- Item #: i_379709Bottle Size: 750MLJOHN GILMAN VIEW FROM THE CELLAR 92 POINTS-"It had been a few years since I last tasted a bottle of Agrapart’s lovely “Les 7 Crus” cuvée. The wine is really lovely, offering up a pure and complex bouquet of apple, tart pear, chalky minerality, citrus zest and fresh-baked bread. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, focused and complex, with a lovely core, elegant mousse, fine focus and a very long, zesty and perfectly balanced finish. This is one lower dosage bottling that is drinking with style and grace in its youth. 2016-2030."
- Item #: i_376417Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 93The Avizoise is made from Les Robards and Voie d'Epernay, fermented in neutral 600-liter barrels and bottled with four grams of dosage.
- Item #: i_377280Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 94PETER LEIM 3 STARS-"From chalky soils in the vineyard of La Fosse, which Agrapart works entirely by horse, this is sleek and pure, with a silky texture and a racy, elongated build. Like Agrapart’s other 2010s, this is surprisingly rich and ample for the vintage, yet its energetic ripeness is firmly anchored by salty, briny chalkiness. It’s superbly complete for a non-dosé, already showing a nuanced complexity and subtle, graceful length, and it promises to become even more expressive with additional age. I’m not sure that there’s a better 2010 in all of Champagne than this one. Last tasted: 1/17."
- Item #: i_325554Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 921 1/2 Stars ChampagneGuide.net-"Compared to Agrapart's 7 Crus, this is both finer in texture and larger in body-you see the influence of grand cru terroir not only in finesse but in puissance as well. It's intensely chalky under the silky notes of pear, green citrus and guava, anchored by vibrant acidity, and it feels fragrant and flowery on the long finish, demonstrating a superb balance and focus. Last tasted: 11/13."-Peter Leim
- Item #: i_378941Bottle Size: 750mlJacques Beaufort has long been one of our Champagne hero's. Back in the early 1970's Jacques was virtually alone leading the charge against the use of chemicals and herbicides and he has now been farming biodynamically for decades. Beaufort's approach to winemaking is equally stripped-down and non-interventionist. Such a strict, natural approach has its obvious risks, and over the years his Champagnes have been a bit "hit or miss" but his hits like this 2010 are often home runs. This is a bright, exuberant (dare we say hedionistic) Champagne that belies it Brut Zero configuration. The 2010 Andre Beaufort presents a delicate mousse and persistent bubbles, greeting your nose with pear, herbs de Provence and toasted hazelnuts. Expressive in character and bold on the palate, it culminates with a fine, zippy finish.
- Item #: i_376185Bottle Size: 750mlTHE CHAMPAGNE GUIDE 96 POINTS - "Clouet's flagship is a radiant, golden silk-satin ballgown of ravishing complexity and breathtaking grace, a delicate high-heeled balancing act of refreshing poise in the midst of profound concentration. Its richness ventures to Champagne's outer limits of succulent white fruits of all kinds, grilled pineapple, honey and great complexity of brioche, nougat and butter. Celebrating a generous 50% reserve from solera, its rumbling maturity is proclaimed in hints of butterscotch, coffee beans, and smouldering hearth. Just when you fear it is all too much to behold the vibrant energy of its 2002 base wine swoops into a finish defined by well-poised acidity and softly mineral, fine chalk texture. It holds it posture of tall, slender magnificence for minutes without ever dropping its determined gaze."
We have had our sights on the Champagnes of Jean-Francois Clouet for long time since, by all accounts, he is one of the top Pinot Noir specialists in all of Champagne. This limited bottling (yes, you guessed it, just 1911 were produced) is drawn from Jean-Francois’ ten best plots all situated mid-slope in the “golden square” of Bouzy. This is an amazing wine that would have placed near the top of our list if only there had been more available. Australian scribe, Tyson Stelzer, flipped for it, writing: ”Clouet’s flagship is a radiant, golden silk-satin ball gown of ravishing complexity and breathtaking grace, a delicate high-heeled balancing act of refreshing poise in the midst of profound concentration. Its richness ventures to Champagne’s outer limits of succulent white fruits of all kinds, grilled pineapple, honey and great complexity of brioche, nougat and butter. Celebrating a generous 50% reserve from solera, its rumbling maturity is proclaimed in hints of butterscotch, coffee beans, and smoldering hearth. Just when you fear it is all too much to behold the vibrant energy of its 2002 base wine swoops into a finish defined by well-poised acidity and softly mineral, fine chalk texture. It holds its posture of tall, slender magnificence for minutes without ever dropping its determined gaze. 96 Points.”
- Item #: i_376772Bottle Size: 750mlWINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS-"Unfortunately I was only able to taste one new release from Andre Clouet this year. The NV Brut Grande Reserve emerges from the glass with layers of hazelnut, pear, spice and dried flower aromas. This rich, creamy wine impresses for its balance and sheer richness. I loved it. This is Lot L06. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2014."(11/11)
Fashioned from 100% Bouzy and Ambonnay Pinot Noir form the 2009 and 2008 vintages with 30% of the base wine fermented in used Sauterenes barrels. The bouquet is open airy with inviting sourdough, yellow plum, citrus and Macintosh apple notes. This is a concentrated, but not at all ponderous, Champagne with a palate that features appetizing summer and citrus fruits seamlessly wedded to oak derived notions of honey, toast and brown spices. The low (6g/l) dosage works well here to keep everything lively while also letting Champagnes chalk and soil character to come to the fore. This intricately crafted Brut beautifully marries power and poise in way that one seldom finds at this low price point.
