Vinopolpick Thursday: April 17th

April 17, 2014

Champagne Salon

At the beginning of the 20th century, Aime Salon had a dream to create single-varietal, vintage Champagne.  He wanted to use the best vineyards sites in the Grand cru commune of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger.  Le Mesnil is located in the Cote des Blancs subregion of Champagne.  Salon was convinced that a 100% Chardonnay Champagne from this grand cru site could rival or surpass the best blended Champagnes.  He purchased a 2.5 acre plot of land and sourced grapes from 19 other smaller sites within Le Mesnil.  All of the grapes were hand-picked and hand-sorted to ensure only the best were used.  Salon released his first Champagne in 1911 from the 1905 vintage.  It was not until a decade later, after the First World War, that Salon released the wine commercially.   In the 20th century, only 37 vintages were declared, and production was limited to an average of 60,000 bottles per declared vintage.  On average, the wines are aged in bottle for ten years before release.  Today, the wine is crafted by Michel Fauconnet, cellar master of Laurent-Perrier.  The grapes are still hand-harvested, hand-sorted, and are crushed by the traditional press used exclusively for the Cuvee S.  Only the first pressing is used which contains the highest amount of natural acidity.  The wine expresses notes of nuts, citrus, flowers and minerals.  Some vintages show smoky or baked bread aromas as they age.Below, we are pleased to offer the first release from the 21st century: 2002.  While the vintage saw no extreme frosts or hailstorms, it was a temperamental vintage: at times cool or hot, rainy or dry.  The producer describes the release as having superb balance and exacting precision with notes of flowers, honeyed orange peel, and fresh baked madeleines.  

Arriving here today:
Salon Cuvee S Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs 2002 ($449.95) $379 special, 12 bottles available
James Suckling 99 points
 “The 2002 Salon is phenomenal quality… I was mesmerized. It is a subtle and intense Champagne that shows complex character of lilac, minerals, sliced lemon, apple, and white pepper. It is full body and dense yet racy and agile with a lightness and freshness. It has a gloriously long finish. It changes every moment in the glass. It has such clarity. It’s magnificent to drink now, but shows great texture and structure for aging”
Stock List – Champagne – All Here Now
Ayala Champagne Brut Blanc De Blancs 2000 ($79.95) $59 special, 2 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 90 points 
“Vivid gold. Dried lemon and honeysuckle aromas, with suggestions of dusty minerals and green cardamom. Smoother and a touch sweeter than it showed last year, offering sappy orange and lemon curd flavors and a deeper note of pit fruits. An orchard fruit quality lingers on the long, spicy, mineral-driven finish. This should age slowly”
Ayala Champagne Brut Blanc De Blancs 2004 ($79.95) $59 special, 4 bottles available
Wine Spectator 91 points
 “An open-knit texture is focused by firm acidity while rich notes of leesy bread dough and smoky roast nut add depth to flavors of kumquat, tangy apple, white peach and lemon peel, with an aromatic finish. Disgorged January 2010. Drink now through 2019.”
Ayala Champagne Brut Rose Majeur NV ($59.95) $33 special, 3+ cases available
CASE-6 Ayala Champagne Brut Rose Majeur NV ($199.95) $179 special, 8 half cases available
Stephen Tanzer 90 points
 “(made from 51% chardonnay, 39% pinot noir – about a quarter of which is still red wine – and 10% pinot meunier; disgorged September, 2011): Pale orange. Bright, mineral-accented aromas of orange peal, brioche and white flowers, with a spicy topnote. Silky and open-knit, offering tangy citrus fruit and red berry flavors and a hint of toastiness. Closes smooth, fruity and long, with good breadth and clarity.”

Ayala Champagne Brut Rose Nature NV ($99.95) $79 special, 7 bottles available
Wine Spectator 91 points 
“Crisp, featuring juicy flavors of pomegranate, white raspberry, pastry dough and spice, with a lightly smoky mineral undertow. Well-meshed and balanced, with a delicate finish. Drink now through 2018. 1,500 cases made.”

A. Margaine Blanc De Blancs 2006 1.5L ($159.95) $137 special, 13 magnums available      

A. Margaine Brut Cuvee Traditionelle NV ($49.95) $36 special, 3+ cases available 
Wine Advocate 91 points “The NV Brut Cuvee Traditionelle shows fabulous intensity and sheer class. Citrus, flowers and crushed rock are some of the nuances that emerge from this beautifully delineated Champagne. A gorgeous, ethereal finish rounds things out in style. The blend is 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir, 52% 2008 juice plus reserves spanning 2007 (20%), 2005 (8%), 2004 (12%), and 2000 (8%), with partial malolactic fermentation. Dosage is 8.5 grams per liter. Disgorged July 10, 2011.”

A. Margaine Rose Brut NV ($59.95) $44 special, 2 bottles available
Wine Advocate 90 points
 “The NV Rose presents an intriguing combination of ripe fruit and structure. This release is 2009 juice, and there is no shortage of fruit from that radiant year, but there is also plenty of underlying minerality. Rose petals, crushed flowers, red berries and spices are some of the many nuances that wrap around the finish. The blend is 78% Chardonnay, 12% Pinot Noir and 10% still Pinot Noir, aged predominantly in steel (20% was aged in oak), with blocked malo.”         

