- Item #: i_325818Bottle Size: 750mlThe Minéral emerges from old-vine parcels [in Cramant] the Champboutons and Les Bionnes lieux-dits.
Brothers Arthur and Fabrice Agrapart have guided the rise of their family’s Champagne estate since 1984. Blessed with a patrimony of outstanding Côte des Blancs vineyard parcels (mostly Grand Cru rated) the duo has maximized the potential of their land through rigorous biodynamic viticulture practices and non-interventionist winemaking techniques. Their hard work and skill has resulted in consistently high critical acclaim and, as one would expect, a burgeoning fan base. While it is great to see the family’s dedication and hard work pay off, their success has caused our allocations to grow smaller with each new release. These latest vintage bottlings are in particularly short supply.
- Item #: i_375646Bottle Size: 750mlThe 2012 Brut Ivoire et Ebène is another fabulous wine in this range. Powerful, ample and resonant in the glass, the 2012 is superb from the moment it is first poured. Baked apple, pear, smoke and spice fill out the wine's voluptuous frame, with a hint of French oak that add complexity without being overpowering.
- Item #: i_378248Bottle Size: 750mlThe Bara property was built in 1860 in Bouzy, perhaps Champagne's most esteemed Pinot Noir village, thanks its warm, south-facing slopes. In the beginning, the estate was a farm with stables, a cow shed, and a cellar, However, in 1965, the barn was transformed into a press room and a winery. Paul Bara, the father of today's owner Chantale, was the first of the dynasty to sell Champagne under the family's name in the 1950s and he was also one of the first grower producers to export its his wares to the U.S. Crafted only from exceptional exceptiona harvests, the firm's Millesime is fermented in tank without malolactic and is aged on the yeast for at least five years. Clearly one of the great successes of the excellent 2012 vintage.LA REVUE DU VIN DE FRANCE comments: " A full and spherical expression of Pinot Noir (90%). A good classic vinified in VAT, taught, yet harmonious."
- Item #: i_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’s. Benoit Lahaye is one of these brave souls, having been a practitioner of natural winegrowing since the early 1990s. Made entirely from 36-year-old Pinot Noir vines in the vineyard of "Les Juliennes" in the Grand Cru village of Bouzy, this very reddish rosé is effusively fruity on the nose, displaying deep aromas of just-squeezed strawberries and raspberries. The light (3 g/l) dosage and absence of malolactic fermentation work in concert to give the red berry flavors extra brilliance and intensity.
- Item #: i_374880Bottle Size: 750MLPETER LEIM 2 STARS-"These Pinot Noir vines were planted in 1987, in a parcel of tufa over limestone. This is the second vintage that Chartogne has released, and while it shows an intensity and energy typical of 2012, it remains graceful and subtly poised, driven by its tense, lively minerality. Its elegantly fragrant notes of red cherry, nectarine and pear persist with excellent length on the finish, anchored by a pronounced salinity. Last tasted: 3/17."
- Item #: i_352312Bottle Size: 750mlIn the vineyards, Alexandre does not follow any certifications; his goal is “to respect the soil populations as much as I can”. His work is followed by Claude and Lydia Bourguignon, the two foremost experts on soil microbiology. “I do not use chemicals, herbicides, insecticides … and plough half of my vineyards with my horses. Most of the work is made by hand, but … no certification.” Sheep and Chickens are used for fertilization and focus is put on the health of the soil as Chartogne believes that the transmission of terroir comes only though careful work in the vineyard. Horses are kept on the property and used for ploughing and a majority of the work in the vineyard is made by hand.
From a sandy, south-facing site planted in 1981, this 100-percent Chardonnay Champagne was fermented using wild yeasts in a mix of concrete eggs and used (3-8 years old) Burgundy barrels from Anne Gross from Anne Gros. This Blanc de Blancs was aged for more than four years sur latte and was disgorged in March 2017 with a dosage of 5 grams per liter. Just 3500 bottles were produced.
- Item #: i_375403Bottle Size: 750mlSome like it rich and spicy! We love champagne that shows great expression and energy. This 100% Pinot noir is from a single vineyard site called 'Les Orizeaux' and displays all that oyster-shell like salinity, nervy citrus and overlaid with spice and vanilla. This cuvée is full-bodied and flavourful yet it retains a high level of finesse.
- Item #: i_379141Bottle Size: 750mlThis classic and utterly delicious blanc de blancs spends four years on the lees and offers sexy floral and citrus notes, with a a lovely texture and energy.
- Item #: i_374390Bottle Size: 750mlIn 1986, Eric Dhondt and Edith Grellet decided to stop selling off grapes to negociants and started Dhondt-Grellet. Their focus on farming translated into honest Champagnes from great holdings across the Côte des Blancs.