- Item #: i_376767Bottle Size: 750mlTHE CHAMPAGNE GUIDE 95 POINTS-"'I say 10% of the blend is from my blood!' declares Jean-Francois Clouet, who has changed the style of his family's rose to a fresher and more direct mood, not so soft, aiming for the lively impression of malic acidity, even though it goes through full malolactic fermentation. The result is arose that epitomises elegance and focus, in the midst of generous red fruits that characterise Bouzy and Ambonnay. This cuvee encapsulates the wonderful talent of Pinot Noir to build and rise on the finish, opening to wonderful characters of perfumed rosehip, pink pepper and pomegrate. An undercurrent of fine, chalk mineral texture, accurate line and persevering length define a pristine and enticingly priced rose.
- Item #: i_276892Bottle Size: 750mlThe wine shows a complex range of aromas from white flower to fresh fruit. The wine is long and refreshing in the mouth, balanced with underlying minerality. A vintage with a great aging potential.
Champagne Andre Robert was born in 1960 with the purchase of the Robert estate but winemaking goes back several generations in the family. Henry Robert, an officer during WWI, came back to a devastated land. Most of Champagne's vineyards were either war torn or disease ridden. With not much more than a horse, he acquired a small plot of land and nursed the vines back to health. Persistence paid off and in the 1930's, Henry founded the first wine cooperative in Champagne.
During WWII, Andre Robert, who was just a teenager at the time, joined his father and the horse. Toward the end of the 1950's, a tractor replaced the horse and Champagne Andre Robert's first commercial wines were released in 1962.
Bertrand Robert took over the property in 1981 after studying enology in Reims. Over the last three plus decades, he has remained committed to the principles that were first forged by his grandfather ninety years ago. No insecticides or anti-decay products are used. As if reciting a mantra from the French Revolution he proclaims, "We practice 'viticulture durable.' Respect the water, respect the earth, respect the air."
A member of the Independent Wine Producers Federation, Robert does not purchase any fruit and all of the wines are made on the estate. This may not sound like a big deal but while there are a lot of small growers in Champagne, the vast majority of the wines are made by very large houses that buy fruit and often use a variety of production facilities.
- Item #: i_374622Bottle Size: 750mlWINERY NOTES - "Generous and plentiful foam, with numerous strings of tiny bubbles. The nose is very powerful, dominated by aromas of fruits in pastry, stewed apricot, with frank notes of sugared almond. Slight notes of pepper and aniseed. On the palate, the feeling is very ample and long, with remaining pastry feeling, ending on a spicy note."
A rich yet subtle blend ot 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay all sourced from the firm's plantings in the Grand Cru village of Ay. The blend is based on the 2013 vintage with 20% cask aged reserve wines. The wine as given a dosage of 9 grams per liter after aging on the yeast for 15 to 18 months.
- Item #: i_376663Bottle Size: 750mlWINERY NOTES-"The base wine for this Old Vines Champagne comes from our plots, Pierre Robert Haut, Tarclett, and Varmery. The vines are on average 45 years old, which is important for the selection of the plots, as each plant produces a third less than a younger plant. Hence a higher aromatic potential and an optimum maturity at harvest time. The primary aromas are typical of a Pinot Noir from Ay: blackcurrant, small red fruit, in the nose and on the palate, with a spicy note at the end of the tasting.These aromas have evolved with the second fermentation, dominated now by juicy fruit, such as white peach and stewed lemon. Despite a lively attack on the palate, this wine feels round, vinous, frank and well structured, long on the mouth without being heavy. This is a wine for lovers of varietal wines, the opposite of a blended Champagne."
- Item #: i_373871Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2008 Brut Nature Aubry de Humbert is one of the standouts in a range full of exciting wines. Dried lemon peel, chamomile, dried flowers, yellow orchard fruits and a kiss of French oak all inform this resonant, deeply expressive Champagne. The Aubrey de Humbert is one of the more extroverted and overly powerful wines in the Aubry range but it has plenty of the freshness, verve and detail that makes these Champagnes so compelling. The blend is 30% each Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, with dollops of Arbanne and Petit Meslier that round out the blend. Disgorged in June 2016 with no dosage." -- Antonio Galloni, December 2017 (94 point)"
- Item #: i_377891Bottle Size: 750MLEvery once in a while a champagne comes along that you can judge like you would a a great wine. Paul Bara's Comtesse Marie de France, their finest, is such a Champagne. The nose is expansive, deep, and ravishingly complex. The palate is rich and winey and incredibly long. Stock up. These don't happen very often. —Kermit Lynch
- Item #: i_325801Bottle Size: 750mlThis exquisitely crafted champagne is derived from a mix of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay, perfectly balanced to create a Rose champagne that is one to be consumed when celebrating a special occasion. Light crisp taste, which is fresh and fruity, with the color of delicate rose petals.
