2011 Masters of Wine Champagne Tasting

San Francisco, CA
Tasted Monday, September 26, 2011 by BrandrB with 593 views

Introduction

Another fantastic Champagne tasting hosted by the Institute of Masters of Wine!

This was my third consecutive year attending the annual MW Champagne Tasting – which has now become my favorite wine tasting event of the year. More than 75 Champagnes were available for tasting, divided into five groupings (Blanc de Blancs, non-vintage, vintage, rosé, and demi-sec). In total, I was able to taste more than 50 Champagnes. In general, the quality of wines available was phenomenal – especially among the vintage Champagnes offered, almost all of which were of outstanding quality.

My wines of the night were the 1995 Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires (95pts), 2002 Moët & Chandon Don Pérignon (94pts) and 2002 Vilmart Coeur de Cuvée (94pts). The evening’s best values included the 2000 Charles Heidsieck Brut Millésimé, 1998 Henriot Brut Millésimé, and the non-vintage Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut.

Many thanks again to everyone who volunteered their time to host this event, and to the generous distributors and importers who helped provide many of these fantastic Champagnes.

Flight 1 - Blanc de Blancs (10 Notes)

favorite: 1995 Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires
best value: 2006 Pierre Gimonnet Blanc de Blancs Gastronome

  • 2004 Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut 89 Points

    France, Champagne

    Light yellow color. Lemon nose with a touch of yeastiness. Medium bodied crisp citrus lemon/lime palate. Nice vibrant character – very fresh throughout. Medium length finish. Good value. Solid all-around!

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Pierre Gimonnet Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut Cuis 1er Cru 87 Points

    France, Champagne

    May 2010 disgorgement, predominantly 2007 base. Light yellow color with a massive mousse. Light nose but showing some apple and minerality. Apple and lemon profile continues with a great mouthfeel but a medium-short finish. Just a bit unfocused and young on the whole, but I suspect just a little more time in the bottle will do this Champagne well.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2006 Pierre Gimonnet Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut Gastronome 90 Points

    France, Champagne

    My first 2006 vintage Champagne, and my favorite Gimonnet of the 2011 Masters of Wine tasting. Pale yellow color. Tiny bubbles. Beautiful nose boasting floral citrus aromas and a chalky minerality. Medium-full bodied citrus, doughy, mineral palate with a nice acidity. Medium-long finish. Good QPR. Great character – drinking fantastically for such youth; this is something worth watching.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2004 Pierre Gimonnet Champagne Special Club 89 Points

    France, Champagne

    Pale yellow color. Fruit focused enticing nose with lemon citrus and orchard aromas. Medium-bodied palate: lemon, apricot, vegetal and spice flavors. A softer creamy mouthfeel with a good mousse. Medium length finish. The most interesting Gimonnet of the tasting – showing terrific complexity. Great potential. Hold for now.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Alfred Gratien Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut 89 Points

    France, Champagne

    Surprisingly, this is the first time I’ve tasted a blanc de blancs from Alfred Gratien – one of my favorite underappreciated and down-to-earth Champagne houses. Light yellow color. Lemon citrus bready nose. Lemon, apple, toast, and nuts on the relatively crisp medium-bodied palate. Medium-long finish. I still prefer the regular non-vintage Alfred Gratien Brut but for what the Blanc de Blancs offers it’s a great value and certainly of high quality. Again, not surprising given my other experiences with Alfred Gratien.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 1995 Charles Heidsieck Champagne Blanc des Millénaires 95 Points

    France, Champagne

    Golden color. Tiny bubbles. Rich toasty, yeasty, roasted nuts aromas. Full-bodied lemon, spice, biscuity, mineral palate. Long finish. A phenomenally powerful, yet balanced, wine. A relatively good bargain for vintage Champagne of this character. Once again, for the third year in a row at the Institute of Masters of Wine tasting, one of my favorites and a very strong contender for wine of the night. Incredible!

