although it needs another 4-5 years of bottle age to hit prime time. It should keep for 3-4 decades. Bravo!Jeb Dunnuck | 99 JDBollinger’s 2008 La Grande Année is superb, wafting from the glass with aromas of crisp orchard fruit, ripe lemons, honeycomb, warm biscuits, dried white flowers and a delicate top note of walnuts and fino sherry. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, broad and vinous, with a beautifully refined mousse, superb concentration at the tightly wound core, incisive acids and a supremely elegant intermingling of Bollinger’s oxidative stylistic signatures with fresh, vibrant fruit. The finish is long, precise and chalky. This is a Grande Année built for the cellar—the real excitement will come with a bit more bottle age—but this is already a thrilling Champagne in the making. Finished with eight grams per liter dosage, it was disgorged by hand in July 2018. This is also the first vintage of Grande Année to be bottled in Bollinger’s new narrower-necked 1846 bottle, which should make for a slower evolving wine.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97+ RPBollinger’s 2008 Grande Année is rich, ample and full-bodied, with all of the pedigree of the vintage on display. Dried pear, dried flowers, chamomile, red plum and mint develop as the 2008 shows the breadth and creaminess that are such signatures of the Bollinger house style. A whole range of brighter, more floral and chalky notes appear later, adding translucence and energy. The 2008 is 71% Pinot Noir and 29% Chardonnay taken across 18 crus, and it is the Pinot that very much informs the wine in both flavor and texture. More importantly, the 2008 is one of the best Grande Années I can remember tasting. Bollinger fans won’t want to miss it. Disgorged November 2018. Dosage is 8 grams per liter.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGGilles Descôtes blends this from 18 crus, pinot noir making up 71 percent of the blend (mostly from Aÿ and Verzenay), the balance from chardonnay (focused on Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Cramant). The base wine ferments in oak barrels, adding to this Champagne’s concentrated power. Its dark intensity has the coolness of Bollinger’s deep aging cellars, even as the wine sustains delicate notes of wildflowers, morels and the perfumed grace of pinot noir. Massive and still youthful, the flavors rounded into a sphere, this is a wine to cellar. Vintus, Pleasantville, NYWine & Spirits | 97 W&SEnticing hints of toasted cumin, ground anise and graphite waft from the glass of this harmonious, mouthwatering version, accenting the finely meshed flavors of crushed black currant, poached apricot, grilled nut and lemon curd. The texture shows a lovely viscosity, extending the flavor range, which expands on the lasting finish. Disgorged June 2018. Drink now through 2033. 833 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 96 WSPinot Noir, mainly from Aÿ and Verzenay, dominates the blend here (71%). Only the free-run juice is used for the fermentation in cask. After ageing under cork for more than nine years, it was disgorged with a dosage of 8g/L. The impression is youthful and fresh, with bright apple and spice notes and a hint of buttered toast. The texture is creamy and dense but very lively and very long. This is superb wine that will age for decades to come. (Drink between 2021-2041)Decanter | 96 DECA wonderfully elegant, pure and airy nose is beautifully layered with its pretty array of green apple, pear, white flower, rose petal, yeast and plenty of citrus elements. The elegance continues on the racy and intense flavors that are supported by a very fine mousse that imparts a lilting mouth feel to the notably dry, crisp and strikingly complex finale. This is an absolute knockout and a wine that should age for a very long time but because the complexity is so impressive, it could actually be enjoyed now. Even so, I will stash my bottles away for at least another 4 to 5 years.Burghound | 95 BHThis is the producer’s equivalent of a Vintage Champagne. Fermented and aged in wood and then kept for nine years before release, this wine comes from an exceptional vintage that manages to combine ripe fruit and acidity, meaning the wine can age extraordinarily well. Although the wine is just ready, it will be much better from 2022 and for many years after.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WE

