Terry Theise Estate Selections (click to search again)

Vintage Name Variety Publication Reviewer Score More...
White - Sparkling

NV H. Billiot Fils Champagne Grand Cru Brut Cuvée Julie

Champagne Blend more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KBA-6. ($97.00) Now all ’05, and very much back in form after the rather oaky ’04. Disgorged 1/10, and more homogenous than the more complex Laetitia; a generous feet-on-the-ground mouth-filling Champagne, no sign of the ’05 “issue” but loads of generous easy strength. Saturated, satisfying, easy to “get.”
White - Sparkling

NV H. Billiot Fils Champagne Grand Cru Brut Cuvée Laetitia

Champagne Blend more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KBA-3. ($110.00) It tells you something when you consider that a 3,750-case estate produces two Têtes de Cuvée; says there’s a wine-freak at the helm who never had a marketing-thought in his life. Though it has always been majority-Chardonnay, Billiot has increased the proportions lately. Old bottlings of Laetitia (which I dearly wish I’d kept, damn it) were fathomless and sometimes inscrutable. Leviathans of vinosity, but you had to tuck in and live with a bottle for an hour or so. Not any more. What I tasted was entirely open
and forthright, with clear intensity and more Chardonnay hawthorne. It’s nowhere near “modern” but it is more up-to-date; there’s more greengage and spiciness, more scallop and saffron, and less of the funky temperament we knew (and yes, loved). This stacks up against any Champagne you’ll ever find; a true Tête de Cuvée. Wow, this is the best Laetitia I’ve yet tasted; it extends the silky transparency of the ’04 into even more raciness and incisiveness. Really by now and in the last few years this wine swings between outstanding and stellar according to time on the cork, but this 1/10 disgorgement is stunningly good, with fine measured power and high fluting brilliance. Now contains every “vintage” between 1983-2005
White - Sparkling

2004 H. Billiot Fils Champagne Grand Cru Brut Millésimé

Champagne Blend more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KBA-204. ($78.00) The ’04 is the best wine I’ve tasted from that uneven vintage, and in any vintage this would be great Champagne. Disgorged 1/10, it’s entirely more silky and buoyant; in fact as gauzy a vintage wine as I recall from here; really safrané and polenta and sweet straw. By the way, it’s not that there’s more PN in this, as some have supposed; it’s from older vineyards and the PN is stronger.
The blend is very similar to that of the N.V.
White - Sparkling

NV H. Billiot Fils Champagne Grand Cru Brut Réserve

Champagne Blend more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KBA-1. ($62.00) This 2/11 disgorgement is 50%’08 and 25% each ’07-’06; it is wincing from disgorgement and hard to read, as happened last year. It needs coaxing. The substance is clear from an Extra-Brut tasted alongside that had four months on the cork. Still, no NV Brut in all of Champagne has a better track record for excellence than this one.
Rosť - Sparkling

NV H. Billiot Fils Champagne Grand Cru Brut Rosé

Champagne Blend more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KBA-4. ($68.00) Same base as the NV Brut, with still red PN from ’04-’05. Deep color for rosé. Disgorged 1/11 and showing explosive fruit; Billiot rosé after a month in the weight-room, and even with 9-10g/l of RS it seems drier than earlier renditions. Plumper fruit perhaps? This has nowhere to go but up.
White - Sparkling

NV Chartogne-Taillet Champagne Blanc de Blancs

Chardonnay more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KCT-4. ($66.00) All 2005 (and amazingly good), from an old parcel called Heurtebises; the loveliest fruit aromas; a silky jasmine and lemon-blossom palate, cool and gauzy, Chardonnay expressed as pure fruit in a virtually weightless form, with an evanescent
talc-y finish.
White - Sparkling

2002 Chartogne-Taillet Champagne Brut Millésimé

Champagne Blend more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KCT-302. ($63.00) As always majority Pinot Noir, “from the clay sections of Merfy, which makes our roundest wines, easiest to drink early,” said Elizabeth. Though just disgorged (2/09) it was encompassingly generous and as meaty as an heirloom goose, glazed with nutmeg and apples; I mean, what wine other than Champagne can be so chunky and yet so polished at the same time?
White - Sparkling

2004 Chartogne-Taillet Champagne Brut Millésimé

Champagne Blend more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KCT-304. ($69.00) 60%PN/40%CH. The dosage for this first disgorgement is higher than Alexandre plans – but I’m not sure the wine would be better with less. It has some of the greenies of ’04; it’s exceptionally vivid and spriggy with a lot of tarragon zip. Final note pending final blend.
Rosť - Sparkling

NV Chartogne-Taillet Champagne Brut Rosé

Champagne Blend more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KCT-6. ($58.00) This is a step forward, the best rosé I’ve tasted from here, quite pure and gauzy, with balsam and rhubarb; clear yet also solid with the red-fruit anchoring one expects from rosé; it has the delicacy of Côte des Blancs rosé with more voluminous fruit. All 2007, 60%CH/40%PN by assemblage.
White - Sparkling