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Henriot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut 87 Points

    France, Champagne

    Slightly disappointing. Light yellow color. Nice nose showing a little bit of intriguing musty yeasty funk. Medium-light bodied palate showing apples and a light minerality but falls a bit short mid-palate. Needs more acidity. Medium length finish. Overall, a touch unbalanced and underwhelming; surprising given my previously good experience with other Henriot labels – even the less expensive Brut Souverain is a more polished ensemble.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2004 Philipponnat Champagne Grand Blanc 91 Points

    France, Champagne

    Premier and Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs. Light golden color. Beautiful nose – very expressive doughy citrus aromas. Medium-full bodied palate: lemon citrus, mineral, and light bready flavors. Seemingly light dosage. Medium-long finish. Excellent!

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 1999 Pol Roger Champagne Blanc de Blancs 93 Points

    France, Champagne

    Beautiful! Light golden color with a beautifully rich nose: lemon citrus, apple, roasted nuts, light toast. Full bodied palate: lemon, apple, and mineral profile with firm citrus backbone. Long finish. Superb – a fantastic Blanc de Blancs and amongst my favorite Champagnes of the entire MW tasting.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Varnier-Fanniere Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut Grand Cru 88 Points

    France, Champagne, Avize, Champagne

    Avize grower Blanc de Blancs. Light golden color. Apple, lemon citrus nose. Medium bodied palate: apple, citrus, and chalk. Medium long finish. Pheonominal QPR. A new Champagne house for me – very enjoyable overall.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 2 - Non-Vintage (14 Notes)

favorite/best value: N.V. Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut

  • NV L. Aubry Fils Champagne Brut 86 Points

    France, Champagne

    2011 disgorgement, 2008 base. Medium yellow color with medium sized bubbles. Apple nose. Bright medium-bodied dominated by tart apple flavors with some supporting toastiness and minerality. Lively acidity. Medium length finish. A decent enough value for a fresh, fruit-driven, and expressive non-vintage Champagne.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Réserve 90 Points

    France, Champagne

    Light golden color. Biscuity apple aromas. Medium-full bodied palate: apple, lemon, minerals, and a light almond nuttiness. Medium-long finish. Good value – though the price has gone up and the quality slight down a bit over the past few years. Nonetheless, still one of my benchmarks for non-vintage Champagne!

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Bollinger Champagne Special Cuvée Brut 92 Points

    France, Champagne

    Wow! This continue to absolutely amaze me in terms of QPR. Golden color. Rich toasty, spicy, citrus nose. Medium-full bodied palate: apple, lemon, minerals, nuts and spice. Medium-long finish. Phenomenal character throughout. Likely the best non-vintage Champagne I’ve tasted all year and my favorite non-vintage of the MW tasting.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Chartogne-Taillet Champagne Cuvée St. Anne 90 Points

    France, Champagne

    March 2011 disgorgement, 2007 base from Alexandre Chartogne. 60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir. Deep yellow color showing medium sized bubbles. Expressive nose: apple, spice, and nuts. Medium-full bodied citrus/apple palate with a substantially spicy backbone. Medium length finish. Young but with great potential for a non-vintage.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Henri Goutorbe Champagne Cuvée Prestige 88 Points

    France, Champagne, Aÿ, Champagne

    Light yellow color. Light yeasty, bready, citrus nose. Medium-bodied palate: apple, brioche, and a light minerality. Well balanced acidity. Good medium-long finish. Decent QPR. Very pleasant overall.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Alfred Gratien Champagne Cuvée Paradis 92 Points

    France, Champagne

    Exceptional – the best I’ve tasted yet of this label! Light golden color. Full nose: biscuity, nutty, spicy citrus aromas. Medium-full bodied palate: spicy citrus profile with a hint of that signature Alfred Gratien oakiness. Medium-long rich creamy finish. I suspect this was a young bottle but it’s drinking wonderfully right now. My only criticism remains it’s relative value – or lack thereof – when compared against the entry-level Brut Classique available for a fraction of the price. Nonetheless, that’s more of a praise of the Classique than a criticism of the Paradis as this is a truly remarkable wine from a consistently excellent producer!

