- Item #: i_359280Bottle Size: 750MLGuy Larmandier is a small artisan grower based in the southern Côte des Blancs village of Vertus that was discovered by famed wine importer Neal Rosenthal back in the early 1980s. Despite this long association and decades of consistently high quality, the firm remains something of an “insider’s secret” with an under-the-radar media profile. “Signe Francois” the firm’s tête de cuvée has earned the top spot on our best Champs of the year list because it masterfully exudes the depth, breadth and balance that one associates with the elite Champagnes of the stellar 2008 vintage-- all at a price that is shockingly low. Neal Rosenthal writes: “[This] is produced from their oldest parcels of Chardonnay in the grand cru village of Cramant (along with a small amount of fruit from a holding in the Grand Cru Chouilly), and it spends a full five years on the lees before disgorgement. No dosage is present in our version of the 2008, but one would never even know it is missing--the wine’s depth and richness is extraordinary, voicing the sappy and dense character of the fruit François wrests from these old vines. Notes of pear tart, fresh figs, baked apples, and cherries frame a vibrant, expansive palate, and the wine’s chalky core shows itself in a clinging, almost salty finish." Bravo!
IMPORTER NEAL ROSENTHAL NOTES - "Larmandier’s prestige cuvée is produced from their oldest parcels of Chardonnay in the grand cru village of Cramant (along with a small amount of fruit from a holding in the Grand Cru Chouilly), and it spends a full five years on the lees before disgorgement. No dosage is present in our version of the 2008, but one would never even know it is missing--the wine’s depth and richness is extraordinary, voicing the sappy and dense character of the fruit François wrests from these old vines. Notes of pear tart, fresh figs, baked apples, and cherries frame a vibrant, expansive palate, and the wine’s chalky core shows itself in a clinging, almost salty finish."
- Item #: i_367999Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 93Burghound: 90The cellars of Champagne Guy Larmandier are located in the village of Vertus at the southern base of the Cote des Blancs. This estate owns 9 hectares of vineyards, all located within the Cote des Blancs and distributed amongst the Grand Cru rated villages of Chouilly and Cramant and the 1er Cru rated vineyards of Vertus and Cuis.
Harvest is conducted manually, the Champagnes are aged a minimum of 36 months on the lees and the Champagnes destined for the US market are disgorged on order and receive a minimal dosage so as to emphasize the purity and finesse of this special terroir.
- Item #: i_375687Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 90A very light straw yellow color with lots of bubbles. The nose has light fresh bread, green apple, and a hint of orange. weet and succulent on the palate. Juicy apple. Creamy and warm. As it warms, it has an orange citrus feeling on the midrange. This stuff rocks.
- Item #: i_317706Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 90PETER LEIM 2 STARS -"This is 82 percent Pinot Noir from Mareuil, Avenay Val d’Or, Bisseuil and Hautvillers, blended with 18 percent Mareuil chardonnay. Over half of the blend (53 percent) is reserve wine from 2013 and 2012, and with a trio of vintages like this, it’s no surprise that this is one of the finest editions of this cuvée that Hébrart has ever produced. Generous in body yet streamlined in shape, it’s marked by a silky texture and vibrant depth of fruit, offering both a strong Grande Vallée identity and sheer delicious appeal." Last tasted: 3/17
Importer Terry calls this THE unsung hero of his portfolio.
- Item #: i_374845Bottle Size: 750MLJOHN GILMAN 91 POINTS-"Serge Billiot farms five hectares in Ambonnay, with all of his vins clairs fermented in enamel-lined tanks and not undergoing malolactic fermentation. The cépages is always at least seventy-five percent Pinot Noir, with the balance of the blend made up of Chardonnay. The current release offers up a fine nose of peach, apple, fresh-baked bread, really lovely soil tones, blossoming notes of patissière and a topnote of dried flowers. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and nascently complex, with a fine core, properly broad shoulders, frothy mousse and very good length and grip on the focused and still fairly youthful finish. This is quite tasty today, but there will be even more backend generosity here with a couple of years in the cellar. A fine example..."
WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "An elegant Champagne, featuring a firm, acidic frame, finely meshed with a detailed mousse and flavors of ripe apple, toasted raisin bread, fleur de sel, peach skin and star anise. Offers a lingering, chalk-tinged finish. Disgorged September 2014."
