In This Newsletter:
Featured New Arrival: Mother Rock Wines
Vie Di Romans
Chateau Musar Blanc: Pre-Arrival offer
Chardy Party with Sandhi
Producer Spotlight: Crowley Wines
Crazy for Cristom:
The Eternal James Bond Champagne
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Johan Meyer is one of the biggest names in the “New School” of South African wine. Working exclusively with old vines in Swartland, he strives to be as low intervention as possible. That philosophy is present from grape to glass as it were; with irrigation and chemical input not practiced in the vineyard and the finished wines receiving no filtration, fining and minimal sulfur. As you can expect after almost a year of not exporting, South African wine has become a rarity in the United States market with what remains being in highly limited quantities.
The Holocene is a blend of Cinsault, Carignan and Mourvèdre sourced from a single vineyard in Malmesbury. Dry farmed and practicing organic this could be seen as South Africa’s riposte to the GSM blends of the Southern Rhone. Very easy to enjoy in that Holocene is perfectly juicy with a minerality that brings to mind crushed lava rock with the classic fynbos you find with South African wine.
Cinsault is rapidly becoming one of the top red varietals in South Africa and the world on account of it’s drought tolerance and ability to retain acidity during heat waves. As a single varietal there is often a spectrum of blue and red fruits with high acidity and perfumed aromatics. Cinsault pairs beautifully with various cuisines including Nigerian, Lebanese, Greek and barbeque on account of the fruit tea esque tannins and refreshing acidity.
Most unique out of the Mother Rock wines is their Pet-Nat. Comprised of Chenin Blanc and Pinotage sourced from a single farm. Grown at over 1,000 feet above sea level, the wine is bottled before fermentation completes, creating bubbles from the last of the remaining sugars. Pinotage takes on a spectrum of blue, black and purple fruits underscored by a tertiary plethora of smoke and earth, with the Chenin contributing beeswax, honeysuckle, chamomile, quince and yellow apple. If one had to summarize the wine in a word: Crushable.
Mother Rock wines in stock now:
Mother Rock ‘Force Majeure – Force Celeste’ Cinsault Swartland 2020 750ML ($19.95) $16 special, 33 bottles in stock now
Importer note “A medium-bodied red with ripe tannins, depth and drinkability from whole bunch fermentation. A great addition to the Force Majeure range.”
Mother Rock ‘Holocene’ Swartland 2018 750ML ($37.95) $31.90 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 91 points “Fragrant and distinctive, this tangy red is light- to medium-bodied and racy, offering an expressive profile of steeped raspberry and peach fruit flavors meshed with notes of dried flowers, blood orange zest and medicinal herbs. Lingering, zesty finish. Carignan, Mourvèdre and Cinsault. Drink now through 2025. 222 cases made, 56 cases imported. — AN”
Mother Rock ‘Force Majeure – Force Celeste’ Cuvee PN Pet Nat Swartland 2021 750ML ($27.95) $24 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Importer note “A Pet-Nat that puts Pinotage in the spotlight. South Africa’s native grape is best known for its bright fruit and deep earthy character, which translate beautifully in this joyful rosé fizz. Slightly hazy salmon-pink in the glass, with aromas of raspberries, blood orange and earthy rhubarb. Fresh in the mouth, with crunchy cranberry fruit and a savoury edge. Delicious and dangerously drinkable at only 11%!”
This is the lowest listed price in the world today!
Vie Di Romans
“Gianfranco Gallo’s Vie di Romans is one of the most accomplished, quality-minded estates in Italy. I am always impressed by their offerings” –Monica Larner, Wine Advocate
Vie di Romans is one of the flagship wineries of Friuli—arguably the greatest white-wine producing region of Italy. Given the quality of the wines, we always expect their prices to be higher—but Friuli remains one of the last great bargains for exceptional bottles. We were able to secure a few cases of the crowd favorites, including the regions eponymous varietal Friulano.