Alfred Gratien Blanc De Blancs 2007 ($119.95) $79 special, 9 bottles available
Wine Spectator 93 points 
“Backed by intense and mouthwatering acidity, this firm version offers tightly knit flavors of lemon meringue, poached pear, pastry, with hints of hazelnut and coconut. Shows fine texture, and a smoky, mineral-driven base. Drink now through 2020”  

Alfred Gratien Cuvee Paradis NV (2005) ($149.95) $119 special, 5 bottles available
Wine Spectator 94 points 
“A lovely thread of ginger, star anise, cardamom and clove spice unravels through flavors of toasted almond, tangy apple puree, black raspberry, pastry, coconut and candied lemon zest. Like fine silk in texture, this remains mouthwatering through to the long, lasting finish. Drink now through 2022”

Alfred Gratien Millesime 1996 ($199.95) $159 special, 4 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “The 1996 Brut Millesime shows why this vintage is so highly regarded. Everything is in the right place. Rich, voluptuous, yet also structured, the 1996 impresses for its superb overall balance. There is lovely complexity in the glass, but none of the aggression found in some wines. A soft, gracious finish laced with a totally refined mousse rounds things out in style. The 1996 is 65% Chardonnay, 18% Pinot Noir and 17% Pinot Meunier. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020.”     

Alfred Gratien Millesime 1997 ($199.95) $149 special, 7 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 points
 “Gratien’s 1997 Brut Millesime impresses for its direct, frank personality and huge fruit. An infant today, the 1997 is surprising for its youth. The aromas and flavors remain quite primary in this rich, vibrant Champagne. Frankly, I am amazed the 1997 is so backward. I would never have expected it. Readers should drink the 1999 and 1998 before looking to the 1997 for pleasure. I can’t wait to see how the 1997 develops. Today it is flat-out striking. The 1997 is 66% Chardonnay, 24% Pinot Noir and 10% Pinot Meunier. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2025. “

Alfred Gratien Millesime 1998 ($199.95) $159 special, 7 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points 
“A relatively rich, broad shouldered wine, the 1998 Brut Millesime is showing beautifully. Here the aromas and flavors have begun to develop the early hints of tertiary complexity, making the 1998 a great choice for drinking today. Suggestions of white truffles, apricot jam, hazelnuts, hard candy and dried flowers wrap around the gorgeous, striking finish. The 1998 is 60% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020.”     

Bereche Reflet D’Antan Brut NV ($119.95) $99 special, 17 bottles available
2008 Base Vintage Antonio Galloni 94 points
 “The NV (2008) Reflet d’Antan is incredibly delicious. At once rich yet weightless, it embodies a sense of pure aesthetic beauty that is hard to do justice to with mere words. Rich, burnished overtones develop in the glass, giving the wine additional volume, yet the 

Reflet d’Antan remains gracious and impeccably polished. Hints of almond, spice and orange peel add elements of exoticism. Bérèche’s Reflet d’Antan remains one of the most unique and compelling wines in Champagne. Reflet d’Antan is a perpetual solera, based on the 2008 vintage in this release. This bottle was disgorged in October 2012. Dosage was 6 grams per liter.”     

Billiot Reserve Brut Grand Cru NV 1.5L ($149.95) $89 special, 19 magnums available
Wine Spectator 93 points
 “Richly spiced, with a skein of ground clove, ginger and cardamom winding through flavors of dried apricot and apple, currant candy, passion fruit and lemon zest. Beautiful texture and balance here, followed by a long and mouthwatering, mineral-tinged finish. Drink now through 2020. 300 cases imported.”     

Boizel Joyau De France Brut 1996 ($119.95) $99 special, 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 points 
“60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay Roasted hazelnuts and biscuity aromas, quite a bit of earthy character, chalk, wet pebbles, a little bit of wild strawberries. Crisp, fine bubs, great intensity. Long minerally finish.”

Bollinger La Grande Annee Brut 2004 ($149.95) $89 special, 6 bottles available
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. Tasted twice, with consistent notes.”

Bouchard Inflorescence La Parcelle NV (2006) ($119.95) $99 special, 1 bottle available      

Bouchard Inflorescence Val Vilaine BDN NV ($79.95) $66 special, 22 bottles available 
2011 Harvest      

Bouchard Roses De Jeanne Haute Lemble 2009 ($149.95) $119 special, 4 bottles available      

Chartogne-Taillet Brut 2006 ($69.95) $54 special, 1 bottle available 
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2006 Brut Millesime is a big and powerful. Apricots, honey, flowers and mint all wrap around the palate as this juicy, extroverted wine opens up in the glass. The 2006 is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, and it is the Pinot that is felt most in the wine’s breadth and pure richness. Although already quite complex, the 2006 should acquire even further tertiary complexity over the coming years. Today, it is showing beautifully. Disgorgement date: August 2012. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2021.”     

