- 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_321832Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97James Suckling: 98Wine Enthusiast: 96 PointsJAMES SUCKLING 98 POINTS - " A very composed Champagne with plenty of still fresh lemon and white cherry fruits on offer. There's impressive clarity, power and richness here. The nose has candied peach, strawberry, white cherry and grilled nuts. Very flavorsome palate with pastry flavors adding savory notes to the stone fruits and citrus. Toasted almonds and chalky minerals define the long finish. Still so young and powerful!
WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - " The 2002 Brut Cuvée Nicolas François was disgorged in January 2015 with four grams per liter dosage, and it's showing superbly, wafting from the glass with a complex bouquet that mingles confit citrus, peach and dried papaya with nuances of iodine, brioche and honeycomb. On the palate, it's full-bodied, broad and vinous, with a rich and layered core that's underpinned by serious structure and tension, concluding with a long and precise finish. This is one of the finest wines Billecart has released in the last decade, and it is well worth seeking out."
- Item #: i_379553Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95DECANTER MAGAZINE 96 POINTS - "5% of red wine has been added by assemblage from the legendary La Cote Aux Enfants vineyard in Aÿ. The resulting power is subtle, gastronomic and bewitching: as a corollary to a lighter, onion-skin colour, there's an intensity and length on the palate allied to perfect integration of the 8g/l of sugar and the legacy of both oak fermentation and long yeast maturation, the latter under cork. The vinous power is such that this will match rich, savoury dishes such as quail, venison, pigeon and guinea fowl. A triumph!" (AG) (2/2020)
WINE SPECTATOR 96 POINTS - "Enticing aromas and flavors of wild strawberry, apricot and Macadamia nut are woven with accents of saffron, ground ginger, honey and orange peel in this seamlessly knit rosé in a vinous style. Satiny in texure, with an overall grace that belies the powerful tension and focus throughout, driving the lasting finish." (AN)
- 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_379336Bottle Size: 1.5LWine Advocate: 90Wine Spectator: 92WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - " "Lacy in texture, this leesy version offers notes of pastry cream, bread dough, oyster shell and poached apricot, layered with sleek acidity and a chalky underpinning. A rich but balanced style. Disgorged July 2018. Drink now through 2022."
- Item #: i_375617Bottle Size: 750MLBURGHOUND 93 POINTS - "(disgorged in February, 2008; this contains 20 some-odd vintages from 1983 forward and the predominant variety is chardonnay). This is remarkably fresh for it to have such a large proportion of aged stock in it and while the nose is mature, there are absolutely no oxidative elements in it. In fact, I deliberately revisited this 24 hours after first opening it to see how the nose had evolved and I can report that there was very little discernable evolution. As I say, while fully mature, the mildly yeasty nose displays notes of baked apple, roasted nut and a dried rose petal nuance that also characterizes the rich, full and utterly delicious flavors that are also fresh and vibrant with plenty of energy and finishing punch. Often Champagnes with high percentages of reserves in them lack the same effervescence but that is certainly not the case here. This is a lovely effort that could be drunk now with pleasure or held for years to come. 93/now+."
ROBERT PARKER 92 POINTS WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS
- Item #: i_377240Bottle Size: 1.5LVinous Media: 94ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "Almond, dried flower, lemon confit, chamomile and mint are all laced together in a super-expressive, resonant Champagne that is firing on all cylinders today. Ample and enveloping, the Longitude is a wine of pure and total class. Longitude is 1005 Chardonnay taken from chalk and limestone-rich sites in Vertus, Cramant and Oger that sit at the same longitude. Of these, only Vertus is a 1er Cru village, as Cramant and Oger are both Grand Crus."
- Item #: i_338810Bottle Size: 750MLJames Suckling: 97Wine Enthusiast: 96 PointsJAMES SUCKLING 97 POINTS - "A fantastic prestigious cuvée this year with a solid core of fruit that makes it so serious and structured. Like a grand cru Burgundy. Full body. Lightly chewy. Phenolic tension gives it form and beauty. This is the first year to use numbers. 55% chardonnay and 45% pinot noir. 2004, 2002 and 1999. Drink or hold."