NV Chartogne-Taillet Champagne Cuvée St. Anne

Champagne Blend more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KCT-1. ($47.00) The crossing has been completed. No longer the soft, apples and butter wine of old (which I liked and will miss!), the new cuvée is starched, oystery and firm, with great authority and underlying richness, and a fine shimmer of saltiness on the finish, which also shows a solid deep PN note. It’s 80% ’07 and 20% ’06-’05, 60%CH/40%PN. Decidedly on the dry side.
White - Sparkling

2002 Chartogne-Taillet Champagne Fiacre

Champagne Blend more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KCT-202. ($74.00) A new disgorgement (1/10) but still not showing all its cards. It’s a high-bred critter who needs to be handled deftly. It isn’t as easy as the vintage but when it does make friends it makes a lovely friend. Sleek and filigree; orchid aromas like a great Baozhong
tea, and a gingery and minty spice; it finds its form in the glass and becomes exceptionally racy, spicy and catwalk-model insouciant. Long, penetrating, minty finish; a rare ‘02 that’s still holding back. This is an old-vines coeur de cuvée, 60/40 Ch/PN.

Cuvee Fiacre is named for Fiacre Taillet, born in the 18th century, who was the first in the family to keep records of harvests and weather conditions in Merfy. Cuvee Fiacre is a blend of two sites. The chardonnay, which makes up sixty percent of the cuvee, comes from the most famous vineyard in Merfy, Chemin de Reims. The rest of the blend is pinot noir from a site called Les Orizeaux.
White - Sparkling

2004 Chartogne-Taillet Champagne Fiacre

Champagne Blend more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KCT-204. ($78.00) Less “toppy” than the vintage, and more integrated than either the ’00 or ’02, this vibrates on a high frequency, trebly and silky but a bit arch at the moment, and needs to calm down. It has the sweet-sour spice of fusion-y desserts. There’s potential here, but this sample was clouded by flavor-static.
White - Sparkling

NV Gaston Chiquet Champagne Blanc de Blancs d'Aÿ Grand Cru

Chardonnay more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KCQ-2. ($61.00) All ’07 now, disgorged 12/10. It’s cereal-like this year, or like raw oats, cream of barley, raw rye dough; this is snappier than last year’s ’06 – obviously – and needs longer to fill itself out. But it’s not lean, just pointed, and the finish already shows a complex mélange of hay-smoke, turkey thigh meat and stock.
White - Sparkling

2000 Gaston Chiquet Champagne Blanc de Blancs d'Aÿ Grand Cru

Chardonnay more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KCQ-700J. ($579.00) This is one of only two all-Chardonnay Champagnes made from Aÿ vineyards. The vines were planted in 1935 by Nicolas’ grandfather, who may have been the first to plant Chardonnay in this bastion of Pinot Noir. The first time I tasted it I got a lesson in terroir I haven’t forgotten. There was an aroma I’d come to associate with other Aÿ influenced Champagnes, Gosset, Bollinger, a couple of small growers I know, an Aÿ aroma that actually overcame the Chardonnay aroma. Fruit runs to quince rather than Chardonnay-apple.
White - Sparkling

2002 Gaston Chiquet Champagne Brut

Chardonnay more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KCQ-302. ($65.00) Disgorged 7/09. Ah, here it is at last. The fragrance is pure Pinot Noir; blueberry and grape-hyacinth; a chewy, vinous being, huckleberry; density and solidity, a highly specific, wine-like Champagne, as far from the commercial as you can imagine.
White - Sparkling

2003 Gaston Chiquet Champagne Brut

Chardonnay more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KCQ-303. ($68.00) Well now – an ‘03! By Nicolas’ standards this is ruggedly expressive PN (always at least 60%PN in this cuvée) along with
almost plump Chard, but this is perhaps the most refined ’03 I’ve tasted. It shows the vintage by its clipped abrupt finish, but it isn’t ungainly or heavy-footed, and the Chard is a thick skull of power. But it’s not in the least freaky, but rather an extreme within the mean. Disgorged 12/6/10.
White - Sparkling

NV Gaston Chiquet Champagne Cuvée de Réserve Brut

Champagne Blend more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KCQ-5. ($68.00) The same varietal blend as the basic NV, but much older and more tertiary, as was the intent. 13% ’01, 6% ’02, 3% ’98 and 78% ’04, disgorged 12/10. Funny how the same RS as in the regular NV seems sweeter in this more mature assemblage. A lovely 2nd-stage Champagne that’s currently held back by a phenolic nip, but time on the cork will help.
White - Sparkling

2000 Gaston Chiquet Champagne Spécial Club 1er Cru

Champagne Blend more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KCQ-400. ($74.00) A new disgorgement 7/09; as always it shows its meso-terroir, and now its evolving a deep green pool of sorrel and balsam and green tea to go with the talc and chalk and mirabelle and pistachio and apple-beignet; it’s showing the embryo of its mature flavor (as many 2000s do), and a Chablis-like brothiness. Often this wine strikes me as comparable to Clos de Goisses, albeit not as splendid. But it’s pure terroir, not about the proportions
of the varieties.
White - Sparkling

