René Geoffroy, “Cuvée Volupte”, $79.99
20% PN, 80% CH
plenty of verve, and great aging potential. 2002, disgorged June, 2006
Bollinger, Special Cuvée, $64.99
60% PN, 15% PM, 25% CH Review from the Wine Advocate: “The Brut NV Special Cuvée opens with elegant, well-delineated aromas of honey, brioche, roasted nuts, orage zest, flowers an peaches, of which appear on the palate in a classy, finessed exression of the house style. This is an especially refined and delicious NV Champagne. 90/2009-2012.
Vilmart, Premier Cru-organic $68.99
30% PN, 70% CH Premier Cru, oak-fermentation and aged for 10 months in barriques. Avoids ML. Review from Allen Meadows, Burghound: The nose remains very restrained with aromas of green apple, freshly baked brioche and citrus [that dissolve] into intense, pure and driving flavors that possess a wonderfully broad panoply of flavors that are gorgeously persistent. This is one of those rare Champagnes that can really have excellent flavor authority yet deliver it by dancing across the palate. 92/2012+ Disgorged Oct. 2007
H. Billiot, Grand Cru: $58.99
70% PN, 30% CH no ML Review from Allen Meadows, Burghound: Disgorged September 2008 A wonderfully expressive and extremely pretty nose that offers a near perfect blend of vinous character with classic Champagne characteristics of lemon, floral and brioche with discreet hints of green apple that can also be found on the delicious and moderately effervescent flavors blessed with impressive complexity and I very much like the mouth feel as it’s round and almost creamy yet does not lose definition or become soft. The finish is agreeably dry but not aggressively so and the length is quite sneaky. Any impressive non-vintage brut. 92/ now + –
J. Lassalle, Brut, Imperial Preference, NV
From a trio of women winemakers: Chantel and daughter Angeline, with help from Chantel’s mother, Olga,Hand-pressed, hand-riddled, all aged at least 5 years, remarkable complexity and depth
KL writes: “From the lovely village of Chigny-les-Roses (yes, lots of rose there), Champagne J. Lassalle’s current releases are very impressive. Their non-vintage Imperial Preference is a mature beauty, expressive, generous, stylish, and the palate is remarkably elegant. This is the Champagne served at Domaine Tempier whenever one of the kids, grandkids, or great-grandkids gets married. If you are used to the big Champagne houses, the extra pleasures offered by this cuvee will shock you. It is a caress going down!
Chigny-Les-Roses (also from Inspiring Thirst newsletter)
20% Chardonnay, 60% Pinot Meunier, 20% Pinot Noir
As with the rosé, this cuvée also rests on its lees for five years (FYI, the legal requirement is fifteen months) but the effect on the wine is different. The Préférence is rich and doughy with notes of apple tart, biscuit and burnt pear. One of the only Champagne houses where the wines undergo full malolactic fermentation. Think baby Krug.
Bruno Paillard, Premier Cuvée: : $49.99
45% PN, 22% PM, 33% CH, ML, low dosage. Elegant, slightly yeasty, spiced apple
Disgorged Oct. 2008
Marc Hebrart, Premier Cru, $47.99 disgorged Jan. 2008
Review by Allen Meadows, Burghound: “A really pretty nose of freshly baked brioche, rose petal and lemon rind complements perfectly the foamy and utterly delicious flavors that possess a mildly toasty and yeasty finish that is notably complex and possesses sneaky length. This is gulpable without being simple or banal. Ready now for my taste, though it will hold. 91/+ –
Veuve Cliquot: no review given $49.99
Stephane Coquillette: $44.99, disgorged Oct 2007
67% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay. Review by Allen Meadows, Burghound: “This is so much more discreet than either of its two stable mates, with a discreet to the point of reticent nose that only aggressive swirling finally coaxes notes of brioche, lemon rind and rose petal with the barest hint of smoke that is also reflected by the moderately effervescent and very lemony flavors that are extremely clean and refreshing, yet not antiseptic as there is a fine finishing.” 90/now + –
watercress, strawberry, lime curd on the nose. On the palate, tarter, with lime and apple, yet with a delicate citrus curd and light touch of juniper/resiny honey. There is an almost creamy subtly to this wine that makes it a bit more cerebral, but still delicious. There is a lot going on for the price. (moi)
Duval-Leroy, Brut NV $32.99
Review from International Wine Cellar: Duval-Leroy’s NV Brut is a pleasant Champagne with good definition, clean minerality and an up-front, approachable personality that makes it an excellent choice for near-term drinking. Within the context of Champagne, it is an excellent value. Disgorged Dec. 2008. 88/2009-2013.