- Item #: i_325268Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92Wine Spectator: 92Burghound: 92JOHN GILMAN VIEW FROM THE CELLAR 92 POINTS -"Like the non-vintage Brut, the Billiot Brut Rosé is comprised of between seventy-five and eighty percent Pinot Noir, with a bit of still red wine blended in to give its lovely salmon color. As with all of the Billiot bottlings, the vins clairs do not go through malo. The excellent bouquet jumps from the glass in a pure and classy blend of white cherries, tangerine, a touch of cinnamon, wheat toast, gentle smokiness and a complex base of chalky minerality. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, crisp and nascently complex, with a fine core, pinpoint bubbles and lovely length and grip on the poised, focused and zesty finish. This is not as expressive on the palate today as it is aromatically, but all of the constituent components are in place for an exquisite bottle of Brut Rosé with a bit more bottle age, so just tuck this lovely bottle away in a cool corner of the cellar for a couple of years and let time work its magic- it will be well worth the wait! 2018-2030+."
STEPHEN TANZER'S INTERNATIONAL WINE CELLAR 92 POINTS "(75% pinot noir and 25% chardonnay; 50% of the wine is from 2009, 25% from 2008 and 25% from 2007; disgorged June, 2011): Light orange. High-pitched aromas of redcurrant and strawberry, with deeper rhubarb and rose oil nuances and a hint of white pepper. Bright and nervy on the palate, showing tangy red berry and blood orange flavors that gain flesh and weight with air. Closes on a chalky note, with very good energy and lingering spiciness."
WINE SPECTATOR 92 - "An undercurrent of minerality supports ripe black cherry and black raspberry flavors, with hints of pastry, cream and candied grapefruit peel. Finely meshed and focused by vibrant acidity. Disgorged March 2011. Drink now through 2016."
- Item #: i_325404Bottle Size: 750MLBurghound: 90TERRY THEISE +-"Yes, a plus. Shocked me too. This is 65% 2008, so maybe not so shocking after all. It’s unsurprisingly delicious, with ‘08’s silvery lift and a white-flower talc-y coolness. This is the best NV I’ve tasted here, and yes I did notice a small note of oxidation but I saw it as “antique” rather than decadent. And let’s remember: how many NV grower Champagnes have an 8-year old wine as the youngest year in the blend???"
- Item #: i_325470Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 93VINOUS 91 POINTS -(51% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 14% still Pinot Noir, all from Aÿ; 9.6 g/l dosage; disgorged in February, 2014): Pale orange-pink. Bright, mineral-laced aromas of fresh red berries, blood orange and jasmine, with a subtle note of anise emerging slowly. Dry and spicy on the palate, offering nervy strawberry and tangerine flavors that unfurl with aeration. Shows very good clarity and bite on the close, leaving sexy floral and chalky mineral notes behind.
- Item #: i_377403Bottle Size: 750mlA selectr fifty/fifty Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blend.VINOUS WINE MDEDIA 91 POINTS-"Henriot's 2008 Brut Millesime is rich, creamy and super-expressive, all of which make it an excellent choice for drinking now and over the next few years. Pastry, apricot, lemon confit, green pear and white flowers all grace this subtle, inviting Champagne from Henriot. The 2008 has enough fruit to drink well now, but also more than enough vibrancy to develop nicely in bottle."
- Item #: i_377176Bottle Size: 750MLWINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS-"A beautiful range of aromatic spices accents the white raspberry, pastry and pink grapefruit notes in this harmonious rosé . There's tension to the knit of vibrant acidity and chalky texture, driving this to a lasting, minerally finish. Drink now through 2020. 1,000 cases imported. (10/16)."
- Item #: i_376223Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 93WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINTS - "A toasty version, framed by firm, citrusy acidity, this features a lively bead and flavors of crushed raspberry, grilled nut, candied grapefruit zest and toasted brioche. Drink now through 2018. 2,500 cases imported. "
- Item #: i_303506Bottle Size: 750MLWINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS-"There's a rich undertow of roasted almond and toasted brioche notes supporting the generous profile of Asian pear, white cherry, orchard blossom and fresh ginger in this mouthwatering rosé. Dry and focused, with seamless integration and fine length. Disgorged January 2015. Drink now through 2020. 400 cases made."(11/16)
This the same cuvee that we sold under the Godmé Pere et Fils label. Hugues Godme and his business partner sister have gone their own ways and the estate is now known as Hugues Godmé.
