- Item #: i_377332Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94James Suckling: 93WINE ADVOCATE 97+ POINTS-Bollinger's 2008 La Grande Année is superb, wafting from the glass with aromas of crisp orchard fruit, ripe lemons, honeycomb, warm biscuits, dried white flowers and a delicate top note of walnuts and fino sherry. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, broad and vinous, with a beautifully refined mousse, superb concentration at the tightly wound core, incisive acids and a supremely elegant intermingling of Bollinger's oxidative stylistic signatures with fresh, vibrant fruit. The finish is long, precise and chalky. This is a Grande Année built for the cellar—the real excitement will come with a bit more bottle age—but this is already a thrilling Champagne in the making. Finished with eight grams per liter dosage, it was disgorged by hand in July 2018. This is also the first vintage of Grande Année to be bottled in Bollinger's new narrower-necked 1846 bottle, which should make for a slower evolving wine."
- Item #: i_378548Bottle Size: 750mlIt’s not often that one encounters a Champagne that overdelivers on the promise of terroir as this does. As we noted seven years ago when the 2002 Clos Cazals toped this list, Dauphine Cazal’s walled vineyard is a most worthy runner up to Krug’s nearby Clos du Mesnil which, of course, fetches more than a thousand dollars a bottle. Planted back in 1957, the vineyard’s walls produce a wind shield effect that creates a warmer mesoclimate that results in riper grapes with seemingly bottomless depth and distinctive Chardonnay character. The result is a Champagne that, at first glance, is decadently broad, creamy and gentle with layers of pear, nougat, nutmeg and lemon candy that recede to reveal a mouth-filling salinity and long-playing acidity. All in all, this is our favorite Clos Cazals to date and is further proof that 2008 is turning out to be the best Champagne vintage of the Century.
- Item #: i_350199Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92James Suckling: 93Wine Enthusiast: 95 PointsJeb Dunnuck: 95 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "The first vintage made at the new winery, the 2008 Cos d’Estournel is drinking beautifully today, with terrific complexity as well as a silky, polished style on the palate. Made from 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc and revealing copious amounts of crème de cassis and black cherry fruit intermixed with notes of toasted bread, spice, and cedar, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a silky, sexy texture, and sweet tannin. Count me in as a fan. This beauty can be drunk today or cellared for another 15-20 years."
- Item #: i_376540Bottle Size: 750mlWINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS-"Fermented in used barrels with blocked malolactic, Doyard's 2008 Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru saw 108 months on the lees before it was disgorged with three grams per liter dosage. Wafting from the glass with a complex bouquet of gingerbread, warm biscuits, citrus oil, dried white flowers and a delicate hint of olorosso sherry, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and incisive, with an racy spine of acidity, a concentrated core of fruit and a long, searingly intense and delicately sapid finish. The subtle oxidative qualities lend it an appealingly old fashioned feel. As Doyard followers may know, this cuvée derives from Mesnil-sur-Oger, Cramant, Avize and Oger."
IMPORTER'S NOTES - "The Champagne Blanc de Blancs Millésime 2008 by Doyard is produced from the attentive selection of Chardonnay, coming only from the Grand Cru villages of the renowned Côte des Blancs, more precisely in Mesnil, Oger, Avize and Cramant. Only grapes from the best vintages turn into this Champagne Blanc de Blancs, resulting in output of just 650 6-pack cases a year. Dosage is 3g/l for this delicate and mineral Champagne Extra Brut."
- 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_378602Bottle Size: 750mlJacques Defrance is headquartered in Les Riceys a quaint village nestled amidst the rolling hills of the Cotes des Bar half way between Reims and Chablis. Here for over a century four generations of the Defrance family have acquired and cultivated some of the area's best situated plots all the while learning more and more how get the best quality from their terrior. This valued-priced vintage Champagne is 50% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir with a dosage of 8grams/liter. Harmonious and creamy on the palate with pleasing lemon curd, vanilla and ginger snap flavors. It is cast in a crowd pleasing style with excellent balance and good length.
- Item #: i_324383Bottle Size: 1.5LJames Suckling: 96JAMES SUCKLING 96 POINTS - "A strikingly powerful iteration of this single east-facing parcel that delivers riper fruits. Pink grapefruit and pomelo citrus aromas and flavors, with some white nectarine, too. The fusion of a restrained vintage and a richer powerful site makes for very engaging drinking. This is superb."