Vie Di Romans wines in stock now:
Vie di Romans Ciampagnis Vieris Chardonnay Friuli Isonzo Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2018 750ML ($24.95) $28 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “The Vie di Romans 2018 Friuli Isonzo Chardonnay Ciampagnis is beautifully contoured with aromas of peach, melon, honey and passion fruit. The bouquet is perfumed and bright, driving a long finish and silky consistency. Like most of the other whites in this portfolio, it ages on the lees (for nine months, in this case). Instead of oak, it completes this process in stainless steel for an anaerobic environment that serves to capture those direct and linear aromas. The wine concludes with a hint of dusty mineral or crushed stone that ties it to one of the most prominent characteristics of Friuli Venezia Giulia.”
James Suckling 94 points “A rich, aromatic white with sliced and cooked apple, steel and stone. Full-bodied with layers of fruit, but in a focused and polished way. It’s creamy and fruity with a round texture and a delicious, flavorful finish. Mineral and steely notes at the end. Drink or hold.”
Vie di Romans Dessimis Pinot Grigio Friuli Isonzo Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2019 750ML ($37.95) $31.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine & Spirits 92 points “Dessimis is a rich and exotic pinot grigio, with pungent scents of apple blossom and clove that lead into layers of dried orange and grilled strawberry laced with notes of lemongrass. Those spicy notes continue on the long, creamy finish, warmed by a pleasant bitter almond note.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “This is lightly copper-colored in hue, offering appealing aromas and flavors of ripe apricot and yellow peach, passionfruit coulis, chopped hazelnut, verbena and spun honey. Lightly chalky in texture, with well-cut acidity providing definition for the lush range of flavors. Mouthwatering and well-spiced finish. Drink now through 2026. 1,500 cases made, 500 cases imported. –AN”
James Suckling 92 points “Slightly rosé color here. It’s deep and intense, showing dried apples and spices with some pomegranate and rust undertones. Red apples, too. Full-bodied, dense and flavorful. Rather chewy at the end. Drink now.”
Vie di Romans ‘Dolee’ Friulano Friuli Isonzo Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2018 750ML ($39.95) $36 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “The Vie di Romans 2018 Friuli Isonzo Friulano Dolée reveals a wide spectrum of aromas with stone fruit, citrus, wild sage, rain-soaked sandstone and honey. The bouquet is pure and fine, but the Friulano grape—especially in the hands of a winery of these credentials—is especially impressive in terms of mouthfeel and texture. There is a sweet softness and textural creaminess that gives the wine solid, mid-weight appeal. Then, all of that abundant fruit comes to an elegant close with a pristine note of salty mineral. This wine is aged on the lees in stainless steel containers for 10 months.”
Eric Guido-Vinous 93 points “The 2018 Friulano Dolée wafts up with a beguiling display of dried nectarine, tart pink citrus, candied ginger, cardamom and hints of white pepper. There’s plenty of textural depth, feeling medium in body while slowly releasing layer after layer of ripe apricot, kiwi and grapefruit, all peppered with exotic spices. The mouth waters with cheek-puckering tension, while a salty, savory note of minerality keeps you coming back for more. The 2018 finds balance by walking the line between ripeness and refinement. It’s a real standout.”
Vie di Romans Flors di Uis Friuli Isonzo Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2018 750ML ($31.95) $27 special, 19 bottles in stock now
Case-12 Vie di Romans Flors di Uis Friuli Isonzo Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2018 750ML ($349.95) $299 special, (that’s only $24.92/bottle!)
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “The Vie di Romans 2018 Cuvée Friuli Isonzo Flors di Uis is an assembly of Malvasia, Riesling and Friulano that builds beautiful intensity on both the nose and the palate. Attempting to dissect the bouquet is not easy because there are so many elements to take under consideration, from orchard fruit and ripe apple to custard cream. The protagonist of the blend is Malvasia, and the wine’s floral notes of honeysuckle and yellow rose are quite amplified as a result. Thanks to nine months of aging on the lees, the wine is broad, rich and generous to the end.”