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Charles Heidsieck Champagne Brut Réserve 91 Points

    France, Champagne

    2009 disgorgement. Light golden color. Rich yeasty, biscuit, apple aromas. Complexly layered palate with flavors of baked apple, lemon, spice, roasted nuts, and minerals all presented in a full, though elegant, style. Medium-long finish. The price continues to climb (not too long ago this could be readily found for under $35), but this remains a highly consistent Champagne offering a fantastic value if you enjoy this fuller style..

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Henriot Champagne Brut Souverain 88 Points

    France, Champagne

    Light golden color. Doughy citrus nose. Medium-full bodied palate: green apple and lemon citrus with a light minerality. Good structure and balance. Medium length finish that leaves the taster wanting more. Great QPR. Excellent overall.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Jean Lallement Champagne Brut Grand Cru 88 Points

    France, Champagne, Verzenay, Champagne

    80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay. Bright yellow color. Rich and intriguing nose: red cherry and citrus with a subtly earthiness. Heavy Pinot-dominated palate: ripe red berries, apple, mineral, and some interesting burnt floral notes. Medium length finish slightly leaning towards the sweeter side. A great value with much to contemplate, though a little rough around the edges in a positive sense.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Perrier-Jouët Champagne Grand Brut 86 Points

    France, Champagne

    Medium yellow color. Yeasty apple nose. Medium bodied apple and lemon palate with ample acidity. Crisp medium length finish. Good, somewhat lacking in character and quite simple for Perrier-Jouet, but a fine an entry-level Champagne overall.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Pehu Simonet Champagne Brut Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru 89 Points

    France, Champagne, Verzenay, Champagne

    Excellent! 100% Verzenay Pinot Noir. 2010 disgorgement. Despite being a non-vintage this is all 2007 fruit. Light golden color. Ripe red berry nose aromas. Rich fruit-driven medium-bodied palate showing ripe red apple, berries, yeast, and minerals. Medium-long finish. Excellent – my favorite Pehu Simonet of the tasting!

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Pehu Simonet Champagne Brut Selection Grand Cru 87 Points

    France, Champagne, Verzenay, Champagne

    2007 base. Medium yellow color. Fresh doughy apple/citrus nose. Medium bodied palate: tart apple and a stony minerality. Bright acidity throughout closing with a crisp medium length finish. Very good.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut 88 Points

    France, Champagne

    Deep yellow color. Yeasty lemon aromas. Medium-full bodied palate: lemon, apple, toast, and mineral. Medium-long finish. Very nice structure and balance from start to finish. Great consistency. This remains one of my benchmarks for a middle-of-the-road non-vintage Champagne; it’s really hard to beat the QPR here – this easily drinks at twice its price.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Vilmart & Cie Champagne Grand Cellier Brut 91 Points

    France, Champagne

    Outstanding! Medium yellow color. Rich spicy/toasty baked apple aromas. Medium-full bodied palate: pear, apple, spice, with hints of toasty oak. Medium-long finish. Fantastic – amongst of my favorite non-vintage Champagne of the tasting. Slightly down in quality from my last few tastings, but still a fabulous non-vintage.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 3 - Rosé (12 Notes)

favorite: 2002 Pol Roger Brut Rosé
best value: N.V. Alfred Gratien Brut Rosé

  • NV L. Aubry Fils Champagne Brut Rosé 88 Points

    France, Champagne

    Copper pink color. Smoky red fruit aromas. Nice medium-bodied palate: tart raspberries upfront, followed by red cherries, strawberries, and finally some smoky mineral notes on the medium-long finish. Much going on! A very intense and characterful non-vintage rosé.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Alfred Gratien Champagne Brut Rosé 90 Points

    France, Champagne

    Light copper color. Beautiful toasty strawberry nose. Medium-full bodied strawberry and mineral palate. Lovely light creamy mouthfeel. Medium-long finish. Fantastic value. Alfred Gratien’s entry-level Champagnes continue to impress year after year.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Charles Heidsieck Champagne Brut Rosé Reserve 91 Points

