Showing 1–12 of 41 results

  • A.R. Lenoble Chouilly Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs 2008

    £79.99

    “The A R Lenoble 2008 Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Chouilly Brut Millésime displays a beautifully intense and golden shining citrus color. This has amazing richness and gentleness on the nose but, at the same time, delicacy, precision and finesse! This bouquet is perfectly ripe and generous but also fine and fresh, representing the chalky soils and warm microclimate of Chouilly as well as perfectly ripe and healthy fruit. Any 2008 austerity here? Negative! The attack on the palate is as fine and fresh as it is pure, piquant and aromatic. Ripe and juicy fruit flavors such as pineapples, lemons and limoncello intermix with a round and creamy but by no means bold or heavy texture that is actually marked by chalk powder and iodine flavors on the finish. In fact, this 2008 Chouilly is delicate and filigreed as well as firmly structured. To me, it is an icon wine for Chouilly, and I highly recommend it, even if only to understand the highly diverse terroirs of Champagne, even in the Côte des Blancs where Chouilly is the most northern village next to Cuis. A small part (10%) of the wine was aged in oak. The finish of the 2008 is fresh and light but also intense and persistent. This is a great vin de terroir, and to be honest, I couldn’t stop drinking it! Tasted April 2018. Drink: 2018-2030. 94 points

    There are some gorgeous cuvées to discover this year from the brother-sister team of Antoine and Anne Malssagne at Domaine AR Lenoble in Damery, Marne Valley. Especially exciting are the grand cru wines from Chouilly (Côte des Blancs), namely the 2008 Blanc de Blancs (which combines richness with finesse) and the non-vintaged single vineyard Blanc de Blancs Les Aventures that pairs its creamy richness and intensity with iodine purity and terroir-driven freshness. The recent release blends 2002 and 2006 and is simply terrific!

    However, export director Christian Holthausen is very excited about two new cuvées from the new “mag” edition—the Brut Intense “mag 14” and the Chouilly Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut “mag 14.” Both of the “mag 14” wines are based on the 2014 harvest, complemented by reserve wines from a réservé perpétuelle.

    The réservés perpétuelles ‎were started in 2001 (100% Chardonnay from Chouilly) and 2002 (Chardonnay from Chouilly and Pinot Noir from Bisseuil). Initially, they were kept in stainless steel tanks, then in small 250-liter barrels and finally in 5,000-liter wooden vats, reports Holthausen. In 2010, Antoine Malssagne removed a portion from both réserves perpétuelles, which then filled into magnums and kept them with 1.5 bar of pressure under natural corks for four years. Each bottle was subsequently uncorked by hand and the wines blended with the two “mag 14” bottlings, both of which are based 60% on the 2014 harvest and 40% on reserve wines. The final cuvées were stored in the cellar in early 2015 and disgorged after three years.

    “Climate change is a reality,” Antoine Malassagne is quoted in the corresponding press release. “The challenge for the future is to be able to bring as much freshness as possible to our reserve wines. At the end of each harvest, we observe that acidity levels are much lower than they used to be. Reserve wines now need to add complexity and richness but also freshness.”

    In a separate email to me, Holthausen said, “Keeping the reserve wines in magnums under natural cork under 1.5 bar of pressure is like a ‘mini’ secondary fermentation, so the reserve wines gain some autolytic character, but that’s not the point.” He went on to explain, “The jumping point is to keep the reserve wines fresh as long as possible. We used to need rich, heavy reserve wines in Champagne 20 years ago. However, today we need reserve wines with freshness since our base wines keep having lower acidity levels and higher pH levels year after year.”

    In fact, 2018 will be their sixth-earliest harvest on record, according to Holthausen. “Climate change is shockingly real, and the ‘mag’ concept is our way of making even better wines in the face of climate change.”

    The “mag” edition will be continued next year with the Brut Intense “mag15,” the NV Chouilly Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs “mag 15” and the NV Brut Nature Dosage Zéro “mag14.” The NV Terroirs Chouilly-Bisseuil Rosé “mag14″ will be released in 2020.”

    Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (238)

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  • Benoit Dehu Extra Brut Cuvee De L’Orme N.V. (2015)

    £119.99

    “A new wine in this range, the NV (2015) Extra Brut Cuvée Cuvée L’Orme is 100% Pinot Noir from a tiny parcel previously planted to elm trees (orme in French). Bright, focused and remarkably pure, L’Orme captures so many of the attributes that make Benoit Déhu’s Champagnes so alluring. A slight hint of reduction adds character to the Pinot fruit without being overpowering. More than anything else, though, L’Orme exudes complexity, personality and total class. I loved it. No dosage. Disgorged: April 9, 2019. Drinking window: 2020-2030. 96 points”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (12/19)

    In Stock

  • Benoit Dehu Extra Brut La Rue des Noyers N.V. (2015)

    £79.99

    “The NV (2015) Extra Brut Cuvée La Rue des Noyers speaks with real authority, and yet the 2015 is one of the more delicate versions of this cuvée so far. Time in the glass allows the wine to blossom nicely. Dried pear, smoke, herbs and dried flowers fill out the wine’s creamy frame effortlessly. Once again, the Rue des Noyers is one of the most distinctive wines in Champagne. Dosage is 1 grams per liter. Disgorged: July 2017. Drinking window: 2018-2028. 94 points

    Benoît Déhu turned out three very pretty 2015s, including the first release of his new wine, Initiation, which is a blend of Pinot Noir and Meunier. The wines are vinified in barrel and aged on their lees for about ten months, with no malolactic fermentation and bottled with minimal or no dosage.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (11/18)

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  • Benoit Dehu Extra Brut La Rue des Noyers Rose de Saignee N.V. (2018)

    £99.99

    “The NV (2018) Rosé Saignée Cuvée La Rue des Noyers is airy and weightless, but also pretty tightly wound at this stage. I would give it another 6-12 months in bottle. A whole range of savory, floral and earthy notes are pushed forward, while the expression of fruit is pretty quiet. No dosage. Disgorged: September, 2020. Drinking window: 2021-2026. 92 points

    This is a gorgeous set of wines from Benoît Déhu. There are three single-variety/single-parcel Champagnes, and the Initiation, which is a Meunier/Pinot Noir blend. Biodynamic viticulture and a minimalist approach in the cellar are the rule. Some wines are vinified and aged in oak (Rue des Noyers, Cuvée de L’Orme), which seems to add depth and texture. Malolactic fermentation is blocked and wines are bottled with no dosage. Déhu achieves fabulous balance with his wines. The 100% Pinot Noir Cuvée L’Orme is especially brilliant this year.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (11/21)

    In Stock

  • Benoit Dehu Initiation N.V. (2017)

    £66.75

    “The NV (2017) Initiation is a beautiful, exotic wine. Apricot, orange confit, hazelnut, spice and chamomile give the 2017 a decidedly exotic feel. My impression is that the 2017 will offer its best drinking sooner rather than later, as it is a bit forward, with slightly honeyed notes that start to appear over time. Initiation is a blend of 78% Pinot Noir and 22% Meunier, vinified in oak and bottled with no dosage. Disgorged: July 27, 2019. Drinking window: 2020-2025. 93 points”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (10/20)

    In Stock

  • Benoit Lahaye Millesime Grand Cru 2015

    £79.99

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Cedric Bouchard Roses de Jeanne Cote de Val Vilaine Blanc de Noirs 2018

    £84.99

    “The NV (2018) Blanc de Noirs Val Vilaine is bright, fresh and wonderfully nuanced. Orchard fruit, citrus and floral notes give the Val Vilaine so much energy. Cédric Bouchard coaxes so much nuance from these 40 year-old vines. The Val Vilaine is always the youngest wine in the range – the current release is the 2018, which spent just 15 months on its lees – but it will give readers who aren’t familiar with these wines a very good idea of the house style. Zero dosage. Disgorged: April 2020. Pinot Noir. Drinking window: 2020-2028. 92 points

    Cédric Bouchard’s 2016s are stellar. The wines are remarkable for their finesse, energy and delineation. Frost was not an issue, while the rest of the year was relatively uneventful. That effortless grace is evident in stunning Champagnes that dazzle throughout this range. As always, the wines are done in steel and bottled with no dosage, but they are never stark or austere. Meticulous work in the vineyards yields Champagnes with tremendous natural depth and intensity. Bouchard is famously stringent with his selections. There is no Creux d’Enfer Rosé in 2016. “I was not happy with the quality of the fruit in the vineyard. For me, its either yes or no. There is no ‘maybe’ in my vocabulary,” he told me.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (11/20)

    In Stock

  • Delamotte Blanc de Blancs N.V.