2002 Gaston Chiquet Champagne Spécial Club 1er Cru

Champagne Blend more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KCQ-402. ($74.00) Disgorged 1/11. Worth the wait, but….go on waiting. At this very moment the 2000 is the better drink. That will change. The great ’02 aromas creep out of the disgorgement fog and the mid-palate has a liqueurous essence-of-Champagne umami; it’s coiled like a raw croissant, and with air it’s like the instant you detect it baking – aaahhh! The finish is solid and potentially profound. Interesting that these late-released ‘02s from Nicolas and Didier Gimonnet are so backwards, when most of the vintage was so precocious and forthcoming.
White - Sparkling

NV Gaston Chiquet Champagne Tradition Brut 1er Cru

Chardonnay more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KCQ-1. ($52.00) Now 80% ’07 and 20% ’06, disgorged 8/10, 35%CH/45%PM/20%PN, from Hautvillers, Dizy and Mareuil. Nothing new to say except to observe how well this manages the base ’07 – and to note it’s a year older than most growers’ NVs. It is, as always, polished, perfect down-the-middle Champagne; articulate and focused and charming.
Rosť - Sparkling

NV René Geoffroy Champagne Blanc de Rose Extra Brut

Champagne Blend more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KRG-13. ($122.00) Welcome to this exciting newcomer! It’s a Rosé with white and red grapes co-macerated, all ’08, disgorged 2/10, 58% CH and 42%PN, much drier than the “regular” Rosé – and the wine is superb; limpid, complex, detailed, spectral breakdown of citrus, flower, corn chips (!), cool forest herbs (wood sorrel, chervil) and a long, quintessentially Champagne finish. Quite the maiden voyage. And Jean-Baptiste envisions a longeraged version eventually.
White - Sparkling

2005 René Geoffroy Champagne Empreinte Brut Premier Cru

Champagne Blend more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KRG-205. ($62.00) n/a
White - Sparkling

2006 René Geoffroy Champagne Empreinte Brut Premier Cru

Champagne Blend more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KRG-206. ($66.00) Disgorged 2/11, and will ship soon. It’s the best version of this wine in many years. 76%PN – 10%PM – 14%CH – all ’06, 78% in wood, and 54% malo, interestingly! A fetching, appealing fragrance; it has the roundness of ’06 and the pork-belly smokiness of Cumières. But the best ‘06s have a chalky-fennely side I didn’t anticipate. This is a very dry Champagne that gives a warmly generous pleasure, while still being scrupulously detailed.
White - Sparkling

NV René Geoffroy Champagne Expression Brut Premier Cru

Champagne Blend more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KRG-11. ($56.00) This used to be a party-girl kind of Champagne, easy to have fun with, and so you were surprised to learn she was a straight-A student. Following the cheesy metaphor, now she’s in grad school and discovered that to maintain her grades she had to party a lot less. Basically, the wine has completed a transformation to something More Serious. Now 30% ’07 and 70% ’08, or rather, soon to be. What we’re currently selling is a 10/10 disgorgement that’s still cheerful and swank. This new guy is awaiting a final decision as to its dosage. It had three grams less than the current wine. It “worked” in its drier form, but in a significantly different way; still doughy and shiitake-ish but markedly more….call it masculine.
White - Sparkling

2000 René Geoffroy Champagne Extra Brut

Champagne Blend more

Terry Theise Estate Selections

, Terry Theise
2011 Champagne Catalog (6/1/2011)
KRG-600. ($122.00) 30% PN and 70% Chardonnay, all done in cask, no malo, no cold-stabilizing, no filtration, one fining. I have to say this is the best bone-dry Champagne I’ve tasted; it has a tremendous swell of inside-sweetness; it’s an overall crescendo in fact, of authority and delineation, of solid yet slippery length; very sweet brioche, and San Daniele prosciutto over a silvery gurgle of spring-water freshness. It was equally and differently good with ten grams of RS; you taste the wood more, and it’s a wee bit less fresh overall, but still wonderful. Then going back to zero (which usually puts the hurt on your palate) and zero still works. Now it’s a year later and the wine was bottled with 2 g.l. RS. It’s as profound as a very
dry wood-aged Chamnpagne can be; has a feel between great bottles of Tarlant and those late-disgorged Jacquessons; magnificently smoky, mossy, sorrel-y; it tastes like the label looks – platinum on black, without the “coloring” of sweetness. It’s a country gentleman living a life of gravitas and kindness. He doesn’t say he loves you but you know he does. It will be disgorged in April and sold in October. I saw a prototype disgorged 2/10 with 2g rs, and the greatness of the vintage is clear. I pleaded for more rs, not a lot, somewhere
between 7 and 10, as befits a grand vintage meant to be laid down. But this is contrary to the zeitgeist, in which the words “Extra Brut” are seen as a marker of Great Seriousness. Whereas what they too often signify is a lost opportunity, taking what might have been actually great Champagne and eviscerating it into something merely admirable and dour.
  • Reviews: 106 /
  • Wines: 106

Loading wine details...
loading

×
×