- 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.
- Item #: i_376356Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 91WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINTS - "Refined, with well-meshed acidity providing a backbone for delicate flavors of dried currant, graphite, green plum, meringue and grapefruit zest. Fresh, smoke-tinged finish. Drink now through 2020. 10,000 cases made."
Bright and juicy with seamlessly integrated flavors, this bargain Brut Rose looks like a lock to make our December Best Champagnes of the Year roster. These recent Wine Spectator web notes are spot on.
Founded in Avize in 1811 by Charles-Gabriel de Cazanove, the Charles de Cazanove house rose to prominence under the guidance of his son, Charles Nicolas. Charles Nicolas was a trained botanist who gained fame for his work fighting the phylloxera scourge. Sales of the brand expanded rapidly after the Second World War and today the firm is now the largest family-owned Champagne producer as well being the second-leading Champagne brand sold in France. The firm was purchased by its present owners, the Lombard family, in 1985. The house style is a modern one emphasizing fruit, freshness and accessibility. Despite all their history and sales success in overseas, Charles de Cazanove is virtually unknown in the U.S. This anomalous situation is now being addressed by the winery through some very aggressive pricing programs that we are only too happy to pass on to you. It should be noted that the lion’s share of the juice for De Casanove’s Champagnes is sourced from the company’s own highly-rated vineyards, a factor which results in lower production costs as well more consistent quality.
- Item #: i_376004Bottle Size: 1.5LWine Spectator: 93JOSH RAYNOLDS 91 POINTS-"(one-third each Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier; 11 g/l dosage;...: Light, bright orange. Intensely perfumed scents of raspberry, orange zest, white flowers and chalky minerals. Juicy and precise in the mouth, offering vibrant red berry and blood orange flavors and a complicating hint of brioche. The floral quality comes back strong on the very long, incisive finish, which features a subtle anise quality and smoky minerality. About 20% of the Pinot Noir here was in the form of still red wine."
- Item #: i_347642Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 91WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINTS - "Chalky on the nose, this clean-cut Champagne is creamy in texture and elegant, offering a subtle mesh of biscuit, green pear, ground ginger and lemon zest notes. A fine aperitif, with a racy finish."
Breaking with convention Grand Cordon has no front label : The G.H. Mumm signature and eagle emblem are printed in gold directly on the glass. Another striking feature of the design is its shape, which necessitated a whole series of innovations to the traditional champagne production process.
The most eye-catching feature of the Mumm Grand Cordon bottle is its reinterpretation of the famous Cordon Rouge red sash, transformed into a genuine red ribbon, which – in a feat of technology – is actually indented in the glass.
- Item #: i_325394Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 90JOHN 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."
- Item #: i_364530Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 90JOHN GILMAN 92 POINTS - "Taittinger’s “la Française” bottling of non-vintage Brut is the same cépages as the wine above [i.e. forty percent Chardonnay and a sixty percent mix of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier], but spend an additional year aging on its fine lees prior to disgorgement, so effectively, this is one year older for its base vintage. I do wish that Taittinger would join with Grandes Marques such as Charles Heidsieck and provide more technical details on their back label, as it would be nice to know the dosage and the date of disgorgement. In any case, the bouquet on the current  release of la Française is excellent, wafting from the glass in a vibrant blend of apple, white peach, fresh-baked bread, white flowers, a very good base of soil tones and just a hint of the smokiness to come with further bottle age. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, crisp 69 and rock solid at the core, with elegant mousse, excellent focus and grip, fine acidity and a long, complex finish. The extra year on the lees really adds mid-palate depth and palate presence here vis à vis the Brut Réserve. As I have mentioned in the past, the dosage for this bottling has decreased noticeably in the last few years and the wine is all the better for it, as there is a mineral precision on the backend today that is exemplary! 2016-2035."
- Item #: i_376776Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 94VINOUS MEDIA 94 POINTS - "A racy, exuberant wine, the 2009 Coeur de Cuvée offers up a super-appealing mélange of apricot, butter, baked apple tart and vanillin. The combination of the ripe, warm vintage along with fermentation and aging in small French oak barrels yielded an especially opulent Coeur de Cuvée with plenty of exotic and tropical overtones. The 2009 will be ready to drink with minimal cellaring."