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FRANCE - CHAMPAGNE

BOLLINGER GRAND ANNE ROSE, 750ML

Product SKU: 722124
The 2004 Brut Rose La Grande Annee is a beautifully focused, vibrant wine endowed with striking minerality and fabulous overall balance. Clean veins of chalkiness run through the fruit in this energetic, taut Rose, while seductive floral notes linger on the finish. The 2004 is 68% Pinot Noir (including 5% still Pinot) and 32% Chardonnay, 89% from Grand Cru villages and 11% from Premier Crus. The 2004 is very young, but it is going to be nearly impossible to resist. It is a dazzling effort from Bollinger. Disgorged September 2011. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2029.

RP: 96    

$224.99

BOLLINGER GRANDE ANNEE, 750ML

Product SKU: 145169
All that having been noted, it is Kaufmann and then-director Ghislain de Montgolfier who can take responsibility for the success that is Bollinger’s 2004 Brut Grande Annee, a bottling that, in marrying the restraint associated with young wines from this house with that of a relatively cool and copious but ultimately fascinating vintage, has rendered a work of subtle intrigue and refinement that will merit a dozen or more years’ attention. Quite pale in color and with unexpectedly green-gold shimmering, this two-thirds Pinot Noir cuvee displays alluringly silken texture and refinement of mousse as well as delicacy. Fresh white peach, yellow tomato, lime, and rhubarb offer subtly tart, brightly juicy succulence, and a mingling of chalk and sweet-saline oyster liquor serves for saliva-inducement in a long finish tinged with lightly toasted grains and nuts. It will be good to return next year to Bollinger, one of the houses I visited on my first day in Champagne 30 years ago and a longtime favorite; but for 2014, I was forced by press of time and complications of scheduling to limit myself to tasting a single new release. Early this year, dozen-year veteran Bollinger chef de cave Mathieu Kauffmann unexpectedly announced his resignation to join Reichsrat von Buhl (part of recently deceased Achim Niederberger’s plan for renewing that venerable Pfalz estate, inter alia through increased attention to its already impressive sparkling wine program), and in June Bollinger’s director Jerome Philipon announced that Kaufmann’s former right-hand, Gilles Descotes, would succeed him.

RP: 93    

$179.99
Red Sample

BOLLINGER ROSE NV, 750ML

Product SKU: 732904
The NV Brut Rose comes across as delicate and even a touch frail. Sweet berries, crushed flowers and spices waft from the glass in this feminine Champagne. The NV Brut Rose is best enjoyed as aperitif wine over the next few years.

$114.99
Red Sample

BOLLINGER SPECIAL CUVEE NV, NV 750ML

Product SKU: 384529
Like a fine tapestry, this weaves rich flavors of blackberry tart, lemon parfait, graphite and toasted almond together on the creamy palate. Finely honed acidity creates a vibrant thread throughout. Drink now through 2022. 19,000 cases imported. –AN

RP: 93    

$84.99
Red Sample

KRUG GRAND CUVEE MAGNUM, 1500ML

Product SKU: 722223
Krug’s NV Brut Grande Cuvee disgorged already over the winter of 2011-2012 and further aged before release – reinforces the belief that, thankfully, even wine lovers of modest means who occasionally splurge on Krug Grande Cuvee will be rewarded with a wine that need not fear comparison with this house’s more limited and far more expensive bottlings, nor for that matter with any other wines of Champagne. The harmonious juxtaposition of creaminess and lees enrichment with bright, juicy citricity and of expansive richness with levity is stunning. (Some of the textural allure of this cuvee might, I suspect, be traceable to its significant share of Pinot Meunier, particularly that of Festigny, in a side valley of the Marne’s Left Bank.) Citrus zest notes segue seamlessly into the fine stream of CO2 without bitterness, while succulent white peach garlanded in lily-of-the-valley is laced with rich, subtly piquant nut oils and saliva-liberating salinity. Emerging suggestions of shitake and shrimp shell reduction compound the sense of capital U umami in a vibrantly interactive and refreshing finish. A day after opening, this is even more vividly complex than it had been initially, with hints of fresh red raspberry lending an invigorating tang and sensation of berry seed-crunching that delivers strikingly harmonious counterpoint to both the luscious brightness of fruit and the nutty low-tones. Plan to follow this beauty for a dozen or more years. The team at Krug has long taken pains to emphasize that the task of assembling their Grande Cuvee from a hundred or more lots reflecting reserves of widely varying ages is mind-bogglingly complex. So is the result.

WS: 95

$689.99

KRUG GRANDE CUVEE BRUT, NV 750ML

Product SKU: 349688
Krug’s NV Brut Grande Cuvee disgorged already over the winter of 2011-2012 and further aged before release – reinforces the belief that, thankfully, even wine lovers of modest means who occasionally splurge on Krug Grande Cuvee will be rewarded with a wine that need not fear comparison with this house’s more limited and far more expensive bottlings, nor for that matter with any other wines of Champagne. The harmonious juxtaposition of creaminess and lees enrichment with bright, juicy citricity and of expansive richness with levity is stunning. (Some of the textural allure of this cuvee might, I suspect, be traceable to its significant share of Pinot Meunier, particularly that of Festigny, in a side valley of the Marne’s Left Bank.) Citrus zest notes segue seamlessly into the fine stream of CO2 without bitterness, while succulent white peach garlanded in lily-of-the-valley is laced with rich, subtly piquant nut oils and saliva-liberating salinity. Emerging suggestions of shitake and shrimp shell reduction compound the sense of capital U umami in a vibrantly interactive and refreshing finish. A day after opening, this is even more vividly complex than it had been initially, with hints of fresh red raspberry lending an invigorating tang and sensation of berry seed-crunching that delivers strikingly harmonious counterpoint to both the luscious brightness of fruit and the nutty low-tones. Plan to follow this beauty for a dozen or more years. The team at Krug has long taken pains to emphasize that the task of assembling their Grande Cuvee from a hundred or more lots reflecting reserves of widely varying ages is mind-bogglingly complex. So is the result.