    £49.95

    “Disgorged in June 2018, the latest rendition of Delamotte’s NV Blanc de Blancs is showing just as well as its immediate predecessor, offering up a classy bouquet of crisp green apple, citrus oil, brioche, toasted nuts and dried white flowers. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, fine-boned and elegant, with a crisp but charming core of fruit, lively acids and a precise, saline finish. Drink: 2019-2035. 93 points

    Since its acquisition in 1988 by Laurent-Perrier, Delamotte has been twinned with Salon, one of Champagne’s most prestigious small houses. Delamotte has both gained and lost by the association: gained, in that some of Salon’s reputation has tended to rub off on Delamotte, and lost, because Delamotte is frequently portrayed—though not by the house’s team, of course—as something of a “second wine” to Salon. Though both are Chardonnay specialists emphasizing their home village Mesnil-sur-Oger, in reality, the styles are quite distinct. Delamotte’s wines undergo malolactic fermentation and, in profile, are creamier, more textural and giving, displaying an elegantly autolytic character while eschewing any extremes of Maillard-derived toastiness. Average production amounts to some 750,000 bottles per year, and the estate’s emblematic cuvées are its non-vintage and vintage Blanc de Blancs; the latter especially is a very serious wine, and recent renditions are especially good. In fact, the 2008 may be one of the more underrated wines from this superb vintage on the market, and it’s arguably this cuvée that suffers the most by Delamotte’s position in Salon’s shadow. These wines age well, and old non-vintage Delamotte can be a great bargain in the auction or brokerage market. I’m currently finishing up a case from the early 1980s from my cellar in Burgundy, and every bottle has been terrific.”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (244)

    In Stock

  • Delamotte Brut N.V.

    £35.99

    “The Delamotte NV Brut is a bright, fresh and aromatic blend of approximately 55% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir and 10% Pinot Meunier that spends 30 to 36 months on the lees prior disgorgement. The current release is based on the 2014 harvest and was disgorged in 2017. It starts with fresh, bright fruit aromas intermixed with lovely brioche and nougat aromas and a delicate Kirsch tone. Mouthfilling, fine and fresh on the palate, this is a charming but serious Champagne from one of the region’s oldest houses. Tasted from lot L63DN28917, November 2018. Drink: 2018-2024. 90 points”

    Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (11/18)

    In Stock

  • Delamotte Rose N.V.

    £53.95

    “Disgorged in June 2018, the latest release of Delamotte’s NV Brut Rosé is showing very well, offering up notes of orange rind, rhubarb, white cherries, pastry cream and brioche. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, deep and beautifully balanced, with an elegant, understated profile, superb focus and a long, delicately chalky finish. Drink: 2019-2029. 91+ points

    Since its acquisition in 1988 by Laurent-Perrier, Delamotte has been twinned with Salon, one of Champagne’s most prestigious small houses. Delamotte has both gained and lost by the association: gained, in that some of Salon’s reputation has tended to rub off on Delamotte, and lost, because Delamotte is frequently portrayed—though not by the house’s team, of course—as something of a “second wine” to Salon. Though both are Chardonnay specialists emphasizing their home village Mesnil-sur-Oger, in reality, the styles are quite distinct. Delamotte’s wines undergo malolactic fermentation and, in profile, are creamier, more textural and giving, displaying an elegantly autolytic character while eschewing any extremes of Maillard-derived toastiness. Average production amounts to some 750,000 bottles per year, and the estate’s emblematic cuvées are its non-vintage and vintage Blanc de Blancs; the latter especially is a very serious wine, and recent renditions are especially good. In fact, the 2008 may be one of the more underrated wines from this superb vintage on the market, and it’s arguably this cuvée that suffers the most by Delamotte’s position in Salon’s shadow. These wines age well, and old non-vintage Delamotte can be a great bargain in the auction or brokerage market. I’m currently finishing up a case from the early 1980s from my cellar in Burgundy, and every bottle has been terrific.”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (244)

    In Stock

  • Jacquesson Avize Champ Cain 2009

    £149.99

    “The 2009 Extra-Brut Avize Champ Gain captures an intriguing combination of the richness of the year and the clean, mineral inflections that are such signatures of Avize. All the elements are turned up a few notches. Petrol, apricot, dried flowers, orchard fruit, orange confit, honey and marzipan all develop in the glass. Even with all of its intensity, the 2009 retains striking translucence. It’s a big wine, but there is plenty of complexity too. Disgorged May 2019. Dosage is 1.5 grams per liter. Drinking window: 2020-2029. 94 points”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (08/20)

    In Stock

  • Jacquesson Cuvee No. 739 Degorgement Tardif N.V.

    £79.99

    “The NV Cuvée No. 739 Disgorgement Tardif, the 2011 edition in its second release, is a fine effort for a year that was so challenging for Champagne. Orange peel, dried flowers, hazelnut, licorice and spice are all signatures of a Champagne that is at a first plateau of maturity. I would not push my luck on aging. In 2011, Jacquesson did not bottle any lieu-dits. All the best fruit went into the 739. The blend is 57% Chardonnay, 21% Pinot Noir and 22% Pinot Meunier, with 31% reserve wines. Disgorged: June, 2020. Drinking window: 2021-2025. 90 points”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (11/21)

    In Stock