- Item #: i_374624Bottle Size: 750mlFor the Chauvet, harmony in champagne is not just important, it is elemental. As such, they are regional champions of the art of blending Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and they take an unabashedly classical approach in the vineyards and in the cellars. Farming their family’s 10 hectares sustainably in five of the Montagne de Reims’s 17 grand crus—Bouzy, Ambonnay, Verzy, Verzenay and Bisseuil— one feels a complex synergy to the final wines where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Long fermentations and extended élevages on the lees help develop complexity and fine aromatics, while also radically reducing the need for sulfur and eschewing the need for malolactic fermentations. In the end, their harmony in both their partnership and practice yields elegant, earthy and aromatic champagnes with a fine, satiny mousse that dances across the palate. That they are also capable of long cellar aging is a fitting legacy for a family who has endured since 1848, and whose family home in Tours-sur-Marne features an immaculately preserved salon, dating to the early 1900's.
- 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_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_225647Bottle Size: 750mlWINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS-"Rich, with smoky toasted brioche and kumquat aromas and flavors, this mouthwatering Champagne offers a fine, satiny mousse and accents of ripe yellow peach, crème de cassis, saffron and nut. Firm finish. Drink now through 2026. 16,000 cases made, 150 cases imported. (12/18)""
This non dosed Brut (except the reserve component) was all vinified in secondhand barrels, most of which are old, 228-liter barriques purchased from Chablis. The wines stay in barrel for about six months before being blended and bottled: "The idea is not to mark the wines with the wood," says chef de cave Nicolas Jaeger, "but to give them more structure, more finesse and length." This bottling is a blend of 41 percent chardonnay, 32 percent Pinot Noir and 27 percent Meunier, with 20 percent of the total made up of reserve wines.
- Item #: i_376462Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 90WINE SPECTATOR 91 -"A sleek and minerally rosé, with hints of graphite and spice lacing the pretty apricot and white cherry fruit flavors as they ride the lively mousse. Racy acidity firms the finish. Disgorged November 2018. Drink now. 4,000 cases made, 1,500 cases imported. (12/19)"
- Item #: i_376185Bottle Size: 750mlJOHN TYSON THE 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_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_378247Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS-"A smooth, gently round and nicely balanced Champagne dominant in pinot meunier, pinot noir and chardonnay to boot. It has attractive lemon citrus flavors and is really punchy, refined and gently nutty. A smooth, pastry-like texture comes to the fore on the finish. Drink now."
WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The NV Brut Premier Cru is a gorgeous wine, and a great introduction to the house style. Lemon, white flowers, mint, crushed rocks are some of the many notes that take shape in the glass as this refined Champagne shows off its impeccable class and total pedigree. The Premier Cru is 45% Pinot Meunier, 25% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 5% Arbanne, Petit Meslier and Fromenteau. The high percentage of red grapes is felt in the wine’s breadth, while the aromas and flavors remain fresh, vibrant and beautifully nuanced throughout. This is a fabulous entry-level offering."
- Item #: i_377891Bottle Size: 750MLIMPORTER'S NOTES-" Ages in barrel for 6 months and in bottle for 10 years before release • Current disgorgement: November 2016 (2005 Vintage) • Dosage 5 grams/liter • The Annonciade bottling is an hommage to an ancestor of the Bara family. In 1833, Annonciade, daughter of a winemaker from Bouzy, married Auguste François Bara, a young cooper from a neighboring village. Jules Bara, their son, constructed the first cellar at Champagne Paul Bara. This cuvée symbolizes the perfect marriage between vigneronne and cooper.
- Item #: i_373504Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 90WINE & SPIRITS 92 POINTS
VINOUS 90 POINTS - "Light yellow-gold. Intense, mineral-laced aromas of blood orange, dried pear and anise, with a suave floral quality gaining power with air. Chewy and precise on the palate, offering bitter pear skin, redcurrant and honeysuckle flavors plus a suggestion of buttery brioche. Finishes sappy and long, leaving notes of toasty lees and orange pith behind.
WINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS - "Smoky, with rich hints of lightly charred toast and nut providing a subtle base for the flavors of plum, candied lemon zest and chalk. Firm, offering a creamy texture and smoky mineral details on the finish."
- 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_325730Bottle Size: 750mlChampagne Bertrand Senecourt is an Epernay Champagne house that sometimes makes special cuvees, such as Beau Joie Special Cuvee Brut. The Champagne is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay and it is bottled in a distinctive 100% copper wrapper that Bertrand Senecourt says is inspired by the suits of armor worn by medieval knights. The copper “suit of armor” keeps the Champagne colder for longer periods, according to Bertrand Senecourt, and the copper wrapper is made from recycled copper. In 2012 Beau Joie Special Cuvee Brut was the official Champagne for the party held after the Grammys at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles. Other Beau Joie cuvees have earned compliments in Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar. Bertrand Senecourt is also the maker of the prestigious Charles Ellner Champagnes.