- Item #: i_379003Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93James Suckling: 95Wine Enthusiast: 96 PointsYipes! This is one of those classic, "Why is this killer wine still available?" situations. Perhap's it's the somber gray (yellow was already taken) label or the fact that Laurent-Perrier's uber popular brut rose steals all of the brand's thunder. Any who, if you are interested in adding to your stash (for very little cash) of top-rated Champagnes from the century's top Champagne vintage, this beauty is definitely for you. It's a 50/50 Chardonnay-Pinot Noir blend drawn exclusively from Grand Cru sites: Chouilly, Cramant, Avize and Le Mensil-sur-Oger for the Chardonnay and Ay, Verzy, Tours-sur-Marne and Bouzy for the Pinot Noir. 2008 started out with a typically cold winter followed by a damp spring. However, it is the month of September that often makes or breaks a Champagne vintage and so it was with 2008. Harvest started mid-month in cool, but dry conditions which produced a bounty of healthy Chardonnay and Pinot Noir berries which from the outset revealed outstanding aromatic intensity with keen acidity that augured well for an exceptional year.
WINE ENTHUSIAST 96 POINTS - "While still young, this Champagne has all the makings of greatness. Produced from grand cru vineyards, it already balances ripe white fruits with a firm structure that will age well. It's relatively dry and has plenty of acidity, which will also aid in the longevity." *Top Cellar Selection of 2019*
JAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS - "This is a solid and very dense Champagne with a phenolic and rich texture. Layers of cooked apples and light lemon rind. Brioche and light pie-crust in the aftertaste. Fresh and relatively dry aftertaste."(07/19)
WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The 2008 Brut Millésimé opens in the glass with lovely aromas of lemon oil, green apple, warm biscuits, iodine and mandarin. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, deep and seamless, with an elegantly layered core, a fine, pinpoint mousse and racy balancing acids, concluding with a long and incipiently biscuity finish. This is a classy vintage Champagne that will develop beautiful complexity in the cellar."
- Item #: i_379351Bottle Size: 750MLPrimarly a Chardonnay based blend with a dash of Pinot Noir and Piont Meunier from the firm's best old vine parcels.WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS-"Mouthwatering acidity drives the well-meshed range of poached apricot, almond biscotti, fleur de sel and spring blossom flavors in this bright, elegant Champagne, with a soft and creamy mousse. Delivers a fine, chalky finish. Disgorged July 2017. Drink now through 2028. 350 cases made, 25 cases imported."
- Item #: i_351695Bottle Size: 1.5LWine Advocate: 95WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "Tasted at the Mouton-Rothschild vertical in London, the 2008 Mouton Rothschild has always been in the shadow of the ensuing couple of vintages, but I was not the only person at this tasting that commented upon the class in show here. It replicated previous showings: cedar and graphite present and correct, though accompanied by something a little more exotic - eucalyptus maybe? The palate is beautifully balanced, very detailed and extremely fresh. This conveys so much energy and animation before reverting towards a more classic and structured, pencil lead finish. Those in the know will stash up on the 2008 Mouton Rothschild because it is destined to turn into one of the "dark horses" of the decade."
- Item #: i_377863Bottle Size: 750mlThough situated in the Montagne de Reims village of Ludes this small artisan house has developed a variety of outstanding Chardonnay sources in the Cote des Blancs including the Grand Cru villages of Cramant, Oger, and Mesnil-sur-Oger. This 2008 could be their best rendition to date.
JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS-"Lemon and grapefruit tightly cut into place with powerful acidity and lots of lemon citrus on the nose as well as grilled hazelnuts. The palate has impressively deep-set citrus flavors, and refreshing layers build with terrific depth, power and nutty warmth."
- Item #: i_372627Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 97Burghound: 93Wine Enthusiast: 100 PointsWINE ENTHUSIAST 100 POINTS, #4 TOP 100 CELLAR SELECTIONS 2018 - "One of the great Champagnes both for its richness and its longevity, this latest incarnation is superb. The wine's richness is linked to the ripe fruit and the dominance of Pinot Noir in the blend. It also shines in the perfect balance between the texture, the minerality and the integration of the fruit. It can be enjoyed now, but it will be better from 2020 and then for many years to come."
WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "Released in October of last year, Pol Roger's 2008 Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill is showing brilliantly, unfurling in the glass with a complex bouquet of waxy citrus rind, dried white flowers, freshly baked bread, iodine and honeyed yellow apple. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, powerful and vinous, with a deep and multidimensional core, broad structural shoulders and considerable concentration, girdled by tangy acids and displaying a youthfully frothy but incipiently fine mousse. The finish is long and intense. This is a terrific rendition of this reliably superb cuvée and well worth seeking out."