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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 sip, 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.

If you’re looking to steal the show at a big party or you’re simply in a celebratory, cheerful mood, you can’t go wrong with a bottle of fine Champagne. Pair it with deviled eggs or grilled chicken breast for maximum effect, and create a memorable evening for yourself and your loved ones.

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1985 Krug

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

96
RP
As low as $1,295.00
1989 louis roederer cristal rose Champagne

An explosion of aromas, flavors and textures emerges from the 1989 Cristal Rosé (magnum). In this warm vintage the Pinot is especially evident in the wine’s intensity, color and sheer breadth. A Champagne of striking inner perfume and sweetness, the 1989 caresses the palate with stunning depth and seemingly endless resonance. Sweet floral and spice notes lead into the creamy, exquisitely beautiful finish. What a surprise and what a wine! Moreover, the 1989 appears to still be ascending. In this tasting, it is just riveting. It’s as simple as that. This is a 2002 disgorgement.Vinous Media | 99 VMRich and deep, ripe and full-bodied, this offers toasty, almond, spice and even white-chocolate flavors, emphatic yet harmonious. Has firm mouthfeel and a long finish; though the flavors are maturing, it will still evolve well.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

99
VM
As low as $1,495.00
1990 moet chandon dom perignon Champagne

This is really incredible with orange peel, dried pineapple and flan. Exotic. Full body, round and savory. Crazy character at the finish of cooked pineapple and tart tartine. Gorgeous; can’t believe it. James Suckling | 99 JSThe profoundly rich 1990 Dom Perignon is a creamy-textured, full styled offering that loses none of its elegance in spite of its flavor authority. It will improve for 5-10 years, and appears capable of surpassing the fabulous 1985 and 1982. It seems obvious that the quality of the 1990 Champagne vintage is going to be remarkable, and the world-wide demand will be unprecedented. The message - buy them now!Robert Parker | 96 RP(Moët & Chandon Brut - Dom Perignon (magnum) Champagne/Sparkling) This is a wine that I know extremely well from 750 ml and it’s one that is beginning to tire though I hasten to point out that it’s still enjoyable and just beginning to show signs of fatigue. However there are no such concerns with the same wine from magnum that remains magnificently fresh and while it’s clear that the aromas are mature, that’s not at all the same thing as describing the yeasty and baked apple suffused nose as tiring. There is equally good depth and vibrancy to the beautifully delineated flavors that are supported by a fine and firm mousse that allows the texture of a well-aged Dom to be easily appreciated. For my taste this has arrived at its peak though note well that it should easily be capable of effortlessly holding for years to come. (Drink starting 2015).Burghound | 95 BHPale color. Youthful aromas of lemon, quince, pear, toast, spice, chalk and red berries. Big, sweet and seamless, if a bit clenched in the early going. A powerful, very young wine whose fruit builds slowly in the mouth and explodes on the finish. A charry note contributes to its complexity. Possesses amazing depth of fruit, but the high quality of this wine can most easily be seen today on the extraordinary finish. May ultimately merit a 95+ rating.Vinous Media | 93+ VM(Dom Pérignon Brut (Moët et Chandon)) I had loved this vintage of Dom Pérignon well enough out of the blocks to buy a case for long-term cellaring, and though the wine has been thoroughly enjoyable over the years, it seems to me that it is now time to drink it up in regular-sized bottle, as it has matured at a fairly brisk pace, and like a lot of 1990 Champagnes, it is already probably starting to look over the far side of its plateau. The wine today is already showing a bit oxidative in style, but with plenty of complexity and still good structure for current consumption, but it certainly seems likely to start to slide in the coming years. The bouquet is a mature blend of toasted nuts, apple, peach, a bit of honey, lovely, chalky soil tones and incipient notes of new leather in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and still reasonably crisp, with fine focus, plenty of mid-palate stuffing, sound mousse and very good length and grip on the gently honeyed and fairly advanced finish. Given that other examples from the 1990 vintage, such as Clos des Goisses and Comtes de Champagne, are decidedly fresher than this wine, I would term this a bit of a disappointment, though this seems quite correct for the general vintage’s stage of evolution today and the wine remains quite tasty in its slightly decrepit style. I should note that there are reports of quite a bit of bottle variation with the 1990 Dom Pérignon, so perhaps there are still far better examples out there. However, I wish I had bought the 1985, rather than the 1990 for my own cellar! Drink up in regular-sized formats. (Drink between 2014-2020)John Gilman | 90 JG