James Suckling 93 points “Lovely, perfumed nose of lilies, lime blossom, passion fruit and lychee. More citrus-peel and lightly herbaceous notes on the palate. This is full-bodied and very intense, yet there’s some good acidity. Warm finish. Drink now.”
Musar theorizes that the varietals are native to the mountains and describes them as “perfectly suited for the Lebanon, requiring no irrigation, canopy management or agrochemical application”. Full bodied and textured the Musar Blanc exhibits a creamy and spiced character underscored by Meyer lemon, Black Lime, frankincense, apricots and beeswax with high acidity and incredibly long finish.
The elevation and mountainous conditions allows for massive temperature shifts during the evenings, allowing for the grapes to slowly ripen with good acidity. The Musar Blanc is exclusively made with old vines that are 50 years old at the youngest, with the oldest being over 100 years old and have always been farmed organically. Using these old vines Musar has been credited with the continued survival of Merwah and Obaideh through propagation and DNA profiling.
Musar Blanc Wines arriving Friday, February 2nd, 2022:
Chateau Musar Blanc Bekaa Valley 2013 750ML ($69.95) $57 pre-arrival special
Other wines by Chateau Musar in stock now:
Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley 2015 750ML ($69.95) $54.50 special, 29 bottles in stock now
Chateau Musar ‘Hochar Pere et Fils’ Red Bekaa Valley 2017 750ML ($34.95) $28 special, 29 bottles in stock now
Decanter 91 points “This single-vineyard wine, from Aana, is made in a modern style: concentrated and slightly reductive. It shows notes of new oak barrels, lovely red berry fruit (reminiscent of Grenache) and garrigue aromas. So Mediterranean on the palate, with sweet tannins, spices and a meaty hint on the aftertaste. A very friendly, easy-to-drink and enjoyable wine. It becomes even better and more refined a day after the bottle is opened. I would recommend decanting it.”
Antonio Galloni 90 points “The 2017 Hochar is powerful and dense in the glass. Ripe flavors and incisive tannins give the 2017 much of its brooding personality. Readers should plan on opening the 2017 at least an hour or two in advance, as the tannins are rather grainy at the outset. With time ripe black cherry, spice, leather and licorice flavors emerge nicely. The blend is 55% Cinsault, 35% Grenache and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.”
Chardy Party with Sandhi
This Chardonnay is a barrel selection from these illustrious vineyards. It was crafted with the wine director at one of SF’s finest restaurants, Zuni Café. We knew it would be a charming and food-friendly wine, but we were stunned by the quality when we tasted a sample bottle last week. Fans of Evening Land will be dazzled by the beauty and elegance through a Californian lens, fans of Sandhi will be impressed by the price.
This is an exclusive deal and, like our Brasserie 19 offer folks still ask about, when it’s gone it’s gone for good.
In stock now:
Sandhi Zuni Chardonnay Santa Barbara County 2019 750ML ($34.95) $24 special,
Case-12 Sandhi Zuni Chardonnay Santa Barbara County 2019 750ML ($399.95) $249 special , (that’s only $20.75/bottle!)
Winery note “If you’ve ever sat at San Francisco’s iconic Zuni Café with a plate of oysters in front of you while you wait for the iconic whole roast chicken, you may have had a glass or two of this collaboration between longtime friends Rajat Parr of Sandhi and Zuni wine director Thierry Lovato. The wine is a barrel selection from some of Sandhi’s iconic Sta. Rita Hills sites, (think Mt. Carmel, Sanford & Benedict) with enough own-rooted, 1973 Wente selection Bien Nacido Chardonnay blended in to warrant a Santa Barbara County designation.”
You would be hard pressed to find better representation from the Coast Range than Crowley Wines. Still a relatively undiscovered growing area in Oregon, the wines generally feature high toned acidity, vibrant fruit and a finish that meanders from alpine to oceanic. This is on account of multiple cooling factors including coastal winds from the Pacific Ocean, the surrounding forest, and the Van Duzer corridor. They’re stunning examples of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that are only represented in a handful of vineyards.