    France, Champagne

    Superb! Shares many characteristics of the equally excellent non-vintage Brut Reserve. Pale pink/yellow color. Rich toasty nose with some cherry and mineral aromas. Full bodied palate with a cherry and mineral profile followed by a spicy yeastiness. Nice complexity. Medium-long finish. Just like its non-rose sibling: an excellent value.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Henriot Champagne Brut Rosé 89 Points

    France, Champagne

    Pale pink/copper color showing medium sized bubbles. Tart strawberry aromas. Medium bodied strawberry palate with a light spiciness. Nice acidity. Medium length finish. Very nice overall – bordering on excellent.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Laurent-Perrier Champagne Cuvée Rosé Brut 88 Points

    France, Champagne

    Light pink color. Tart and sweet strawberry and floral aromas. Medium-full bodied creamy strawberry with a faint spiciness. Medium length finish. Overall, a very enjoyable non-vintage rosé, though a little too lean and sweet for my tastes.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Moët & Chandon Champagne Brut Imperial Rosé Flawed

    France, Champagne

    Corked. Moderately musty. Most definitely a flawed bottle.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Bruno Paillard Champagne Rosé Brut Première Cuvée 88 Points

    France, Champagne

    Light pink color. Light strawberry and cherry nose. Medium-bodied palate dominated by apple and strawberry flavors alongside some mineral notes towards the medium length finish. Somewhat lacking in complexity, especially for the $60/bottle price. Although many of my fellow tasters seemed to enjoy this one, and as much as I like Bruno Paillard as a whole, I’m consistently underwhelmed by their rosé.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2002 Perrier-Jouët Champagne Cuvée Fleur de Champagne Rosé 92 Points

    France, Champagne

    A beautiful rosé! Copper color. Tart cherry and citrus nose. Medium-bodied tart cherry and strawberry palate showing some nice mineral nuance on the back. Medium-long finish. Will continue to benefit from more age. One of the top rosé Champagnes I’ve tasted all year.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut Rosé Sauvage 89 Points

    France, Champagne

    Very deep pink color. Fruit-forward nose bursting of red berry and cherry aromas. Big palate: yeasty strawberry, cherry, roasted nuts, and minerals. Medium-long toasty finish. Excellent value – a top entry-level non-vintage rosé Champagne.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2002 Pol Roger Champagne Brut Rosé 93 Points

    France, Champagne

    Copper color. Lighter nose with some yeasty red berry aromas. Medium bodied palate surprises with an unexpected vibrancy. Flavors of strawberries, cherries, and what I think is olive weaved nicely together across the creamy palate. Terrific balance. Medium-long finish. Good overall value considering the potential. Fantastic quality with an intriguing character – my favorite rosé of the tasting! Hold for now.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2006 Louis Roederer Champagne Brut Rosé 87 Points

    France, Champagne

    Pale pink color. Berry/citrus nose. Medium-bodied palate with apples, strawberries, and a light minerality towards the medium length finish. Definitely a citrus-driven rosé. Quite young – my first 2006 vintage Champagne – but even still I don’t see much potential for improvement. Nonetheless, perfectly enjoyable as is.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Ruinart Champagne Brut Rosé 90 Points

    France, Champagne

    Bright pink color. Light cherry and strawberry aromas. Medium-full bodied fruity palate: tart cherries, raspberries, dried flowers, light yeast, and a nice minerality. Great balance. Medium-long finish. Excellent consistency. Remains one of my favorite non-vintage rosé Champagnes.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 4 - Vintage (16 Notes)

favorite: 2002 Moët & Chandon Dom Pérignon
best value: 2000 Charles Heidsieck Brut Millésimé