99
JS
As low as $489.00
1995 Krug

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 $1,340.00
1996 duval-leroy femme de champagne grand cru Champagne Blend

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

97
WS
As low as $799.00
1996 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 $840.00
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 $640.00
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 $410.00
1999 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne

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

95
VM
As low as $345.00
2000 Henriot Brut Millesime
As low as $149.00
2000 Louis Roederer Cristal

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 $470.00
2000 taittinger comtes de champagne Champagne

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

96
RP
As low as $279.00
2002 bollinger grande annee Champagne

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

96
DEC
As low as $599.00
2002 bollinger r.d. Champagne

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 $285.00
2002 dom ruinart blanc de blancs champagne Champagne

Bright yellow. Powerful smoke- and ginger-accented aromas of poached pear, honey and white flowers, along with a suave mineral overtone and a hint of toasted brioche. Sappy and buttery on entry, then tighter in the middle, offering intense citrus and orchard fruit flavors underscored by a chalky mineral nuance. At once fleshy and energetic, finishing with outstanding clarity, thrust and smoky length. Cream-colored label, indicating a later disgorgement, in this case 2012, as opposed to the earlier disgorged black label version, which was disgorged in 2011. LHWCB9.Vinous Media | 95 VM(Ruinart, Dom Ruinart, Champagne, France, White) Dom Ruinart 2002 is a blessed creation with 72% Avize and Chouilly and more surprisingly 28% Chardonnay from Pinot villages like Sillery and Puisieulx. Painfully youthful but already completely harmonious. All the bits and pieces are there in small portions and time will make them stronger and deeper. (Drink between 2016-2028)Decanter | 94 DE(Dom Riunart Blanc de Blancs Brut (Reims)) The 2002 Dom Riunart Blanc de Blancs is a pretty good example of the vintage, but in their rarefied air of pricing, I was expecting a bit more. Perhaps the wine is just too young to be showing a lot in the mid-palate, as it is certainly quite structured today, offering up youthful scents of lemon peel, grapefruit, sourdough bread, chalky minerality and a touch of straw in the upper register. On the palate the wine is medium-full, tight and frothy, with a fien core, brisk, snappy acids and good length and grip on the primary finish that closes with a touch of bitterness from citrus peel flavors. This may just need cellaring to come into its own. (Drink between 2018-2035)John Gilman | 92 JG

97
RP-VM
As low as $679.00
2002 krug clos du mesnil Champagne

(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 JG(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 JSPure 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 WEA 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 WSKrug’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+ RPNo 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 $2,585.00
2002 louis roederer cristal Champagne

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

100
W&S
As low as $1,295.00
2002 moet chandon dom perignon rose (dark jewel metal labels) Champagne (Rose)

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

98
RP
As low as $749.00
2002 moet chandon dom perignon rose

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

99
JS
As low as $549.00
2002 ployez-jacquemart liesse d’harbonville millesime brut Champagne White
96
JG
As low as $199.99
2002 Pommery Cuvee Louise Brut