Chartogne-Taillet Cuvee Heurtebise BDB NV 2008 ($79.95) $66 special, 25 bottles available      

Chartogne-Taillet Cuvee Heurtebise BDB NV ($79.95) $69 special, 1 bottle available 
2007 Base Vintage          

De Sousa Brut Reserve Blanc De Blancs NV 1.5L ($139.95) $89 special, 11 magnums available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
 “Light, bright yellow. Exotically perfume of nectarine, poached pear, brioche, anise and chamomile. Deep, round and fleshy, with powerful orchard and pit fruit flavors braced by a jolt of smoky minerals on the back half. Smoothly blends richness and vivacity, finishing with excellent clarity and toasty persistence.”

De Sousa Brut Rose NV ($69.95) $39 special, 25 bottles available
Josh Raynolds 91 points
 “Dark pink, with a hint of onion skin; the color of a red wine from Arbois, even darker than some. Deep and smoky on the nose, with a spicy, vinous raspberry and cherry tone verging on Burgundian in character. Quite spicy, the cherry and wild berry flavors tinged by notes of clove, mace, cracked pepper and cayenne. A singular wine that would go perfectly with pungent cheeses or cured meats.”    

De Sousa Brut Tradition NV ($39.95) $33 special, 3 bottles available
Josh Raynolds 91 points 
“Light, bright gold. Buttered toast and poached pear on the deeply scented nose and in the mouth. Broad and fleshy in texture but showing impressive vivacity for its heft. A bitter lemon pith quality adds lift and bite to the finish, which leaves smoky minerals and buttery brioche behind. I’d serve this substantial Champagne with a richly sauced poultry, lobster or mushroom-based dish.”

De Sousa Cuvee 3A Grand Cru Brut NV ($64.95) $39 special, 14 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 93 points 
“With grapes from the three villages of Aÿ, Avize and Ambonnay, this blend of 50/50 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is a strict and firm wine, very aromatic, beautifully ripe with some roundness. Flavors of tropical fruits mix with concentrated minerality. For aging.”

De Sousa Cuvee Des Caudalies 2006 ($219.95) $119 special, 9 bottles available

De Sousa Cuvee Des Caudalies NV ($79.95) $49 special, 8 bottles available  
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “A blend of 13 vintages, beautifully ripe and round, even with some maturity. Fresh citric fruit cuts through the richness and flavors of pineapple. There is a tang in the texture, an almost chewy structure. Age this wine for a year or two.”

Delamotte Brut NV 375ML ($27.95) $24 special, 25 bottles available 

Delamotte Brut Rose NV ($69.95) $49 special, 9 bottles available 
Stephen Tanzer 90 points “Orange-pink. Bright, mineral-driven aromas of blood orange, lemon and green apple, with notes of chalk and quinine adding vivacity. Firm and tightly wound, offering zesty citrus and orchard fruit flavors and a kiss of bitter redcurrant. Closes with dominant citrus flavors, very good clarity and lingering florality.”

Demarne-Frison Goustan NV 1.5L ($149.95) $99 special, 9 magnums available

Demarne-Frison Lalore Blanc De Blancs NV 1.5L ($149.95) $125 special, 2 magnums available      

Demarne-Frison Lalore Blanc De Blancs NV ($69.95) $59 special, 1 bottle available 
2009 vintage      

Deutz Amour De Deutz 2005 ($169.95) $139 special, 2 bottles available 
Stephen Tanzer 92 points “Bright yellow-gold. A heady, complex bouquet evokes dried citrus fruits, quince, white flowers and iodine, with a hint of truffle in the background. Shows both power and finesse, offering lively Meyer lemon, orange pith and fresh fig flavors. The floral quality builds with air and carries through a very long, mineral-accented finish.”

Deutz Blanc De Blancs 2007 1.5L ($159.95) $139 special, 5 magnums available 

Deutz Blanc De Blancs 2007 ($84.95) $69 special, 14 bottles available 
Stephen Tanzer 91 points “Light, bright straw. Lemon zest, green apple and chalky minerals on the fragrant nose. Dry and precise, offering energetic citrus and orchard fruit flavors that pick up anise and honeysuckle nuances with air. Closes stony and long, with lingering floral and iodine notes.”         

Deutz Brut Millesime 2007 1.5L ($129.95) $109 special, 3 magnums available

Deutz Brut Rose 2008 ($74.95) $57 special, 4 bottles available      

Deutz Cuvee William Deutz 2000 ($145.95) $115 special, 14 bottles available

Deutz Cuvee William Rose 2000 ($269.95) $219 special, 5 bottles available 
Stephen Tanzer 93 points “Bright pink. Pungent, expansive aromas of dried red berries and cherry, with a brighter suggestion of blood orange and a hint of anise. Deeply pitched citrus and red berry flavors are complicated by notes of candied rose and white pepper and gain spiciness with air. Finishes on a refreshingly bitter citrus pith note, with excellent persistence. Seems fully mature but there’s no rush to drink this.”

Dom Perignon Rose Jeff Koons 2003 ($349.95) $299 special, 2 bottles available
Wine Spectator 91 points 
“Crisp, featuring juicy flavors of pomegranate, white raspberry, pastry dough and spice, with a lightly smoky mineral undertow. Well-meshed and balanced, with a delicate finish. Drink now through 2018. 1,500 cases made.”