Their son, Adrien, at just 25 years of age has now taken over the winemaking and is quickly bringing his family's wines to another level. He has slowly increased the range of Champagnes produced by isolating his holdings across the villages of Cramant and Cuis and bottling unique expressions of Chardonnay
- Item #: i_374662Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92JAMES SUCKLING 93 POINTS-"A 100% Pinot Noir here with a terrific floral nose: violets and red roses, some gently flinty reductive notes and red berries to boot. The palate's impressive thanks to plenty of tannin and a really impressive structure. Bold, long and very pure. Red-cherry-pip finish. Drink now."
- Item #: i_374557Bottle Size: 750mlBertrand Lilbert is one of the super stars of Cramant and indeed of the Cote des Blancs. 3.5ha of vineyard parcels spread across Cramant, Chouilly and Oiry. The wines are made in a classic structured style with abundant acid to guarantee long aging potential. But that said, they are certainly very enjoyable in their youth. The Lilbert property was established in 1746 and consists of only 3.5 ha Grand Cru Vineyards in the Cote des Blancs, 60% in Cramant, 30% in Chouilly and 10% in Oiry. Bertrand used to work in an Epernay viticulture testing laboratory before taking over the management of this property. Michel Bettane, France’s top wine critic, names Lilbert as the reference point for long-lived classic Cramant. As Andrew Jefford observes in his book, The New France, “This tiny 4-ha Cramant domaine is the source of some very fine and long-lived Blanc de Blancs made by Georges Lilbert and his son Bertrand. The style is less soft, creamy, and flowery than the Blanc de Blancs of most large houses might leave the drinker expecting: Cramant here has a taut, steely, rigorous quality….”. Overall production is tiny with only three cuvées being produced for a huge total production of a tiny 30,000 bottles!
- Item #: i_376559Bottle Size: 750MLWINERY NOTES: "Apples, stone fruits and wounderful aromas of freshly baked bread open to a full-bodied yet profoundly stony palate. Focused, fine and long on the finish, we beleive it will age well for at least a decade."
This limited (70 case) Millesime is a 50/50 blend of Grand Cru Chardonnay (Oger, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, and Cramant) and Premier Cru Pinot Noir from Hautvillers and Cumieres. Hand harvested with 33% of the base wine undergoing malolactic feremtation followed by extended "Sur Latte" aging for 84 months.
- Item #: i_374357Bottle Size: 750mlPETER LEIM TWO STARS - "Named for the clay crystalline mineral found in the area around Cuisles and Joncry, this is a blend of 95 percent Meunier and 5 percent Pinot Noir. It’s ripe and concentrated in the style of the 2012 vintage, yet the heaviest influence here is that of soil, which infuses the wine with a distinctively stony, umami-tinged minerality. While it’s youthful and brisk, needing more time to settle down and bring its components into harmony, it feels superbly expressive, and promises to become even more so with time in the cellar. Last tasted: 3/17,"
- Item #: i_374423Bottle Size: 750mlPETER LIEM - CHAMPAGNEGUIDE.NET Rating: *(*)
Made of 55 percent pinot noir and 45 percent chardonnay, this includes 35 percent of reserve wine from 2011, 2010 and 2009, with one-quarter of the total fermented in barrel. It’s the best version of this cuvée that Mouzon has released so far, showing energetic red fruit and a vibrant depth of flavor. It persists on the finish with outstanding length, underlined by flinty notes of soil, and it’s archetypal Verzy in its streamlined shape and harmonious structure. Last tasted: 11/16
- Item #: i_374308Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 94WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS-"Roederer’s white golden 2012 Vintage is a classic Millésime. Based on 70% cool-climate Pinot Noir from Verzy and Verzenay (Montagne de Reims) and 30% Chardonnay from a very warm, south/southwest-facing vineyard in Chouilly (Côte des Blancs), the 2012 represents the mineral terroirs of its origins beautifully—pure, refined and fresh. Fermented 8% in oak and with just 16% of the volume having done malolactic fermentation to make the Roederer Vintage Brut a classic gastronomic wine, the 2012 shows a deep, rich and ripe but also fine, precise and elegant chalky nose with hazelnut, toasted almond and blossom flavors. The palate is profound, round, highly elegant and fresh, and the long, remarkably salty finish is very complex and terribly fresh in its persistent mineral expression. This is an impressive, ripe and almost creamy textured but precise and finessed 2012 with power, body and structure. A true, highly stimulating classic. Just love it!" Disgorged in January 2017 after four years of bottle aging (dosage: nine grams per liter). Tasted in Reims in May 2018.