JOHN GILMAN 92 POINTS-R. H. Coutier is one of my favorite Grower-Récoltants and their new release of their non-vintage cuvée “Tradition” is (again) a blend of seventy percent Pinot Noir and thirty percent Chardonnay, with this year’s iteration based on the superb 2009 vintage. The bouquet on the new release is outstanding, wafting from the glass in a mix of baked apples, hazelnuts, beautifully complex, Ambonnay soil tones, wheat bread, caraway seed and a delicate touch of lavender in the upper register. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and still quite youthful, with a fine core of fruit, lovely focus and grip, bright acids, elegant mousse and a very long, nascently complex and snappy finish. This is a beautiful bottle of non-vintage Brut, but it really needs at least a year or two in the cellar to start to blossom on the palate. As I have said in the past, for those who liked the older style of Bollinger’s non-vintage Brut, the Coutier bottling is once again a very worthy substitute in that style."