Fleury Brut Millesime 1990 ($199.95) $139 special, 8 bottles available
Wine Spectator 94 points
“Aromatic notes of ocean brine and white truffle announce this vibrant Champagne, which layers flavors of candied lemon, dried papaya, smoked almond, crystallized honey and pound cake. Offers a detailed texture and finely meshed acidity. Drink now through 2022”     

Fleury Brut Nature Symphonie D’Europe 1990 1.5L ($379.95) $299 special, 2 magnums available
Wine Advocate 94 points 
“The 1990 Extra Brut Symphonie d’Europe (Pinot Noir) opens with the most extraordinary bouquet. Smoke, graphite, apricot jam and honeysuckle all burst from the glass. Floral notes develop later, adding lift and freshness, but this remains a rich, full-bodied wine endowed with stunning power and plenty of unbridled intensity. Honey, almonds and flowers are some of the many nuances that are wrapped into the layered, textured finish. This is yet another great showing from Fleury.”

Fleury Champagne Brut Cepages Blanc 2004 ($79.95) $69 special, 3+ cases available
Wine Advocate 93 points
 “Another gorgeous wine, the 2004 Brut Cepages Blancs (Chardonnay) is stunningly beautiful. Rich, deep and layered, the 2004 comes alive in the glass. Lemon, dried flowers and hazelnuts wrap around the palate as this complex, utterly beguiling wine shows off its considerable personality and pedigree. Chalky notes frame the finish. This is without question one of the very best wines I have ever tasted from Fleury.”

Fleury Extra Brut Millesime 1995 ($119.95) $89 special, 26 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
 “Vivid gold. Intriguingly perfumed, nuanced aromas of candied orange, Anjou pear, vanilla bean and honey, with a vibrant vein of chalky minerality. At once tangy and rich, displaying lively citrus and orchard fruit flavors buffered by deeper honey and floral qualities. In my experience no-dosage Champagnes are best consumed within a few years of their release rather than stashed in the cellar so I’d drink this complex, energetic bottling sooner than later. This producer, which raises its wines in barriques, farms its vines biodynamically, a relative rarity in Champagne.”

Francois Bedel Entre Ciel et Terre NV ($84.95) $59 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Spectator 92 points 
“Mineral flavors and a silvery, citrus edge, with hints of iodine, are backed by a vibrant structure. Honey and nascent coffee notes play out on the long finish.”

Rene Geoffroy Brut Empreinte 2006 375ML ($31.95) $26 special, 34 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points 
“(76% pinot noir, 14% chardonnay and 10% pinot meunier, all from 2006; disgorged 05/12/11): Light gold. Musky citrus pith, redcurrant and pear skin on the nose, complicated by scents of licorice and spicecake. A broad, sappy Champagne that offers gently sweet blood orange and pear flavors, with hints of toasty lees and dried rose adding complexity. Finishes with strong thrust and noteworthy clarity, spiciness and energy.”

Rene Geoffroy Brut Empreinte 2006 ($59.95) $49 special, 1 bottle available
Wine Advocate 92 points
 “The NV Brut Empreinte emerges from the glass with beautifully delineated fruit, great body and terrific overall balance. Sweet red berries, flowers and mint are some of the nuances that are woven into a rich fabric of notable class. The Empreinte shows striking depth and purity. The higher percentage of Pinot seems inherently better suited to vinification in oak than the Chardonnay in this vintage. The Empreinte is 76% Pinot Noir, 14% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Meunier, all from the 2006 vintage. Approximately 54% of the blend underwent malolactic fermentation. Dosage is 4 grams per liter. Disgorged May 12, 2011. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2014.”

Rene Geoffroy Blanc De Rose NV ($119.95) $89 special, 9 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 93 points 
“Light orange-pink. High-pitched, incisive aromas of fresh red berries, blood orange, white pepper and rose, with a strong mineral component. Dry and focused in the mouth, showing noteworthy intensity to the zesty strawberry, raspberry and bitter rhubarb flavors. The mineral and floral notes repeat on the long, sappy, penetrating finish, which features an intense spicy quality. I love this vibrant, pure style of rose Champagne.”

Rene Geoffroy Cumieres Pinot Meunier 2008 ($64.95) $49 special, 6 bottles available 
STILL Pinot Meunier from Cumieres     

Rene Geoffroy Cumieres Pinot Noir 2006 ($69.95) $59 special, 5 bottles available 
STILL Pinot Noir from Cumieres                

Rene Geoffroy Cuvee Volupte Brut 2006 ($79.95) $66 special, 1 bottles available
Wine Advocate 90 points
 “The 2006 Brut Premier Cru Millesime Volupte is caressing, open and totally beautiful. Green pears, flowers, light honey and mint are some of the nuances that are found in this delicate, refined Champagne. The Volupte is 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir. The partial use of oak (10%) gives the wine a measure of additional richness and volume, especially on the finish. Disgorgement date: June 2012. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2016.”

