- 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_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_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_379451Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 90Bruno Gobillard Brut Rose Sophie base is a blend of 50% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Meunier topped with 15% still red wine. Pale and very delicate, it shows fresh Queen Anne cherry character backed by wonderful acidity due to the absence of malolactice fermentation.
WINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS - "A lively version, with bright, well-knit acidity and a lacy texture. This offers subtle notes of ripe cherry and strawberry fruit, gingersnap and red licorice. Citrusy finish."
- Item #: i_379227Bottle Size: 750mlDomaine Bruno Gobillard is in Pierry, near Epernay. The estate was created in 1994 when Bruno Gobillard, then a 28-year-old from a long-established Champagne producing family, decided to strike out on his own. Bruno Gobillard has 17 acres of vineyards located in the communes of Moussy, Pierry, Epernay, Cramant, Chatilllonsur-Marne and La Chapelle Montaudon. The vines are an average of 30 years old. The Gobillard family has been growing grapes and making Champagne in the region since the mid-19th century.
- Item #: i_377206Bottle Size: 750mlFashioned from 45% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Meunier, this Brut Rose charms with an enticing nose of red currants, strawberries and lemon curd. The fresh red fruits spill over to the dry yet creammy palate. Here then is a well intergrated and balanced Rose that is a real pleasure to drink and a real bargain to boot.
- 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_313630Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 93WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS-"This vibrant version shows a range of toasted brioche, baked cherry, crystalized honey, grated ginger and coconut flavors, remaining light-footed and lively throughout. Beautifully balanced, with a lasting, mouthwatering finish. Disgorged 2014. Drink now through 2020. 5,000 cases imported. (10/16)."
PETER LEIM 2 STARS-"Beginning with this release, chef de cave Thierry Roset has reduced the number of crus that are included in this wine, although the general composition remains the same: one-third of each variety, with about 40 percent of the blend composed of reserve wines that average about ten years of age. As usual, it's generous in aroma, showing a waxy, burnished richness and an unusual complexity and depth for a non-vintage brut. At the same time, it feels lively and vibrant thanks to its fresh acidity, along with a pervasive chalkiness that saturates the wine from start to finish. This is already one of the finest NVs on the market, and if anything, it's only getting better with each new release."
- 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_324220Bottle Size: 750MLWINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "The NV Brut Classic is a very pretty, fresh wine with notes of flowers, pears, minerals and mint. Deutz has produced a lovely, focused Champagne loaded with class, personality and brilliance. The Brut Classic is approximately 38% Pinot Noir, 32% Pinot Meunier and 30% Chardonnay, with the addition of 20-40% reserve wines."
- Item #: i_374848Bottle Size: 750mlThis wonderful, 100% Pinot Meunier rosé checks all the boxes: vibrantly aromatic, deeply flavored, decadently long. Like with his Extra Brut, winemaker Francis Orban adds 50% reserve wine to this lovely rose-colored Champagne (plus still red Pinot Meunier wine for color) for added depth and complexity. If you haven’t yet fallen in love with Pinot Meunier, this sultry bottle will have you head over heels.
- Item #: i_321800Bottle Size: 750mlChampagne Frerejean Freres has only been around since 2005 but they are anything but newcomers to Champagne. The house is run by three brothers (Guillaume, Richard and Rodolphe Frerejean-Taittinger) who are part of the Taittinger Grande Marque family. Their boutique operation is based in Avise, in the Côte des Blancs, and all of their Champagnes made exclusively from Premier or Grand Cu grapes. They age all their Champagnes for a minimum of 5 years on the yeast to add richness and complexity to their non-malolactic bases wines. This bottling is based on the excellent 2013 harvest blended with 50% reserve wines from 2010, 2011, and 2012. Fruit sourcing is mainly from the Grand Cru villages of Cramant and Advise along with some Premier Cru juice from Grauves. Dosage is a monderate 7.5 g/l.
- Item #: i_378335Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 90WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "The latest rendition of the NV Brut Tradition is excellent, unfurling in the glass with aromas of mandarin, apple, freshly baked bread and white flowers. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, broad and fleshy, with tangy acids, a fine mousse and a generous but vibrant core of fruit. It’s an expressive, giving Champagne that will offer a broad drinking window—and it’s also a great value.”
- Item #: i_330840Bottle Size: 750MLJOHN GILMAN 93+ POINTS-I really love the Pinot Meunier component in Gosset’s Grande Réserve bottling, which is once again fifteen percent in the current release. This wine was aged for five years on the lees and is a blend of 2008, 2007 and 2006 vintages and was disgorged in July of 2012. The nose is absolutely superb on this iconic bottling, offering up scents of apple, fresh-baked bread, orange zest, a beautifully complex base of soil tones and a gently smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, crisp and complex, with lovely focus and balance, excellent mousse, zesty acids and outstanding length and grip on the pure and toasty finish. A fine, fine bottle of bubbly."
- 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.