  • 2002 Bollinger Champagne La Grande Année 92 Points

    France, Champagne

    Remarkable! Light-to-medium yellow color. Yeasty citrus nose showing hints of spice. Medium bodied palate – not quite as big as previous vintages, which isn’t necessarily a criticism. Flavors of apple, citrus, biscuit, and spice abound with a nice creaminess. I’m really enjoying the spiciness in this vintage – cinnamon and nutmeg – both on the nose and palate. Medium-long finish. Terrific depth and balance throughout. Great, overall, but still quite young with definite room for further improvement. My recommendation: hold this for now and drink some of Bollinger’s spectacular non-vintage Special Cuvee at a fraction of the price while you wait.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2000 Gosset Champagne Brut Grand Millésime 91 Points

    France, Champagne

    The latest vintage: 2010 disgorgement with 10 years on the lees! Light golden color. Apple, citrus, and light mineral aromas. Beautiful rich mouthfeel with a mixture of apple and orange citrus fruits, followed by minerals and a light oakiness evidenced by some vanilla notes towards the medium-long finish. A very nice value for vintage Champagne.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2002 Henri Goutorbe Champagne Special Club 91 Points

    France, Champagne, Aÿ, Champagne

    2008 disgorgement. Light golden color. Fully yeasty, citrus nose. Medium-full bodied palate shows lemon citrus, biscuit, and mineral flavors with just a hint of red berries lurking in the background throughout. Dense but balanced. Medium-long finish.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 1998 Henriot Champagne Brut Millésimé 93 Points

    France, Champagne

    Wow – showing significant improvement in the past year. Golden color. Fantastic nose featuring smoky, spicy, doughy aromas. Medium-full bodied palate: spiced apples, citrus, dough, and roasted nuts. Medium-long lasting finish showing minerality and earthiness. Already drinking considerably better than a year ago – the drinking window is just starting to open up but still with a decade of further potential. Offering an excellent value right now for vintage Champagne – it’s really hard to find better Champagne than this for $60.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2000 Charles Heidsieck Champagne Brut Millésimé 93 Points

    France, Champagne

    A top value in vintage Champagne! Light golden color. Incredible nose! Rich, toasty, oaky aromas. Full-bodied apple, lemon, vanilla, spicy palate. Incredibly rich. Long finish. Offering a fantastic value – the one of the finest values in vintage Champagnes that I’ve come across and a mind-blowing value when priced around $60. Among my top Champagnes of the evening – rich and immensely enjoyable.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2002 Laurent-Perrier Champagne Brut Millésimé 90 Points

    France, Champagne

    Medium yellow color. Apple, pear, and yeasty aromas. Medium bodied palate: apple profile with a nice chalky minerality. Nice yeastiness throughout. Medium length finish. Will definitely benefit from a few more years of aging.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2002 Moët & Chandon Champagne Grand Vintage Brut 89 Points

    France, Champagne

    Straw yellow color. Lemon aromas with an odd lightly sulfuric component. Medium-bodied palate: tart lemon and minerals. Sharp acidity right now keeps this slightly out of balance overall. Medium-long finish. Perfectly drinkable but not worth the price of admission when so many far nicer young vintage Champagnes are on the market around the same price point. That being said, significantly better than the 2003 Grand Vintage.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 1999 Bruno Paillard Champagne Assemblage Brut 89 Points

    France, Champagne, Montagne de Reims, Champagne

    Light golden color. Nice yeasty/biscuity aromas. Medium-full bodied palate with tart citrus, red berry, mineral, and caramel flavors. Overall, sharp acidity and a little bit funky with a slightly oxidative character. Medium length finish. No doubt a very nice Champagne, but with a lackluster QPR.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2002 Perrier-Jouët Champagne Belle Epoque 92 Points

    France, Champagne

    Excellent! Light golden color. Lemon citrus and mineral nose. Medium-full bodied palate: lemon, nuts, minerals and fresh brioche. Chardonnay driven. A very elegant showing; beautiful throughout. Medium-long finish. Drinking quite well already, but with even better potential – I recommend holding for at least another 3 years.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 1998 Philipponnat Champagne Brut Clos des Goisses 93 Points