Rene Geoffroy Extra Brut 2002 1.5L ($319.95) $279 special, 5 magnums available
Wine Advocate 92 points 
“The 2002 Extra Brut Millesime is a rich, broad shouldered wine graced with tons of fruit. Vinification in French oak barriques gives the wine considerable depth, volume and spiciness. Layers of ripe, expressive varietal fruit flow from this rich, dramatic Champagne. A caressing, multi-dimensional finish rounds things out in style. As good as this is – and it is outstanding – I prefer Geoffroy’s wines made in steel. The blend is 60% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Meunier, with 2 grams per liter of dosage”

Rene Geoffroy Rose De Saignee Brut NV ($89.95) $69 special, 7 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 points
 “The NV Brut Rose de Saignee is 100% Pinot Noir from the 2008 vintage. The rich, vinous style is beautifully balanced by the coolness and minerality of the year. This is a gorgeous, complete Champagne bursting with personality and sheer class. The wine boasts fabulous depth and remarkable nuance without ever coming across as heavy. To be sure, this is an intense, bold style that needs to be paired with food. Disgorged July 5, 2011. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2018.”

Gimonnet Blanc De Blancs Fleuron 1996 ($189.95) $169 special, 1 bottle available
Wine Spectator 93 points
 “Fresh like a spring meadow, this delicate, vibrant bubbly evokes wildflower, citrus, almond and ginger aromas and flavors, all tightly wound on a racy structure. Harmonious and long, the finish hints at charms to be revealed.”

Gimonnet Blanc De Blancs Fleuron 2006 ($69.95) $59 special, 11 bottles available
Josh Raynolds 93 points 
“Pale gold. Smoky pear and nectarine aromas are brightened by zesty minerals and deepened by hints of toasty lees and iodine. Intense orchard fruit and melon flavors stain the palate, picking up citrus pith and floral honey qualities with air. Turns firmer and more minerally with air, finishing with excellent lift and smoky persistence.”

Gimonnet Blanc De Blancs Gastronome 2008 ($59.95) $49 special, 11 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92 points
 “The 2008 Brut Chardonnay Premier Cru Cuvee Gastronome is a blend of fruit from Chouilly, Cuis, Cramant, Oger and Vertus. Here the fruit begins to take on slightly greater textural richness and depth. Crisp yellow-fleshed fruits, flowers, almonds and spices are all woven together beautifully. The 2008 stands out for its inner perfume, sweetness and inviting personality. Disgorgement date: January 17, 2012. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018.”

Gimonnet Special Club 2005 ($79.95) $69 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92 points
 “Gimonnet’s 2005 Brut Special Club is made predominantly from old vines in Cramant, Oger and Cuis. It offers better balance than the 2005 Non Dose, as a little dosage, in this case 5 grams per liter, unleashes the aromatics and fruit to a considerable degree. Pears, pastry, lemon oil, almonds and exotic flowers all meld together nicely. The 2005 Special Club remains tightly wound and vibrant, with none of the awkward notes that are found in so many wines in this vintage. Disgorgement date: July 30, 2012. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020.”

Jacquesson Brut Avize Champ Cain 2004 ($289.95) $219 special, 3 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 96 points 
“The broad shoulders of Avize come through loud and clear in Jacquesson’s 2004 Brut Avize Champ Cain. A rich, creamy wine, the 2004 fills out its frame beautifully. Layers of vanilla, pencil shavings, peach, apricot and white flowers all flesh out in the glass. Rich and powerful the Avize impresses for its intensity and pure pedigree. This is a drop-dead gorgeous wine from Jacquesson. Dosage was 1.5 grams per liter.”

Jacquesson Brut Dizy Corne Bautray 2004 ($279.95) $219 special, 9 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 95 points 
“The 2004 Brut Dizy Corne Bautray is remarkable for many reasons. One of those is just how vivid the flavors are. An utterly seamless wine, the 2004 Corne Bautray impresses for its exceptional overall balance. Almonds, lemon oil, chalk, sage and light pastry notes develop as this utterly beguiling Champagne shows off its superb pedigree. The 2004 was bottled with no dosage, but that isn’t even evident in the least. A wine of notable vibrancy and energy, the 2004 is a wine built on focus and persistence.” 

Jacquesson Extra Brut Cuvee 736 NV ($79.95) $66 special, 19 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 95 points 
“I had been dying to drink – not taste – Jacquesson’s Brut Cuvee 736, follwing my visit to the domaine a few months ago. The bottle was every bit as great as I remembered. Built on a base of 2008, the 736 was brilliant, focused and chiseled from the very first taste. What a wine!”

Jose Michel Brut Pinot Meunier NV ($49.95) $39 special, 14 bottles available 

L. Aubry Champagne Brut Premier Cru NV 1.5L ($109.95) $89 special, 1 magnum available 
Wine Advocate 92 points “The NV Brut Premier Cru is a gorgeous wine, and a great introduction to the house style. Lemon, white flowers, mint, crushed rocks are some of the many notes that take shape in the glass as this refined Champagne shows off its impeccable class and total pedigree. The Premier Cru is 45% Pinot Meunier, 25% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 5% Arbanne, Petit Meslier and Fromenteau. The high percentage of red grapes is felt in the wine’s breadth, while the aromas and flavors remain fresh, vibrant and beautifully nuanced throughout. This is a fabulous entry-level offering. Disgorgement date: June 2012.”