- Item #: i_304569Bottle Size: 750ML50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay, all from Bereche’s home village of Ludes, in the Montage de Reims. All the vines are mid-slope, which Bereche believe produces the grapes that result in the most minerality. This 2011 was disgorged in July 2018 with a dosage of 3.5 g/l.
- 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_378646Bottle Size: 750mlBurghound: 91JOHN GILMAN 92 POINTS - "The Brut Réserve bottling from Billecart-Salmon is identical in cépages to the Extra Brut, with the sole differences in the wines being that the Brut Réserve receives a judicious dosage of seven grams per liter. Not surprisingly, the current release is excellent, offering a complex nose of pear, warm biscuits, a fine base of complex soil tones, gentle notes of lime peel and a nice touch of white roses in the upper register. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, complex and very refined in profile, with a lovely core, pinpoint bubbles, bright, well-integrated acids and a very long, tangy and elegant finish. I have had some previous renditions of Brut Réserve that seemed a bit bound up by their structural elements out of the blocks and in need of some bottle age to blossom, but the current release will drink beautifully right from the outset."
INTERNATIONAL WINE CELLAR 91 POINTS - "Light yellow-gold. Orange and pear aromas are complemented by notes of vanilla bean and honeysuckle. Silky in texture and nicely precise, with juicy orchard fruit flavors and a tangy note of Meyer lemon. Dry but in no way austere. Blends depth and energy smoothly and finishes with excellent clarity and nervy cut."
- Item #: i_305600Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 90JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "A gorgeous rosé Champagne with sliced strawberries, orange peel and hints of cream and pie crust. Medium body, tight and integrated tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Tangy acidity. The texture shows a fine bead and lightness. Long and intense. Drink now."
WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS "Lacy in texture, with sleek acidity, this well-knit rosé Champagne offers delicate notes of blood orange glacé, pickled ginger and oyster shell, revealing a rich hint of grilled nut. The firm, almost crunchy finish is nicely spiced and lingering. Drink now through 2023."
- Item #: i_352887Bottle Size: 750mlWINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS-"Fermented 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."-(06/2018)
- Item #: i_377332Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94James Suckling: 93WINE ADVOCATE 97+ POINTS-Bollinger's 2008 La Grande Année is superb, wafting from the glass with aromas of crisp orchard fruit, ripe lemons, honeycomb, warm biscuits, dried white flowers and a delicate top note of walnuts and fino sherry. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, broad and vinous, with a beautifully refined mousse, superb concentration at the tightly wound core, incisive acids and a supremely elegant intermingling of Bollinger's oxidative stylistic signatures with fresh, vibrant fruit. The finish is long, precise and chalky. This is a Grande Année built for the cellar—the real excitement will come with a bit more bottle age—but this is already a thrilling Champagne in the making. Finished with eight grams per liter dosage, it was disgorged by hand in July 2018. This is also the first vintage of Grande Année to be bottled in Bollinger's new narrower-necked 1846 bottle, which should make for a slower evolving wine."
- Item #: i_305850Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 93WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "Very elegant and refined in texture, with fresh, focused acidity finding fine integration with the layered notes of patisserie apple, black currant, smoky mineral and biscuit, complimented by hints of lemon zest and honey. Lingering finish. Drink now through 2020. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 5,000 cases imported.”
We are excited about this offering because we love nothing more than offering killer deals on great wines. While not as flashy or fashionable as some of its Grandes Marques brethren, Bollinger nevertheless possesses a legion of savvy devotees that is surpassed only by that of Krug’s. As with Krug’s Grand Cuvee, Bollinger’s reputation is anchored by their consistently splendid multi-vintage Brut Special. This is a particularly nice rendition and it is further notable because it is the first release of Special Cuvee packaged in a swanky new bottle patterned after one the company used in the 1840s. Disgorged this past summer, 45% of the blend is from 2008, while 50% is from 2007, with the rest being composed of older vintages aged in magnum.
Jacques Bollinger and Paul-Joseph Renaudin founded Bollinger in 1829. However, it was really the widow (yes, another dynamic Champagne widow) Lilly Bollinger, who guided the firm from 1941 to 1971, that is most responsible for the lofty reputation that the firm enjoys today. By all accounts this grande dame was an indefatigable and astute leader that left no stone unturned in the pursuit of bolstering the excellence of her Champagnes. Ghislain de Montgolfier, a great great grandson of Jacques Bollinger, took charge of the house from 1994 to 2008. Today, Jérôme Philipon is managing director, while Mathieu Kauffmann , who has been with the house since 2001, is Bollinger’s brilliant chef de cave. Bollinger’s 395 acres of vines provide for roughly two-thirds of the house’s needs, which permits greater control over style and quality.