- Item #: i_378249Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92Wine Spectator: 90Like all of Paul Bara’s releases, Pinot Noir is the back-bone of their Special Club. Production is strictly old-school, with only free run and first press juice used, fermentation in small cement tanks, and aging and riddling in cold, extremely deep cellars for several years. Nothing is released until ready. Each year, the Special Club represents the pinnacle of the Bara process and style. Superlatives seem to be insufficient when describing the experience of savoring a glass of this Champagne. It simply has it all—refined hazel-nutty, toasty notes, bright acidity, some of the most delicate bubbles ever created, and a finish that lasts and lasts (sometimes longer than the bottle does).
Clark z. Terry, Kermit Lynch wine merchant
- Item #: i_352070Bottle Size: 750mlWine Enthusiast: 95 PointsWINE ENTHUSIAST 95 POINTS - "The iconic Belle Epoque bottle reveals a well-structured, taut wine. With Chardonnay very much in evidence in the mineral texture, the wine is almost as floral as the bottle. Drink from 2021."
- Item #: i_375324Bottle Size: 750MLTYSON STELZER THE CHAMPAGNE GUIDE 94 POINTS-"(disgorged March 2018; 39% Chardonnay, 61% Pinot Noir; 37% fermented and aged in oak barrels; no malolactic fermentation; aged 9 years on lees; 4.25g/L dosage; 19,805 bottles). Philipponnat is astute in rolling out its barrels to suit the season, pulling back from 73–75% oak fermentation in 2007 and 2008 to a restrained 37% in the presence of the 2009 harvest. With a gold tint to its medium straw hue, the grand power and volume of this ripe harvest make for a cuvée of thundering proportions. Generous, mature yellow fruits jostle with the roast nut character of barrel fermentation. This warm season furnished low levels of gentle malic acidity, hence its definition owes more to the fine chalk minerality of the site. It’s inimitable Clos des Goisses of other-worldly dimensions. (2020-2021)"
ANTONIO GALLONI 96 POINTS-"The 2009 Clos des Goisses has been very tight in two recent tastings, which is probably a very good thing for its long-term prospects, but less so for readers seeking the immediacy that is common in so many 2009 Champagnes. White flowers, orchard fruit, mint white pepper and citrus peel add to the wine’s bright profile. Readers should plan on being extremely patient, as the 2009 Goisses does not show much, if any, early appeal, even if the density and textural persistence of the great years are both there. The 2009 is 61% Pinot Noir and 39% Chardonnay. Dosage is 4.5 grams per liter.
JOHN GILMAN 94 POINTS-"The very, very fine 2009 Clos des Goisses is more typical of what one expects from this wine in its youth, as the nose is far more reserved out of the blocks than the 2010 version. This wine was disgorged in March of 2018 and the cépages of sixty-one percent Pinot Noir and thirtynine percent chardonnay (a two-thirds Pinot to one-third Chardonnay blend is the goal here most years). The 2009 is nicely primary on the nose, offering up scents of pear, lovely red fruit tones, macadamia nut, a lovely base of soil, gentle smokiness and incipient notes of white flowers in the upper register. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and nascently complex, with a rock solid core, lovely focus and grip, refined bubbles and outstanding length on the balanced and very promising finish. The palate seems a touch more open than the nose suggests and this wine will probably come forward fairly early for a Clos des Goisses, but will age long and beautifully on its exquisite balance. There is nothing blowsy about this racy 2009! 2025-2075."
- Item #: i_373648Bottle Size: 750MLJOHN GILMAN 95 POINTS- "The 1999 Ployez-Jacquemart 'Liesse d’Harbonville' is its customary blend of seventy percent Chardonnay and thirty percent Pinot Noir, with all of the vins clairs barrel-fermented and aged for six months in the cellars in two and three year-old barrels. The wine does not undergo malolactic fermentation and is aged for more than twelve years on the lees prior to disgorgement. The 1999 bottling offers up a deep and very classy nose of pear, delicious apple, buttery overtones from the oak, brioche, crème patissière, complex minerality, a bit of hazelnut and a topnote of gentle smokiness. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and very racy (from its non-malo personality), with a great core of fruit, broad shoulders (from the ’99 vintage’s ripeness), very refined mousse and stunning complexity on the very long, poised and perfectly balanced finish. The ripeness of 1999 is mostly felt here in terms of the breadth of the attack and the rock solid nature of the wine in the mid-palate, but I also get the sense that this fine vintage of Liesse d’Harbonville will mature on a faster track than wines such as the 1995 or 1996, and will probably be at its apogee within the next three or our years. It is a stellar example of the ’99 vintage. 2016-2025+. (May/Jun 2014)"
- Item #: i_372827Bottle Size: 750MLWINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS-"A one-off release to celebrate Ployez-Jacquemart's 90th anniversary, the NV Extra-Brut Cuvée Granite was disgorged in June 2019 with just under five grams per liter dosage. It's based on the 2013 vintage, which accounts for some 40% of the blend; next comes the 2000 vintage, contributing another 20%, with the balance made up of reserve wines from vintages 2012, 2011, 2004, 1999, 1996, 1995, 1990, 1988, 1983, 1982 and 1976. It's showing beautifully, offering up a delicate but complex bouquet wafting from the glass with dried white flowers, citrus oil, freshly baked bread, dried fruit, beeswax, toasted almonds, nutmeg and macadamia nut. Medium to full-bodied, elegant and fine-boned, it's satiny and precise, with a racy spine of acidity and a pearly mousse, concluding with an intensely sapid finish. This is not a powerful, dramatic Champagne, but it's strikingly complex and exquisitely refined."