    France, Champagne

    Magnificent! Philipponnat’s single-vineyard tete de cuvee from Mareuil-sur-Ay. Rich golden color. Fully heady/sultry nose: orange citrus and spicy yeasty biscuit aromas. Full-bodied palate: apples, toast, with a spicy/ smoky mineral backbone. Long finish. Truly a remarkable Champagne and yet another reason not to rule out the 1998 vintage.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2004 Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut Millésimé 89 Points

    France, Champagne

    Light golden color. Yeasty apple nose. Medium-full bodied palate with toasty apple flavors followed with a nice minerality. Dry medium-long finish. Still quite young and with plenty of room for development, but I don’t expect this to ever truly amaze.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2002 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon 94 Points

    France, Champagne

    Stunning – the finest young bottle of Dom Perignon that I’ve tasted! Beautiful bright nose bursting with lemon citrus, yeasty, chalk, and light floral nuance. Medium-bodied palate with bright lemon and toasty mineral flavors. Nicely balanced acidity coupled with the bright fruit leads to an overall profile of youthful power with an assured promise of future elegance. Medium-long finish. Tight and young – as expected – but with truly terrific potential. Drinkable now, but doing so does this wine a disservice – needs at least another 5 years of aging and will benefit tremendously from even more time in the bottle. Significantly better than other recent Dom vintages I’ve tasted and overall this is easily the best since 1996. As much as it pains me to say… this was a very strong contender as my favorite Champagne of the tasting and is one of the best Champagnes I’ve tasted all year. Classic potential.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 1998 Ruinart Champagne Brut Millésimé 93 Points

    France, Champagne

    Golden color. Rich nose with apple and spice aromas. Medium-full bodied with apple, spice, and an earthy minerality. Medium-long lasting finish. Drinking exceptionally well right now, but a few more years in the bottle certainly shouldn’t hurt either. Surprisingly, my first time tasting this vintage of Ruinart – one of my favorite Champagne houses. Presented in a standard Champagne bottle as opposed to the vintage bottle used for all Dom Ruinart bottlings. Most highly recommended!

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2002 Vilmart & Cie Champagne Coeur de Cuvée 94 Points

    France, Champagne

    Fantastic – the finest Vilmart I’ve tasted! Oak aged from 50+ year old vines. Light golden color with medium sized bubbles. Very rich and intriguing aromas: calvados and caramel! Full-bodied palate: baked apple, spice, and oak. Very nicely balance. Long finish. Year after year Vilmart’s Coeur de Cuvee is consistently outstanding – and the 2002 vintage is no exception.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 1998 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut La Grande Dame 93 Points

    France, Champagne

    Light golden color. Full-bodied. Rich floral citrus aromas. Medium-full bodied. Lemon dominates with some supporting flavors of toast, minerals, and a light earthiness. Medium-long finish. Really starting to open up nicely. Definite improvement over the past two years, I think this is just beginning to come into its drinking window.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • 2002 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut Vintage Reserve 89 Points

    France, Champagne

    Yellow-green color with tiny bubbles. Sweet apple aromas. Medium-bodied palate with apple, citrus, and a light minerality. Fresh with a relatively high acidity. Medium-length finish. Below average QPR. Enjoyable, though somewhat unremarkable overall.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

Flight 5 - Dosé (2 Notes)

favorite/best value: N.V. Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée Sublime

  • NV Pol Roger Champagne Rich 89 Points

    France, Champagne

    Light golden color with small bubbles. Promising nose: rich aromas of honey, lemon, and spice. Dense palate of sweet apricot flavors but nicely balanced with ample acidity. Culminates with a pleasant medium-long finish. Among the finer demi-secs I’ve tasted – not exactly surprising given the producer.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

  • NV Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Cuvée Sublime Demi-Sec 89 Points

    France, Champagne

    Light golden color. Big toasty vanilla nose. Medium-full bodied palate: sweet baked apple, roasted nuts, and toast. The palate is quite rich, but superbly balance and with a beautiful mousse. Long finish. Very nice QPR for demi-sec Champagne.

    Post a Comment / Do you find this review helpful? Yes - No / Report Issue

×
×