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

93
RP
As low as $149.00
2002 taittinger comtes de champagne Champagne

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

99
JS
As low as $459.00
2002 tarlant champagne prestige millesime letincelante Champagne Blend

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

95+
RP
As low as $185.00
2003 Krug

Light yellow. Powerful, complex bouquet evokes fresh peach, pear, floral honey, green almond and smoky minerals. Deep, palate-staining citrus and orchard fruit flavors show outstanding vivacity for a hot vintage, picking up ginger and talc notes with air. The strikingly long, sappy finish features zesty orange pith, smoky minerals and an echo of honeysuckle. I’d be in no rush to drink this one. Speaking of waiting, I had the chance to revisit the 2000 Vintage Krug and it has begun to pick up the smoky, weighty and nutty character that long-time fans of this producer crave. It’s still plenty young but already unmistakably Krug, with a chewy texture and a sexy floral nuance dominating right now.Vinous Media | 95 VM Like taffeta in texture, this harmonious Champagne is finely honed and fresh. A wonderfully expressive version, with ample spice and graphite accents to the blackberry pâte de fruit, coffee liqueur, dried apricot, singed orange peel and crystallized honey notes. Hard to stop sipping. Disgorged spring 2014. Drink now through 2028.Wine Spectator | 95 WSTasted this year with Chef de Cave, Eric Lebel, it is exactly the same edition (ID) as tasted in 2016. This shows a rich nose featuring deep and ripe chardonnay and pinot noir. Red fruits, some dark mushrooms, plenty of grilled nuts, caramel, some deep spices, dried citrus, lemon peel and bready aromas are all there. The trademark complexity is here, too, and this freshens with air. The palate is intricately detailed and stitched together like needlework. It is extremely precise and even, and the acidity is articulated with some finesse, even if this has much more in terms of phenolics as the leading structural component. The phenolics are rich and ripe, and they sit polished and even around immensely concentrated fruits such as peaches, nectarines and white cherries. The finish is deep, even and resonant. Drink now but rest assured that this will hold for a very long time – just as Krug has proven in other warm years such as ’76. Krug ID 115023.James Suckling | 95 JSWhen Krug announced they were producing a 2003 vintage there was universal surprise, given what a hot year it was in France. Yet the end result is very pleasant and impressive surprise. Indeed, having tasted this on two or three previous occasions, I noted an astonishing freshness and vivacity which was not remotely anticipated. However, this particular bottle was not as zingy as the ones I had previously encountered - instead, it was somewhat softer, fatter, rounder and more savoury in style. If the acidity was less prominent, it certainly wasn’t lacking in flavour, presence or expression with its fresh cut hay and biscuit nose. The rich palate comprises cream, cashew nut, spice and brioche with sweet pear, quince and dried fruit. Deliciously long, gourmandise cappuccino finish. (Drink between 2017-2025)Decanter | 94 DEC(Krug Brut Millésime (Reims) ID# 214029) It had been nearly two years since I last tasted a bottle of the 2003 Krug and I was very impressed to see how time has barely touched the wine structurally, as it remains every bit as fresh and vibrant on the palate as it was upon release. On the nose, the wine is now starting to show some lovely secondary elements in its bouquet of apple, fresh apricot, lovely, Indian spice tones (cardamom is quite prevalent today), superb minerality, fresh-baked bread and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and wide open on the attack, with a fine core, elegant mousse and lovely backend mineral drive on the focused, vibrant and zesty finish. As I noted back in May of 2014, this is quite low in chardonnay in this vintage (only twenty-nine percent) and relies heavily on pinot meunier (twenty-five percent of the blend), which gives it a unique character in the pantheon of Vintage Krug. The 2003 is cruising along beautifully and is now into its plateau of peak drinkability, but will also continue to age very well. (Drink between 2016-2035)John Gilman | 94 JGModerate golden color. A ripe, complex and mildly exotic nose combines notes of apricot and peach with plenty of yeast and baked bread nuances. There is real volume and concentration to the exceptionally rich, even heady flavors that possess outstanding depth on the palate coating finish that is supported by just enough effervescence to keep the balance. This is one of those distinctly particular wines that one either admires for being exceptional in every sense or that one finds "just too much". While it is not what I usually search for in fine Champagne it is unquestionably well made and despite very definitely being a creature of its vintage, it retains its "Krugness". For my taste it is ready as I would rather drink it now while it is still fresh, but the underlying material is indisputably present to allow for much depth to develop with time. (Drink starting 2014)Burghound | 93 BHThis 2003 offers beautiful ripeness in its flavors of apples and pears bursting out of their skins, yet maintains a sense of elegance in the context of what is often a rustic vintage. Krug captured enough cool to contrast the heat of the season, and though the wine is heavier than a classic vintage, it is rich and integrated, with complex, smoky flavors that last.Wine & Spirits | 92 W&S