- Item #: i_377016Bottle Size: 750mlWine Enthusiast: 91 PointsWINE ENTHUSIAST 91 POINTS - "This cuvée is based on the 2014 vintage, with 40% reserve wine added for richness and maturity. It delivers intense red fruit along with equally intense acidity. With the dry crispness that's a hallmark of the producer, it's balanced, and bright, with a mineral texture."
- Item #: i_374559Bottle Size: 750mlA blend of 50% Chardonnay, 40% Meunier,this wine has an unusually fine mousse and terrific elegance, fruit and stony salinity. This is Sélèque’s flagship wine, representing nearly half of the total house production.
- Item #: i_377524Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 92WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "A fresh Champagne, well-knit and lacy in texture, with chalk-tinged notes of apple blossom, ripe raspberry, ground ginger and spun honey. Creamy, with a clean-cut, zesty finish. Drink now through 2024."
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "Lassalle's 2008 Brut 1er Cru Cuvée Angeline shows the intensity and pure mineral drive of the year. White orchard fruit, flowers, slate and crushed rocks are all nicely delineated throughout. Here, too, the flavor profile is distinctly citrus and orchard fruit-leaning, even though 60% of the blend is Pinot Noir. All things considered, the 2008 is a Champagne built on polish, finesse and understatement."
STEPHEN TANZER 93 POINTS - "Light, bright yellow. Pungent, deeply pitched orchard and pit fruit aromas, with brighter orange zest and smoky mineral nuances adding lift. Sappy and penetrating on the palate, offering pliant pear, peach pit and buttered toast flavors that put on weight with air. Finishes chewy and very long, with resonating mineral and orange notes and a late touch of smokiness." - Josh Raynolds (December 2014)
- Item #: i_325567Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 90WINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS - Sleek and firm, with a refined texture and flavors of black currant, biscuit, honey and licorice riding a lively bead to the lightly chalky finish. Drink now through 2018."
This, the “freshest” Lassalle Champagne, still boasts over three years of aging on the lees. Based mostly on the 2009 harvest, this cuvee is roughly an equilateral blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Menuier. A long time staff favorite, this entry-level Brut’s biscuit and honey demeanor is hard to rest and its overall refinement belies its modest cost.
- Item #: i_373813Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 90WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS-"A mouthwatering rosé in an elegant, aperitif style, showing a fine and creamy bead and crowd-pleasing flavors of ripe, juicy cherry, star anise and pickled ginger, with richer hints of toast and honey. Drink now through 2019. 207 cases imported. (10/16)."
CHAMPAGNE GUIDE 94 POINTS - "A tiny dose of red wine [6%] creates a gorgeous pale salmon hue, enlivening a dainty and fresh rose with a fairy touch of rose petal perfume that wafts from the start of the bouquet to the lingering finish of the palate. Lively strawberry hull and elegant red cherry fruits are invigorated by bright acidity and gentle minerality, meshing seamlessly with soft dosage."
The sales of this Rose have skyrocketed in recent years and there have been long stretches when we just couldn’t get any. We don't mind this a bit because it means that Angleine Templier isn’t taking any short cuts that would comprise its quality.
- Item #: i_379004Bottle Size: 750mlWINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS-"Disgorged in June 2017, Vergnon's 2010 Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Expression is showing brilliantly, unwinding in the glass with aromas of dried white flowers, honeycomb, candied peel, yellow orchard fruit and praline. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied and vinous but precise, with racy acids, chalky structuring extract and a long, beautifully defined finish. This is one of the finest wines I've tasted from Vergnon to date."
- Item #: i_378212Bottle Size: 750mlEdouard Labuyère, who owns an estate in Moulin-a-Vent, Château Rouget in Pomerol and is the majority shareholder in Domaine Jacques Prieur in Meursault, acquired two small estates in the Montagne de Reims Grand Cru town of Verzenay between 2010 and 2012. Both producers had previously sold the grapes from their grand cru sites to Dom Pérignon.
JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS-"Some quite chalky, stony aromas framed in bright red berries, this has impressive, fragrant appeal. The texture is super smooth, supple and even. Bright, strawberry and mineral finish. Drink now." (09/18)
- Item #: i_378210Bottle Size: 750mlJAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS-"A crisp, taut and dry blanc de blancs that has an array of lemons and hazelnuts on the nose and a subtly nutty edge to the grapefruit and lemon peel flavors. Nice and fresh. Drink now." (09/18)