L. Aubry Champagne Brut Premier Cru NV ($39.95) $33 special, 36 bottles available
Josh Raynolds 91 points
 “(45% pinot meunier, 25% pinot noir and 25% chardonnay, with the rest arbanne, petit meslier and fromenteau; disgorged in April, 2013): Bright straw. Pungent aromas of Meyer lemon, pear and fig, with a gingery accent adding lift. Sappy, penetrating citrus fruit and floral flavors are given a refreshingly bitter character by notes of pear skin and peach pit, with a waxy note coming up on the back half. A smoky nuance lingers on the finish, which shows very good clarity and length. Fifty-five percent of this blend is from 2010 and the rest is reserve wines, mostly from a solera that was begun in 1998.”

L. Aubry Ivoire Et Ebene Brut 2008 ($69.95) $59 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “The 2008 Brut Premier Cru Ivoire et Ebene wraps around the palate with serious depth. A cool, introspective wine, the 2008 is marked by serious vintage character. The Ivoire et Ebene is 60% Chardonnay (vinified in oak), 20% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier. All the elements are beautifully balanced from start to finish. The oak adds volume and richness, but is better integrated than in the Aubry de Humbert. A vibrant, tense finish rounds things out very nicely. This is another fabulous wine from Aubry. Disgorgement date: March 2012. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018.”

Laherte Brut Ultradition NV 375ML ($27.95) $21.90 special, 6 bottles available
Peter Liem, Champagne Guide
 “Light, appley and fragrant, this feels fresh and easy to drink, buttressed by taut, lively acidity. As usual, it’s made from a majority of meunier (60 percent), blended with 30 percent chardonnay and ten percent pinot noir. It finishes with brightly citrusy fragrance, its tangerine-like flavors showing energy and vigor.”

Laherte Les Clos Extra Brut NV ($84.95) $69 special, 3 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
 “Pale gold. Lime zest, lemongrass and white pepper on the highly perfumed nose. Big and powerful yet precise and light on its feet, with very good cut to its citrus fruit and pear flavors. A note of bitter quinine adds grip to the very long, mineral-dominated finish.”

Laherte Les Empreintes Extra Brut NV ($79.95) $45 special, 14 bottles available
John Gilman 92 points, Stephen Tanzer 91 points 
“40% each of chardonnay and pinot noir, with 20% pinot meunier, all barrel-fermented): Pale yellow-gold. Musky pear skin, lemon curd and melon on the intensely perfumed nose. Dry and linear on entry, then fleshier in the mid-palate, offering ripe orchard fruit, orange and fig flavors underscored by chalky minerals. Impressively pure, precise Champagne with resonating citrus and mineral notes on the finish.”

Legras & Haas Rose Brut NV ($69.95) $59 special, 9 bottles available      

Marie-Courtin Concordance 09 NV ($109.95) $79 special, 8 bottles available 
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2009 Concordance is 100% Pinot Noir bottled with no SO2. Pears, apples, white flowers, spices and crushed rocks burst from the glass as this powerful, authoritative wine shows off its distinctive personality. The 2009 is rich, full-bodied and totally beautiful. Mineral notes reappear to frame a deep, creamy finish imbued with tons of exoticism, Concordance is the estate’s most adventurous wine, so it must be approached with an open mind and palate!”     

Marie-Courtin Concordance NV (2010) ($99.95) $79 special, 34 bottles available      

Marie-Courtin Efflorescence Extra Brut NV (07) ($79.95) $59 special, 8 bottles available 
Stephen Tanzer 93 points “Bright yellow-gold. Dried lemon, pear skin, honeysuckle and minerals on the highly perfumed nose. Chewy, concentrated citrus and orchard fruit flavors give way to succulent melon and nectarine in the mid-palate and pick up an exotic anise quality with air. The dry finish shows intense mineral cut, leaving lively lemon zest and pear notes behind.”

Marie-Courtin Resonance Extra Brut NV ($59.95) $49 special, 3+ cases available
This is the newest release – vintage 2010 Antonio Gallonio 94 points
 “Green apples, pears, mint and white flowers meld together in the NV (2010) Extra Brut Resonance, 100% Pinot Noir from 35-40 year-old vines. Citrus, lime and a host of bright aromas and flavors suggest Chablis with bubbles. The Resonance is simply bristling with energy and focus today. This is a fabulous wine from proprietress Dominique Moreau. This bottle was disgorged in May 2013.”

Mousse Fils Blanc De Noirs Noire Reserve NV ($49.95) $33 special, 2 bottles available
Wine Spectator 89 points
 “An easy-drinking bubbly, with citrusy acidity and notes of white cherry, orchard blossom, honey and blackberry. Fresh, revealing a hint of pastry on the finish. Drink now.”