Crowley is lucky enough to work with not only old vines but in a high elevation site no less, and delivers masterpieces with every vintage. Their house style is described as “A focus on transparent, terroir-driven winemaking to create the most direct evidence of both vintage and place” and can be seen throughout their portfolio. Natural fermentations are employed, and new oak is deliberately judicious as to not hide the varietal character of their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. As President of the Deep Roots Coalition, Tyson Crowley eschews irrigation of any kind in order for the grapevines to fully express themselves.
In addition to the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that they produce from the Coast Range vineyard: Four Winds there is also a Dundee Hills bottling sourced from La Colina Vineyard. If that wasn’t enough there’s even an entry level line that is perfectly representative of the house style, but created from a cuvee of different vineyards. You also can’t forget their rose as well, which is entirely composed from Four Winds and is a dream pairing with any kind of seafood you can think of.
Crowley Wines in stock now:
Crowley Chardonnay Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Winery note “Vineyard info: Four Winds was planted in 1993 to Wente clone Chardonnay (1.5 acres) and Dijon clone Chardonnay (.75 acres), and beginning in 2017 (2.5 acres) of Draper clone. Elevation is 825 feet and south facing. Own rooted and dry farmed. Tasting Note: 2019 was year 2 of absorbing the grafted Draper clone into the cellar and we’re beginning to see our Chardonnay’s take shape in the best way possible. More austerity, saltiness, minerality and piercing electricity. Un-fined and unfiltered, this 2019 Willamette Valley Chardonnay compromises nothing of mouthfeel to match the high acidity and 12.5% alcohol. Opening with spice, lemon zest and crème brulee on the nose you know you’re in for a taut and rich experience. Aged in oak and finished in steel the wine displays warmth and expanse of barrel aging with the linearity of steel. High energy in all aspects, the mouth begins with typical purity and sense of place, doubles down on the citrus elements, and gracefully expands into peach, orange, clove, and cinder and closes with delicate lees roundness.”
Crowley Entre Nous Pinot Noir Dundee Hills 2019 750ML ($49.95) $37 special, 16 bottles in stock now
Winery note “The first wine Crowley ever created. Over time, Entre Nous has morphed into a blend of our favorite barrels in the cellar, and represents our La Colina and Four Winds Vineyards. This wine is consistently intriguing – notes of mushroom, cedar, citrus melt into bright cherry, strawberry and light chocolate.”
Crowley Four Winds Vineyard Chardonnay Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Winery note “Jasmine, lemongrass and salty mist jump out of the glass initially. Striking minerality melts into honeysuckle nectar on the palate. Earthen complexity is backed by apricot and white peach which lead into an incredibly long finish. A touch of wood frames this wine with firm structure. Wente, Dijon & Draper clones. Native fermentation. 200 cases.”
VinopolNote: A riotously fragrant release, this shows notes of dried lemon zest, sea salt, lime flower, and pear tart. Its creamy mouthfeel balances the bright, palate-cleansing acidity. One of the finest vintages to date.
Crowley Four Winds Vineyard Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Winery note “Cool aromas of tangerine tea mingled with spicy sativa weave into ripe cherry. This intriguing nose leads into an airy palate layered with pomegranate, mushroom and lean strawberry. Acidity is crisp and determined and framed by a complex and restrained fruit profile. 100% Pommard clone. Native fermentation. 200 cases.”
VinopolNote: A reserved nose hints at red forest berries, iodine, and loam. There’s layers of flavors on the palate, with tart red berries, rose petals, gentian, tea berries and soy. Its austerity hides a subtle, lingering richness that melts into fine, grippy tannins on the finish. Bravo!
Crowley La Colina Vineyard Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Winery note “Our La Colina bottling is a pure expression of this corner of the Dundee Hills. We have been working with this site since our first vintage in 2005. A nose of tangerine, spicy sativa and ripe cherry weave into an airy palate layered with ripe pomegranate and wild mushrooms.”