WS: 95

$289.99
Red Sample

KRUG ROSE, 750ML

Product SKU: 733225
Krug’s NV Brut Rose ID 212020 – disgorged in spring, 2012, and as always for this cuvee, featuring slightly fewer and younger components than the Grande Cuvee, and an addition of still red Pinot – makes a bright, juicy impression of red raspberry and red currant mingled with fresh lime and tingling with mouthwatering mineral salts. Firmer in feel than the Grande Cuvee and without that bottling’s remarkable juxtaposition of creaminess with brightness, nor indeed its complexity, this finishes with the invigoration of red berry seed-crunching; a piquant hint of orange rind; and fascination of alkaline, saline and chalky nuances. It might well prove interesting to follow for a few years, though I haven’t the experience to address this cuvee’s track record.

RP: 92    

$369.99
Red Sample

LOUIS ROEDERER BRUT NV, NV 750ML

Product SKU: 268771
Delicious. Smooth and complex, revealing flavors of yeast, berry, ginger and citrus, allied to a firm structure. Ends with a firm, tactile sensation and an aftertaste of candied citrus. Drink now.

WS: 90

$74.99
Red Sample

LOUIS ROEDERER CARTE BLANCHE, 750ML

Product SKU: 764948
A firm backbone of acidity balances this lightly smoky version, which shows flavors of candied almond, raspberry pâte de fruit and baked peach. Creamy and mouthwatering. Drink now through 2015. 700 cases imported.

WS: 91

$79.99

MOET & CHANDON BRUT, 750ML

Product SKU: 453084
The minerally undertow imparts a subtle, smoky note that blends with flavors of dried pineapple, biscuit, salted almond and white peach. A balanced version, with a fine bead and well-honed acidity. Drink now through 2018.

WS: 92

$63.99
Red Sample

MOET & CHANDON DOM PERIGNON 2004, 750ML

Product SKU: 280461
Review by: David Schildknecht
Wine Advocate:#1113 NOV 2013
Rating: 95

Lily-of-the-valley perfume and scents of lightly toasted brioche and almond rise from the glass of Moet’s 2004 Brut Dom Perignon, along with hints of the apricot, pear and grapefruit that then inform a luscious and creamy yet strikingly delicate as well as consummately refreshing palate. Sweet-saline savor of scallop – also already intimated in the nose – lends compulsive saliva-inducement to a ravishingly rarified and persistent finish, joined by alkaline, nutty, liquid-floral, and nori seaweed notes for a performance of head-scratching subtlety and intrigue. (In case my description hasn’t already made clear, we have here inter alia a fantastic sushi wine.) This will be worth following for at least the next 6-8 years, in the course of demonstrating that iconic status as a luxury brand, and elevated (albeit secret) production numbers by no means preclude a wine of understated as well as profound beauty.

RP: 95    

$249.99
Red Sample

MUMM CARTE CLASSIQUE, 750ML

Product SKU: 308064
Toast and dried fruit notes mix in this very harmonious dry Champagne, which is full of flavor—dried apricot, candied orange peel, nut and smoke—but still elegant and light-weight. The rich, toasty note lingers on the vibrant finish. Drink now through 2020. 12,000 cases imported.

WS: 92

$49.99
Red Sample

NICOLAS FEUILLATTE BRUT RESERVE, 750ML

Product SKU: 500397
Rich and creamy, showing the dried fruit, nut and spice notes of fruitcake, with lemon meringue, quince and honey flavors. Clean citrusy acidity integrates beautifully and provides an elegance to this refined Champagne. Drink now through 2020.

WS: 92

$59.99

RUINART BRUT ROSE, 750ML

Product SKU: 718222
The NV Brut Rose is a pretty, understated wine graced with notable class and finesse. This is a decidedly feminine, delicate style best suited to drinking as an aperitif. Sweet berries, flowers and spices are layered into the refined, well-articulated finish.

WS: 93

$99.99
Red Sample

RUINART DOM RUINART ROSE, 750ML

Product SKU: 757598
Very minerally, offering lots of smoke and roasted almond notes accenting the flavors of cherry purée, crème de cassis and macerated plum. Fresh and focused, with a fine, creamy bead and a lingering finish. Drink now through 2025. 67 cases made

WS: 93

$429.99

TAITTINGER BRUT RESERVE, NV 750ML

Product SKU: 40873
Review by: Robert Parker
Wine Advocate: Issue 144, December 2002
Rating: 90 points
Drink now

This wine was recommended, but no tasting note was given.

RP: 90    

$69.99
Red Sample

VEUVE CLICQUOT PONSARDIN BRUT (YELLOW LABEL), NV 750ML

Product SKU: 563338
Review by: Robert Parker
Wine Advocate: Issue 90, December 1993
Rating: 90 points
Drink now

No specific tasting note


Review by: Wine Spectator
Wine Spectator: Issue December 31, 2001
Rating: 91 points

You can't lose with this classy wine. The refined apple, grapefruit and dough aromas follow through on the palate. Creamy and lively on the finish.

RP: 90     WS: 91

$62.99
Red Sample

VEUVE CLIQUOT VEUVE CLIQOUT YELLOW LABEL, 1500ML

Product SKU: 572586

$149.99
Red Sample
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