Pascal Doquet Grand Cru Brut NV ($64.95) $49 special, 1 bottle available

Paul Bara Brut Reserve Grand Cru NV ($49.95) $39 special, 29 bottles available      
Stephen Tanzer 90 points “Light yellow-gold. Mineral-accented aromas of pear and peach pit, with smoke and floral qualities adding complexity. Sappy, penetrating redcurrant and orchard fruit flavors are lifted by zesty minerality and pick up smokiness with air. Finishes sappy and long, with lingering floral and mineral qualities.”    

Paul Bara Brut Special Club Rose 2006 ($119.95) $89 special, 3 bottles available 

Paul Bara Comtesse Marie De France 2000 ($129.95) $89 special, 3 bottles available 
Stephen Tanzer 93 points “Bright yellow-gold. Sexy, pungent aromas of dried orchard fruits, melon, raspberry and potpourri, with a spicy quality that gains strength with air. Lush, sappy and penetrating, with very good depth to its spice-accented pear and red berry flavors. Shows a touch of orange marmalade on the finish, which lingers with impressive tenacity and length. This complex Champagne has the vivacity to work with lighter foods but the heft to handle richly sauced dishes as well.”

Philipponnat Clos Des Goisses Brut 2001 ($249.95) $149 special, 10 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93+ points
“The 2001 Brut Clos des Goisses has begun to take on attractive early tertiary nuances. A big, broad-shouldered wine, the 2001 has gorgeous depth but not quite the finesse of the very best years. Even with all of the intense fruit and rich, palate-staining finish, some slightly rough edges remain. Dried apricots, spices, licorice, sweet herbs and tobacco add elements of exoticism on the finish. A spell of cold weather and rain during the harvest appears to have marked the 2001. This is going to be a fascinating wine to follow, although I don’t think it will reach the heights of the 2002. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2041.”

Philipponnat Clos Des Goisses Brut 2002 ($279.95) $249 special, 7 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 points 
“The flagship 2002 Brut Clos des Goisses is simply stunning in this vintage. Seamless, ripe and beguiling, the 2002 is pure harmony in the glass. Dried pears, apricots, flowers, red berries and spices are some of the many notes that inform this towering, aristocratic wine. At once vertical yet endowed with serious length, the 2002 stands out for its breathtaking balance and overall sense of harmony. Layers of fruit built to the huge, creamy finish. This is a great showing from Philipponnat.”

Philipponnat Clos Des Goisses Brut 2004 ($279.95) $219 special, 12 bottles available

Pierre Peters Cuvee Reserve Blanc De Blancs 1.5L ($149.95) $119 special, 35 magnums available
Wine Advocate 92 points “The NV Brut Cuvee de Reserve is striking. It shows fabulous cut and definition in its fruit, expressive aromatics all backed up by plenty of underlying structure. A bright, mineral laced finish rounds things out in style. This is superb entry-level wine from one of Champagne’s top producers. The Cuvee Reserve is 100% Chardonnay. This year’s release is based on 2008 (60%), with reserve wines going back to 1988, precisely 1988, 1990, 1993 and 1995-2007 (except 1999 and 2003).”

Pierre Peters Cuvee Reserve Blanc De Blancs 3L ($429.95) $319 special, 3 double magnums available
Burghound 93 points
 “A stunningly elegant nose of pure floral, Granny Smith apples, spice and freshly sliced lemon complements to perfection the intense and equally pure flavors that possess excellent punch like remain delicate and ultra-refined on the balanced and persistent finish. The supporting mousse displays a very find bead and the overall impression is one of subtlety and grace. Not only is this a wonderful effort but the value it offers it beyond stunning.” BH March 2013 disgorgement

Pierre Peters Cuvee Speciale Chetillons 2005 ($119.95) $89 special, 14 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
 “made from fruit grown in a single site in Le Mesnil sur Oger; aged for six years on its lees and disgorged in June of 2012): Bright yellow-gold. Heady aromas of fresh nectarine, lemon, honeysuckle and ginger are complemented by deeper notes of smoky lees and brioche. Bright citrus zest and quince flavors give way to richer melon and pit fruits with air while maintaining impressive verve and cut. Shows a chewy, dense character without coming off as heavy. Really clings to the palate on the back end, finishing spicy and quite long. I’d have no guilt about polishing off a bottle right now.”     

Pierre Peters Cuvee Speciale Chetillons 2006 ($149.95) $99 special, 4 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 94+ points
 “Another brilliant wine, the 2006 Blanc de Blancs Les Chetillons is shaping up to be a stunner. Today it seems to have the density and power of the 2002 but in a more linear style that brings to mind some of the energy of the 2004. Not bad, to say the least. Over time, hints of almonds and white flowers begin to emerge, but the 2006 remains a powerful Champagne built on explosive structure. Readers who can be patient will be rewarded with a stunning Champagne.”