- Item #: i_379603Bottle Size: 1.5LWine Enthusiast: 96 PointsWINE ENTHUSIAST 96 POINTS - "This rich, full-bodied Champagne is a classic from this producer. Its richness is emphasized by ripe Pinot Noir that dominates the blend, typical of the house style. A blend of grand and premier cru wines from across the Montagne de Reims and Côte des Blancs, this wine will age much further. Drink from 2022."
- Item #: i_364490Bottle Size: 1.5LWINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS - "A mouthwatering version, with a fine, lacy mousse and delicate flavors of poached apple, blackberry, beeswax and lemon confit underscored by a streak of smoky minerality that echoes on the finish. Drink now through 2019."
WINE ENTHUSIAST 90 POINTS - "Tasted from a half bottle, the rich and complex flavors of Brut La Francaise show just that extra touch of maturity. The wine has peach and almond flavors that contrast well with the taut, nervy edge. It's full in the mouth and ripe, and works well both as an aperitif and a food Champagne."
- Item #: i_376107Bottle Size: 750MLVINOUS WINE MEDIA 96 POINTS-"The 2012 Coeur de Cuvée is magnificent. In this vintage Laurent Champs balances the natural intensity of the year with tremendous energy and vibrancy, making for a Champagne of remarkable beauty. Like all the Vilmart wines, the 2012 Coeur de Cuvée is super-refined. Even so, it is also incredibly tight and nowhere near ready. I find its depth, power and tension absolutely compelling. Bright saline notes, spice and floral accents extend the eternal finish. The 2012 is 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay. Disgorged: February 2019. Don't miss it!"
Vilmart Champagnes are no strangers to our Best of the Year list and we would be remiss in the extreme not to include a Laurent Champs offering from an outstanding year like 2012. Coeur de Cuvée is a singlevineyard prestige cuvée sourced from the 50-yearsplus-old vines of the Blanches Voies vineyard. Only the finest 800 liters from the middle (‘heart’) of the pressing is used to make the Coeur de Cuvée. This edition impresses with vinous intensity while managing to remain pure and lively on the palate. It’s layered on the palate with delectable lemon drop, pear, limestone and almond notes while the barrel vinification contributes subtle spice background notes to the ensemble.
- Item #: i_376411Bottle Size: 750mlThis new-to-us producer has garnered the top spot on this year’s roster with a late disgorged Champagne that rivals examples from Bollinger and Moët & Chandon for a fraction of the price. Vincent Couche is part of a blossoming of talent taking place in the deep South of Champagne. Like many of his kindred he farms biodynamically. A fifty-fifty blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the 1999 Sensation Cuvée was left to mature for over 18 years on its yeast. This prolonged and costly regime has resulted in a pale gold Champagne of refined texture that features highly nuanced aromas suggestive of a buttered baguette, candied fruits, hazelnuts and almond butter. The palate is amazingly fresh and light and mirrors the aromatics with a pleasing stone signature and persistent acidity. A prodigious tour de force from a Champagne House to watch.
“Now at its peak, the vintage cuve´e “Sensation 1999” offers you an “intense nose of candied fruits, hazelnut, sweet almond and hot butter. The mouth captures a perfect balance of magnitude and aromatics. As always, there is a crystalline acidity on the finish which marks the purity of all of their Champagnes.”