99
JD
As low as $259.00
2008 moet chandon dom perignon (lenny kravitz labels) Champagne

The 2008 Dom Pérignon is the first time the estate has released a wine out of order (the 2009 was released before the 2008) but the estate loved the wine so much they felt it warranted additional aging. This is a rich, powerful wine that still shows incredible purity and elegance, with a stacked, concentrated feel on the palate. It’s rare to find such a mix of ripe, pure, concentrated fruit paired with this level of purity, focus, and precision. This is a legendary Dom that surpasses all the great vintages of Dom I have experience with, including the 1990, 1996, and 2002.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDThe best Dom since 2002. A vintage with very restrained, powerful style that has been released non-sequentially after the 2009. This has a lighter stamp of highly curated, autolytic, toasty aromas than many recent releases. Instead, this delivers super fresh and intense aromas of lemons, grapefruit and blood-orange peel. Incredible freshness here. The palate has a very smoothly delivered, berry-pastry thread with light, sweet spices, stone fruit and fine citrus fruit. This really delivers.James Suckling | 98 JSThe 2008 Dom Pérignon is once again stunning. More than anything else, I am surprised by how well the 2008 drinks given all the tension and energy it holds. Then again, that is precisely what makes 2008 such a unique vintage – namely that the best wines are so chiseled and yet not at all austere. Lemon peel, almond, mint, smoke and crushed rocks are all finely sculpted, but it is the wine’s textural feel, drive and persistence that elevate it into the realm of the sublime. The 2008 will be even better with time in the cellar, but it is absolutely phenomenal even today, in the early going. Three recent bottles have all been nothing short of magnificent.Vinous Media | 98 VM(Dom Pérignon Brut Millésime (Épernay)) I had not tasted a bottle of the 2008 vintage of Dom Pérignon since my interview with Richard Geoffroy at the abbey in Hautvillers just a few months before Monsieur Geoffroy retired. I was very happy to see it generously added by John Chapman to our lineup for the second Vega Sicilia vertical that I reported on in the previous issue, as it is a wine of the same superb quality as all those great old Únicos. As I noted in my feature on Dom Pérignon, the 2008 is an absolutely classic vintage for this wine, which means it is structured, structured, structured, and at twelve years of age, still an absolute infant! The primary bouquet offers up a promising blend of apple, lime peel, menthol, superb minerality, a touch of young DP botanicals and tons of upper register smokiness. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with brisk acids, refined mousse, bruising backend mineral drive and a very long, very pure and seamlessly balanced finish. I scored this a touch lower than the bottle in Hautvillers, but I suspect that this is just the result of context and the wine has not lost any of its luster- it has only hidden its essence even further behind its electric girdle of acidity. This is years away from its apogee, but has utterly brilliant potential. (Drink between 2030-2075).John Gilman | 96+ JGDeparting chef de caves Richard Geoffroy says that 2008 is his best DP vintage since 1990. The first half of the growing season was dull and sunless, but good weather returned in mid-September and led to one of the longest harvests, running into October. The summer provided ideal conditions for a classic, cool, maritime vintage of exceptional, subtle aromas with minerality and freshness. This has a vibrant but controlled acidity, and is above all a memorable symbiosis of mature fruit and salinity derived from top terroirs. The poised mouthfeel makes this a perfect gastronomic wine, strong enough for spicy Asian cuisine from the Pacific rim, but still compatible with classics such as roast turbot and lobster.Decanter | 96 DECThere’s power to this graceful Champagne, with the vivid acidity swathed in a fine, creamy mousse and flavors of toasted brioche, kumquat, pastry cream, candied ginger and poached plum that dance across the palate. An underpinning of smoky mineral gains momentum on the lasting finish.Wine Spectator | 96 WSThe 2008 Dom Pérignon continues to show very well, offering up a pretty bouquet of Anjou pear, fresh peach, citrus oil, fresh pastry, smoke and iodine. On the palate, it's full-bodied, lively and incisive, with an elegantly textural attack and a creamy core of fruit that's underpinned by a bright but nicely integrated spine of acidity. The finish is long, saline and well-defined. As I wrote earlier this year, this is the finest Dom Pérignon since 1996, Richard Geoffroy's push for additional ripeness working well with the late-maturing, high-acid vintage. While it can be appreciated young, the 2008 will really start to blossom with five or six years of bottle age.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95+ RP

98+
VM
As low as $349.00
2008 pierre gimonnet et fils millesime de collection special club blanc de blancs Champagne

There is an inherent subjectivity in the pricing of wine that rarely sees a prestige cuvée of the utmost finesse and enduring stamina hit the ground at a jaw-droppingly affordable price. This is the epitome of the precision of Gimonnet: beach-fresh, youthful, introverted and tightly coiled. Pure, adroit 2008 acid propels an incredible finish that splashes long and strong with frothy, salty chalk minerality. A cuvée of effortless poise, unmitigated drive and breathtaking fidelity. Drinking Window 2028 - 2048Decanter | 97 DECReleased only in magnum, the 2008 Brut Millésime de Collection Vieilles Vignes is the same wine as Gimonnet's Special Club, bit it sees more than 10 years sur lattes before disgorgement. Unwinding in the glass with a deep and complex bouquet of pear, green apple, citrus zest, oyster shell, smoke and pastry cream, it's full-bodied, chalky and incisive, with terrific depth at the core, promising reserve and a long, resonant finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPOne of the many highlights in this range, the 2008 Brut Millésime de Collection Special Club boasts tremendous depth and overall intensity. Here it is the interplay of crystalline Cramant Chardonnay with layers of deep, explosive fruit that is absolutely captivating. A vertical sense of structure gives the wine its spine and sense of direction. Still quite young, the 2008 could use a few more years in bottle. Still, it is stellar today. Fruit sources are 57% Cramant, 29% Chouilly, 12.5% Cuis and 1.5% Vertus. Dosage is 4.5 grams/liter. Disgorged: March 2015.Vinous Media | 94 VMA beautiful wine, this has fresh acidity, crisp fruits and zesty mineral texture. Apples, citrus and hints of apricots are all there along with an intense tangy character that bursts in the mouth. It's still so young and needs to age; drink from 2018 at the earliest. The Special Club is a group of growers who rate and taste each other's wines before release.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEA layered and intense Champagne with pie crust and lemons. Decadent and beautiful. Full and rich. An opulent and delicious style. Drink now.James Suckling | 93 JSHints of toasted brioche and roasted nut enrich baked plum, orchard blossom, chalk and lemon curd flavors in this well-knit Champagne, with a satiny mousse. Bright and lively through to the zesty finish. Disgorged March 2015. Drink now through 2025. 30 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