Piollot Cuvee De Reserve Extra Brut NV ($39.95) $24 special, 16 bottles available
CASE-6 Piollot Cuvee De Reserve Extra Brut NV ($239.95) $144 special, 2 cases available [A CASE OF 6 750ML BOTTLES]

“Light yellow in color and with a cordon of delicate bubbles, this Champagne delivers a nose of great maturity, with floral notes of hawthorn and fruit notes of cherry plums blending harmoniously on a base of pleasantly evolving aromas. In the mouth the attack is straightforward, followed by the full richness of Pinot Noir. Full and well balanced, this wine provides a good length. Thanks to its freshness, this is a cuvée noted for a fine aromatic expression and an elegant nature.”–Winemaker Notes

Pol Roger Brut Sir Winston Churchill 2000 ($249.95) $219 special, 7 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 94 points 
“The first thing that is evident about the 2000 Brut Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill is its finesse and total silkiness. The 2000 is a rich, creamy and deeply expressive Winston Churchill. I don’t see the 2000 being an especially long-term ager, but it is wonderfully radiant and open today. Hints of pastry, spice, apricots and succulent ripe pears blossom on the expansive, broad-shouldered finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2030.”

Prevost La Closerie Beguines Extra Brut NV (2011)($119.95) $99 special, 12 bottles available
2011 vintage      

RH Coutier Brut Blanc De Blancs Grand Cru NV ($49.95) $33 special, 25 bottles available 
Wine Advocate 93 points “The NV Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru is a striking wine, and frankly one of the best wines I have ever tasted from Coutier. Pure Blanc de Blancs is unusual in Ambonnay, where Pinot plays the leading role. Coutier’s NV presents an intriguing combination of the richness that is typical of Ambonnay married to deep, expressive varietal Chardonnay fruit. Smoke, ash and crushed rocks are all layered into the energetic, vibrant finish. This is a flat-out delicious, utterly joyous Champagne from Coutier. Disgorged May 2012. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2017.”

Savart Calliope Extra Brut 2007 ($79.95) $59 special, 4 bottles available      

Savart L’Accomplie Brut NV ($54.95) $41.90 special, 8 bottles available      

Savart L’Annee Extra Brut 2009 ($69.95) $51.90 special, 11 bottles available 

Selosse Initial Blanc De Blancs NV ($219.95) $189 special, 2 bottles available 

Vilmart Brut Grand Cellier 1er Cru NV ($79.95) $59 special, 1 bottle available 
Stephen Tanzer 93 points “(70% chardonnay and 30% pinot noir, with 2009 as the base and some 2008 and 2007 wine; disgorged September, 2011): Light,bright gold. Heady, complex scents of poached pear, vanilla, anise and pungent flowers. Fleshy but focused and pure, offering vanilla-accented orchard fruit and lemon curd underscored by chalky minerality. Finishes long and toasty, with lingering florality and noteworthy clarity.”

Vilmart Brut Grand Cellier D’Or 2006 1.5L ($279.95) $219 special, 2 magnums available
Wine Advocate 93 points
 “The 2006 Brut Cuvee Grand Cellier d’Or is a striking wine endowed with tons of class and sheer depth. It shows considerable power in its freshly cut flowers, spices and rich Chardonnay fruit. All of the aromas and flavors build effortlessly to a creamy finish layered with smoke, minerals and ash. This is a fabulous wine in every way, but it will require at least a few more years in bottle. The 2006 is 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir from Les Blanches Voies Bas. The wine spent 10 months in barrel and a total of four years on its lees.”

Vilmart Coeur De Cuvee Brut 2003 ($169.95) $119 special, 8 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 94 points
 “Light yellow. White peach, quinine and jasmine on the nose and in the mouth, complicated by suggestions of exotic fruits and vanilla bean. Highly concentrated but lithe as well, offering a wild combination of richness and energy, with a dusty mineral component contributing to the wine’s incisive character. Closes sappy and extremely long, leaving smoke, vanilla and floral notes behind. Graceful and lively for the vintage, with the balance to age.”

Vilmart Cuvee Rubis Brut NV ($84.95) $69 special, 22 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
 “90% pinot noir and 10% chardonnay): Bright, orange-tinged pink. Sexy, high-pitched aromas of blood orange, strawberry, potpourri and minerals; smells like an elegant, stony red Burgundy. Dry and precise, with very good depth and focus to its sappy red fruit, orange zest and floral flavors. Shows a touch of vanilla on the impressively long, clinging finish, with the strawberry note repeating.”    

Vincent Couche Blanc De Blancs Nacre X-Brut ($59.95) $49 special, 10 bottles available      

Vincent Couche Brut 2002 1.5L ($119.95) $79 special, 14 magnums available 

Vincent Couche Brut 2002 ($59.95) $49 special, 8 bottles available      

Vincent Couche Brut Rose ($59.95) $49 special, 6 bottles available      

Vouette et Sorbee Cuvee Fidele Extra Brut NV ($79.95) $59 special, 23 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 94 points
 “The Extra Brut Fidèle bursts from the glass with an exciting melange of aromas and flavors. The Pinot is very much alive in the glass in a rich, textured Champagne loaded with class and elegance. Dried pears, marzipan, dried flowers and licorice flesh beautifully. This striking wine from Vouette et Sorbée is oozing with personality.”

Vouette et Sorbee Saignee De Sorbee 2010 ($109.95) $89 special, 8 bottles available       
2010 Base Vintage