The copper casing of both the Brut and the Rose were inspired by the suit of armor worn by the knights of the palace. They are crafted from 100% second generation scrap copper and each bottle is recycled after consumption. So why the copper in the first place? Believe it or not, it’s not just bling it actually helps save energy and keeps the temperature of the wine stabilized while it’s being consumed without the use of an ice bucket.
- Item #: i_352565Bottle Size: 750mlBenoit and Valérie Lahaye registered their property as completely biodynamic in 2003, quite a big decision in such a marginal climate. Their vines cover eleven acres mostly in the Montagne de Reims villages of Bouzy (Grand Cru) and Tauxières (Premier Cru) with the balance situated in the Cote de Blancs hamlet of Vertus (Premier Cru). As one would suspect, Lahaye, with their Bouzy holdings and dexterous biodynamic farming, makes a striking Blanc de Noirs. The wine has been aged 20% in tank and 80% in vat with lees stirring to add even more depth while ample ageing further rounds things out. This is 100% Pinot Noir bottling was disgorged in October 2017 with a 5 g/l dosage.
- Item #: 352567Bottle Size: 750mlOnly the most dedicated and courageous growers would dare to practice biodynamic viticulture in a climate that is as cool and damp as Champagne
- Item #: i_325575Bottle Size: 750MLJOHN GILMAN 92-93 POINTS-"The Beaux Regards bottling is made entirely from estate-grown Chardonnay from the Bérêche family’s vineyards in their home village of Ludes. This had only been disgorged in January of 2018 and was still a bit unsettled in mid-March, but the underlying quality here was still quite apparent. The complex bouquet offers up scents of pear, lemon, chalky soil tones, a hint of buttery oak, fresh almond and white flowers in the upper register. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, long and elegant in profile, with pinpoint bubbles, a good core and fine length and grip on the very well-balanced finish. The precision that this wine will eventually display was not in evidence after the fairly recent disgorgement, and for that reason I scored the wine in a range, but I would fully expect it to snap into exact focus with a bit more bottle age (it probably has already done so) and rate at the top of my range. It seems likely that the 2014 Beaux Regards will blossom completely a bit ahead of the 2013 Rilly bottling, but this again, could just be an impression caused by its more recent disgorgement. 2018-2035+.
- Item #: i_325548Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 92JOHN GILMAN 92 POINTS-"The soon to be released version of Bérêche et Fils non-vintage “Brut Réserve” is going to be excellent. The wine is its customary blend of one-third each of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, with the wine having been disgorged in January of 2017. As is typical of this bottling, one-third of the blend is reserve wines and the finishing dosage was 6.5 grams per liter. This is really a lovely wine in the making, offering up a youthful and classy bouquet of apple, pear, chalky soil tones, brioche and just a whisper of buttery oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and focused, with lovely mousse, excellent balance and grip and a long, zesty and nascently complex finish. A superb non-vintage bottling. 2018-2035. (07/18)
PETER LEIM 1 1/2 STARS-"It's ample in body, its creammy notes of stone fruits, orange citrus and green apple underlind by stony minerality, and it finishes with excellent length and depth." This is made of roughly equal parts Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier, and 70 percent of it was vinified in barrel. The base wine is a blend of the 2013 and 2014 vintages. It was disgorged in January of 2017 with a dosage of 7 grams per liter.
- Item #: i_305600Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 90JOHN GILMAN 92 POINTS - "Billecart-Salmon is probably most famous for their excellent bottling of non-vintage Brut Rosé, and the new bottling is another superb wine. The cépages is comprised of forty percent Chardonnay, twenty percent Pinot Meunier and thirty-five percent Pinot Noir, with eight percent of the Pinot Noir included as still wine to give this wine its lovely, pale salmon color. The dosage is slightly higher here, but still judicious at nine grams per liter. The bouquet is pure and vibrant, wafting from the glass in a mix of tangerine, almonds, smoke, lovely minerality, wheat toast and dried flowers. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and very focused, with a fine core, racy, zesty acids and great cut and grip on the long and beautifully balanced finish."
The origin of this Rose Champagne’s popularity goes back more than a half century. Back in the 1950’s when pink Champagnes were invariably clumsy and rustic, Billecart-Salmon developed a pale Brut Rose that stood dramatically out from the crowd with its stellar finesse and elegance. Over the years many producers have tired to emulate the Billecart-Salmon Rose style, but the original is still hard to top. As usual, the firm’s current rendition is made with a high (40%) proportion of Chardonnay with the remainder of cuvee being split between Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The Chardonnay fruit is sourced from the Montagne de Reims, as well as the Cotes des Blancs, to add a bit of extra body and texture to the ensemble.WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - The NV Brut Rose emerges from the glass with the essence of freshly cut flowers, berries and minerals in a mid-weight, gracious style. It shows gorgeous inner perfume, along with persistent notes of chalkiness that frame the long, sublime finish. Year in, year out, this estate’s NV Brut Rose is one of the most consistently outstanding wines in the region. Disgorged June 30, 2010. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2015.