97
DEC
As low as $135.00
2008 henriot brut millesime Champagne

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

100
JS
As low as $265.00
2008 Billecart Salmon Vintage Champagne

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

92
VM
As low as $115.00
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

99
JS
As low as $345.00
2008 Besserat De Bellefon Champagne Cuvee Des Moines Brut Millesime

Tasted from the same lot as in June this year, the 2008 Cuvée des Moines Brut Millésime is very fine on the deep, ripe and elegant nose where the 31% Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier play the first guitar at the moment. This is a very elegant, refined and intense 2008 with a charming dosage. The finish is pure and persistently salty, well-structured and remarkably intense. Impressive and even a touch finer than the sample I had some months ago. Tasted October 2018.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPDominated by rich Chardonnay, this is a ripe wine. Acidity and a mineral texture are foils to the rich apple and green-plum flavors, giving a balance between deliciously crisp and a fuller style. It is just about ready to drink but will be better from 2018.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WEThis soft and creamy Champagne is open-knit and balanced, with citrusy acidity and subtle flavors of peach skin, candied pink grapefruit zest and blanched almond. Minerally finish. Disgorged December 2016. Drink now through 2027. 150 cases made, 75 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

93
RP
As low as $59.99
2008 moet chandon dom perignon rose (luminous labels) Champagne

This shows incredible depth of fruit with strawberry, cherry and phenolics. Full-bodied and layered with an incredible, three-dimensional element to the wine. This is so transparent and dynamic with dark fruit, yet it remains vivid and bright. Refined and precise, it goes on and on. Really savory, fresh and incredibly pinot-noir-like. What a wine. 13 years of maturation in the bottle. So drinkable now, but it will age for many years ahead.James Suckling | 99 JSThe newly released 2008 Dom Pérignon Rosé is a dramatic, perfumed wine, bursting with aromas of blood orange, iodine, sweet citrus fruit, peach and pear mingled with hints of buttered toast, smoke and spices. Full-bodied, textural and enveloping, with terrific concentration, racy acids and a pillowy mousse, it concludes with a long, penetrating finish. It derives its intense hue from red wine produced from Pinot Noir grown in lieux-dits Chants de Linottes in Hautvillers and Vauzelles in Aÿ.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPThe 2008 Dom Pérignon Rosé is magnificent. Rich and deep in the glass, the 2008 offers up an exotic mélange of aromas and flavors. Sweet red cherry, mint, orange peel and rose petal all grace this beguiling beauty. Bright acids and a little less still red Pinot (21%) than in most recent editions yields a Rosé that is delicate and light on its feet, with less of the vinous intensity that marked vintages such as 2006. There is a classic feeling of austerity in the 2018 that is mesmerizing. (Originally published in May 2021)Antonio Galloni | 97 AGAn impeccably balanced and graceful sparkling rosé, with a plushly creamy mousse. It’s hard to tell where the firm spine of well-honed acidity and the expressive range of pureed raspberry, candied ginger, tangerine and lemon thyme flavors begin or end. A rich hint of smoky toasted brioche plays on the finish. Drink now through 2033.Wine Spectator | 97 WSThe 2008 Champagne Rosé is another elegant expression, offering notes of cardamom, strawberry, and dried flowers. The palate is dry and well-structured and is balanced and long on the finish, with notes of dried orange peel, redcurrant, and fantastic salinity. It has a great application at the table and should continue to improve over the next 15-20 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 95 JDOffering up aromas of white flowers, red berries, toast and fresh pastry, Dom Pérignon rosé 2008 is medium to full-bodied, tense and vibrant, with a vinous texture and sapid nuances. Delicately phenolic, this is a pure and racy gastronomic Champagne that’s beginning to drink with style, and concludes with a long and penetrating finish. Drinking Window: 2021 - 2035Decanter | 95 DEC

99
JS
As low as $529.00

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