Crowley Rose Willamette Valley 2020 750ML ($24.95) $17.70 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Winery note “This wine opens with a bloom of apricot blossoms and crunchy pear aromas. The palate is focused and fresh, layered with stone fruits and mouthwatering salinity. We are astonished and pleased with the complexity this wine reveals – not your everyday rosé!”
VinopolNote: From the Four Winds and Tukwilla Vineyards, this is a top WV rosé every year. The Four Winds fruit is 100% Pommard clone from an own-rooted block dedicated to rosé production, it has a depth, richness, and complexity that will reward all year round. Full malo. Fully delicious.
Region: Willamette Valley, Oregon. Dry farmed.
Crazy for Cristom:
These are wines that have powerful personalities allied to a Burgundian sense of proportion and savor. Doerner loves to use a lot of whole clusters in fermentations and so the wines always have a grip and earthiness that grounds their deep fruit and rich textures.
Cristom wines in stock now:
Cristom ‘Estate’ Chardonnay Eola-Amity Hills 2019 750ML ($44.95) $36 special, 17 bottles in stock now
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2019 Chardonnay Eola-Amity Hills is characterized by broad, intense flavors foiled by tangy acidity. It offers aromas of apple pie, honeycomb, toast and white blossoms and is intensely flavored, ripe and textural, finishing with energetic freshness.”
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “Wonderfully floral on the nose, sappy and rich on the palate, this expressive wine is packed with flavorful fruits perfectly set against tangy acidity. White peach, Asian pear and a touch of lime combine on a full-bodied midpalate. The juicy fruit flavors energize the wine and set the taster up for sip after sip. -Paul Gregutt”
Cristom ‘Eileen Vineyard’ Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2019 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Cristom ‘Eileen Vineyard’ Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2019 375ML ($41.95) $36 special, 12 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 96 points “Dried-strawberry, rose-stem and wet-earth aromas follow through to a full body with firm, intense tannins and a flavorful finish. This is structured and very tight at the moment. Give it time to open and show its true self. Try after 2023.”
Cristom Louise Vineyard Chardonnay Eola-Amity Hills 2019 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 94+ points “The 2019 Chardonnay Louise Vineyard is scented of white peaches, spring honey and hazelnuts, which seem in 2019 to capture the alluring essence of just-ripe Willamette Valley Chardonnay, tinged with tones of graphite and mushroom powder. The palate is youthfully citrusy and tangy, gaining volume and depth on the extended, honeyed finish. That racy acidity will help this age gracefully, and it will benefit from 2-3 more years in bottle.”
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “This wine is from a vineyard that sports 25-year-old Dijon clones. The flavors range from citrus to peach to pineapple, with bright natural acidity heightening the impact. It’s crystal clear, fresh and crisp, with a penetrating finish that brings a touch of wet stone. -Paul Gregutt”
Cristom ‘Louise Vineyard’ Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2019 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Cristom ‘Louise Vineyard’ Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2019 375ML ($41.95) $36 special, 7 half-bottles in stock now
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 96 points ” The 2019 Pinot Noir Jessie Vineyard offers notable layering and purity this vintage. Intense, savory cranberry fruit is accented by tones of charcuterie and sweet balsamic on the nose, and the palate combines that sweet, savory and earthy character in a silky frame, finishing with a flourish of spices and great length.”
James Suckling 96 points “The aromas are pretty amazing here with dried flowers, pure fruit, sweet berries and dark strawberries. It’s full-bodied and very layered with ripe, velvety tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Richness with focus. Very drinkable now, but better after 2023.”
Cristom ‘Marjorie Vineyard’ Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2019 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 12 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 95 points “There’s purity of fruit to this pinot with strawberry and floral aromas that follow through to a medium body with ultra-fine, firm tannins and pretty, tangy acidity. Lemon undertones. Needs time to open. Better after 2024.”