As low as $440.00
2004 bollinger r.d. Champagne

The wine’s name stands for recently disgorged and this vintage Champagne was taken off its lees in 2018. That gave many years for it to develop its depth of flavor, richness and beautifully memorable toasty flavors. Drink through 2028.Wine Enthusiast | 98 WETime has graced this wine, proving the value of Bollinger’s policy of long aging on the lees followed by prompt release after disgorgement. This RD (Recently Disgorged) 2004 is a joyous wine, staunch, cold and powerful at first, transforming to fresh fruit shadowed by darker tones of barrel fermentation. As it opens in the glass, revealing racy energy, a range of floral pear and apple flavors emerge, resonant with a sense of limestone capturing the sun and reflecting it back in pale power. Enjoy this over the course of an evening as its presence shifts, providing varied perspectives on a great Champagne.Wine & Spirits | 98 W&SThis is Bollinger’s 2004 interpretation of their famous barrel-aged, recently-disgorged Champagne. This time around it’s a blend of 66% Pinot Noir and 34% Chardonnay, having received a dosage of 3g/l before being cellared under cork, unlike the usual practice of using a crown cap for this phase. A bouquet of raisins and spice jumps out of the glass, propelled by a magnificent mint-toned freshness. Tight and crystalline on the palate, it’s dense and yet not all that vinous in mouthfeel. The finish is one of ethereal lightness and magnificent balance. Drink with well-aged cheese. Drinking Window 2018 - 2030Decanter | 97 DECFermented in oak barrels and aged under natural corks for almost 13 years, Bollinger’s 2004 R. D. Extra Brut blends 66% Pinot Noir with 34% Chardonnay from 16 crus, 88% of which are classified as Grand Cru. The wine opens with a very clear, deep, rich and aromatic but also pure and mineral-fresh nose of crushed rocks, cherries, brioche, pain aux raisin, white nougat, chalk and ripe, yellow-fleshed fruits. Highly elegant and complex on the weightless yet persistent and salty palate, this is an intense, densely woven, firmly structured yet elegant, beautifully refined and refreshing "recent disgorgement" (February 2018) that reveals just a kiss of oxidative flavors that adds even more complexity. A great Champagne on its way to improve over many years in the bottle. Tasted June 2018.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPA superb moment for this late-disgorged vintage Champagne. All the complexity and fruit are here, in the right proportions, on the nose and palate. Grilled peaches, grapefruit, lemons, hazelnuts, espresso and more. Super long, majestic and so rewardingly complex. Drink now.James Suckling | 97 JSThe lovely nose of acacia blossom, toast and graphite leads to flavors of poached quince, fleur de sel, white cherry, lemon pith and almond skin in this dry and harmonious Champagne. Almost airy and ethereal in texture, yet the finely woven flavor range goes on and on, echoing on the finish. Disgorged June 2017. Drink now through 2034. 301 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 96 WSBollinger’s 2004 R.D., tasted from magnum, is all class. Silky and understated, the R.D is super-expressive and inviting today. In 2004, the R.D. is decidedly light on its feet and more perfumed than tends to be the norm at Bollinger. Candied lemon peel, mint, apricot, pastry and yellow fruits are all laced together in a Champagne that delivers the goods. The 2004 is 66% Pinot Noir and 34% Chardonnay picked between September 25 and October 8. Disgorged: November 21, 2017.Antonio Galloni | 96 AG(Bollinger “R.D.” Brut Millésime (Aÿ)) The 2004 Bollinger “R.D.” is a beautiful bottle of wine, where the slightly leaner aspect of the vintage dovetails beautifully with the richer house style here to create one superb bottle of Champagne. It is a blend of two-thirds pinot noir and one-third chardonnay, with all of the vins clairs barrel-fermented and the wine was aged more than five years sur latte, all under natural cork. This vintage of R.D. was finished with a low dosage of only three grams per liter, but is perfectly balanced and is now starting to really drink beautifully. The bright and complex bouquet offers up scents of white peach, apple, chalky soil tones, sourdough bread, white flowers, orange peel and just a whisper of upper register smokiness. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and beautifully balanced, with a lovely core, excellent soil signature, refined mousse and bright, acids, which add precision to the very long, energetic and complex finish. This is a superb vintage for this bottling, which is delicious today and should age marvelously for at least another couple of decades. (Drink between 2019-2040)John Gilman | 94+ JGStrong petrol nuances dominate the yeast, citrus and brioche-suffused nose. There is excellent complexity to the rounded and rich medium-bodied flavors that possess a relatively light mousse, in fact it’s surprisingly subtle, while the lingering finish seems almost more vinous than Champagne-like. I was further surprised by how mature this already is and to my taste there is little to be gained by further aging. To be sure this is certainly very good but I wouldn’t rank it with the greatest versions of R.D. that I have tried over the years.Burghound | 91 BH

98
W&S
As low as $255.00

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