Cristom ‘Paul Gerrie Vineyard’ Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2019 750ML ($89.95) $75 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 97 points “Paul Gerrie is the newest vineyard at Cristom, planted from 2016–2019; it’s 28 acres of mostly Pinot Noir and smaller portions of Chardonnay and Gamay. The 2019 Pinot Noir Paul Gerrie Vineyard combines power and precision. It opens with a pleasant touch of sweet balsamic, with Morello cherries, bergamot and loamy earth. The medium-bodied palate is surprisingly intense, all that powerful fruit accented by swirls of savory and spicy nuance. It flows through the mouth with a silky, weightless texture and finishes very long and layered.”
Collector’s Corner: The Eternal James Bond Champagne
Comprised almost entirely of Grand Cru grapes with the barest amount of dosage added, the idea is to have the Grande Anne be a “snapshot” of the year through the eyes of Bollinger. The entirely oak fermentation and aging under cork closure sets the stage for exceptional development in the bottle. Expect a plethora of character from dried spices, to citrus peel, baked pommes and dried flowers. Known for their longevity, our current batch of 2004 magnums is just beginning to leave their teenage years, with plenty of time to further evolve before their peak.
Bollinger La Grande Annee Brut Champagne 2007 750ML ($179.95) $159 special, 33 bottles in stock now
Wine & Spirits 95 points “While this wine seemed fully mature when we tasted it last year, the latest bottle to come across our tasting table was full of life, feeling concentrated and radiating energy out of its core. There’s a compressed floral spice and a touch of sweetness to the fruit that accommodates the mineral abrasion, the elements completely integrated, the flavors lasting for minutes. The blend is 70 percent pinot noir, mostly from Aÿ and Verzenay, with chardonnay from Cramant and Oger; 91 percent grows at grand-cru sites; all of it ferments in oak barrels. The wood is still present in the wine, rounding it, contributing to its sophistication. An exceptional 2007.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94+ points “From a bottle disgorged in March 2017, Bollinger’s 2007 La Grande Année is showing brilliantly, offering up a superb bouquet of lemon oil, confit citrus, almond paste, iodine, walnut oil and freshly baked bread. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, broad-shouldered and powerful in this frequently rather slender vintage, with excellent concentration, a deep and tightly wound core and a precise, chalky finish.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “A bright, lacy Champagne, offering a tapestry of finely woven flavors: graphite and ground spice, crushed blackberry and dried apricot, toast and honeycomb. Firm and focused, with a lasting, chalky finish. Drink now through 2027. 1,500 cases imported. — AN”
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “I loved the 2007 La Grande Année, which is based on 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. Over 90% of this cuvée was sourced from Grand Cru sites, with the balance from Premier Cru villages. Vinified all in older barrels and aged 6 years in bottle on lees, it boasts a deep, rich, creamy style as well as full-bodied notes of ripe stone fruits, wood smoke, and spice. It has vibrant acidity, impressive length, and notable purity, all making for a classy, impressive Champagne that will keep for 10-15 years.”
Bollinger La Grande Annee Brut Champagne 2004 1.5L ($419.95) $379 special, 13 magnums in stock now
Wine Enthusiast “Cellar Selection 96 points. A blend of 66% Pinot Noir and 34% Chardonnay, this is opulent and full bodied, with toast and wood flavors. Rich and ripe, this beautiful wine is generous and still young, with just a touch of bitterness at the end. -Roger Voss.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “Bollinger’s 2004 Brut La Grand Année is a beautiful wine with a lot of vintage character, but the style is a bit less oxidative than Bollinger fans are likely to expect. Pears, hazelnuts, spices and crushed rocks all flow through to the tense, vibrant finish. It will be interesting to see if the 2004 puts on weight in the bottle, as so many wines from this vintage have. Today, it is bright, linear and quite pretty. Green apples, pears and flowers all add lift on the close.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2004 Grande Année Brut was disgorged in November 2013 and offers a clear, very refined, and complex though still closed bouquet with fruity aromas of fresh and stewed apples, yellow grapefruit, kaki, walnuts, tobacco, herbal tea, nougat and spicy flavors; everything is discreet here, subtle, perfectly melted together and smoky, very smoky. On the palate, this Pinot Noir/Chardonnay blend wine is highly complex and elegant, firmly structured and quite long. This is an excellent Champagne.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Firm, with well-cut acidity and a fine texture, this is aromatic, delivering a skein of ground spice and graphite notes that mesh seamlessly with the flavors of black currant, black cherry, toasted almond, financier, honey and smoky mineral. Offers a long, mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2024. 3,000 cases imported. — AN”
Bollinger R.D. Extra Brut Champagne 2004 1.5L ($599.95) $519 special, 6 magnums in stock now
Wine & Spirits 98 points “Time has graced this wine, proving the value of Bollinger’s policy of long aging on the lees followed by prompt release after disgorgement. This RD (Recently Disgorged) 2004 is a joyous wine, staunch, cold and powerful at first, transforming to fresh fruit shadowed by darker tones of barrel fermentation. As it opens in the glass, revealing racy energy, a range of floral pear and apple flavors emerge, resonant with a sense of limestone capturing the sun and reflecting it back in pale power. Enjoy this over the course of an evening as its presence shifts, providing varied perspectives on a great Champagne.”
Wine Enthusiast 98 points “Top 100 Cellar Selection in 2019. The wine’s name stands for recently disgorged and this vintage Champagne was taken off its lees in 2018. That gave many years for it to develop its depth of flavor, richness and beautifully memorable toasty flavors. Drink through 2028. -Roger Voss”
Antonio Galloni 97 points “Bollinger’s 2004 R.D., tasted from magnum, is all class. Silky and understated, the R.D is super-expressive and inviting today. In 2004, the R.D. is decidedly light on its feet and more perfumed than tends to be the norm at Bollinger. Candied lemon peel, mint, apricot, pastry and yellow fruits are all laced together in a Champagne that delivers the goods. The 2004 is 66% Pinot Noir and 34% Chardonnay picked between September 25 and October 8. Disgorged: November 21, 2017.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 97 points “Fermented in oak barrels and aged under natural corks for almost 13 years, Bollinger’s 2004 R. D. Extra Brut blends 66% Pinot Noir with 34% Chardonnay from 16 crus, 88% of which are classified as Grand Cru. The wine opens with a very clear, deep, rich and aromatic but also pure and mineral-fresh nose of crushed rocks, cherries, brioche, pain aux raisin, white nougat, chalk and ripe, yellow-fleshed fruits. Highly elegant and complex on the weightless yet persistent and salty palate, this is an intense, densely woven, firmly structured yet elegant, beautifully refined and refreshing “recent disgorgement” (February 2018) that reveals just a kiss of oxidative flavors that adds even more complexity. A great Champagne on its way to improve over many years in the bottle. Tasted June 2018.”
Decanter 97 points “This is Bollinger’s 2004 interpretation of their famous barrel-aged, recently-disgorged Champagne. This time around it’s a blend of 66% Pinot Noir and 34% Chardonnay, having received a dosage of 3g/l before being cellared under cork, unlike the usual practice of using a crown cap for this phase. A bouquet of raisins and spice jumps out of the glass, propelled by a magnificent mint-toned freshness. Tight and crystalline on the palate, it’s dense and yet not all that vinous in mouthfeel. The finish is one of ethereal lightness and magnificent balance. Drink with well-aged cheese. Drinking Window 2018 – 2030.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “The lovely nose of acacia blossom, toast and graphite leads to flavors of poached quince, fleur de sel, white cherry, lemon pith and almond skin in this dry and harmonious Champagne. Almost airy and ethereal in texture, yet the finely woven flavor range goes on and on, echoing on the finish. Disgorged June 2017. Drink now through 2034. 301 cases imported. — AN”
[Disgorgement date may vary from reviews]
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