Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 48

YEAR'S BEST CHAMPAGNES
93 | Philippe Glavier

$58

93 | Goutorbe-Bouillot

$65

Champagne Grand Cru La Grâce d'Al-
phaël Extra Brut (Best Buy) ^ Philippe and
Véronique Glavier have assembled a small
estate in the Côte des Blancs. This chardonnay, fermented in stainless steel, is based
on the 2016 vintage, with 23 percent from
reserves. It's a wine of rich intensity in the
middle, then lasting delicacy in the end, delicious in its ripe pineapple spice and toasty
pine-nut savor. A pure expression of Côte des
Blancs Champagne.

Champagne Noir Coteaux Brut ^ This wine
is a blend of 16 vintages, from 2000 to 2015,
held in a solera where the mix is 80 percent
pinot noir, 20 percent chardonnay. The
reserves shade its flavors in dappled light; its
fruit richness melds with minerality to give
the impression of sweet limestone. The finish is brisk and structured, ready to take on
a triple-crème cheese.

HENRI GOUTORBE

Négociant-Manipulant in Epernay (Vallée de
la Marne); founded in 1864; owns 4 acres:
50% chardonnay, 25% pinot noir, 25% pinot
meunier; Cellarmaster/Vigneron: Nicolas
Jaeger; 25,000 cases produced. § Imported by
Freixenet Mionetto USA, White Plains, NY
279339

Récoltant-Manipulant in Aÿ (Vallée de la
Marne); founded in the 1940s; owns 62 acres:
70% pinot noir, 25% chardonnay, 5% pinot
meunier. Vigneron: René Goutorbe; 15,000
cases produced. § Imported by Skurnik Wines
& Spirits, NY
279392

93 | Henri Goutorbe

$51

Champagne Cuvée Prestige Brut (Best
Buy) ^ Focused on pinot noir from Aÿ and
Mareuil-sur-Aÿ (70 percent), this wine is
based on the 2014 vintage; reserves contributed 25 percent to the final blend. It has the
rich scent of a bushel of apples in the fall,
the clean notes of lightly toasty lees only
enhancing the wine's freshness. Smoky chalk
notes and flavors of yellow cherries last, the
wine substantial enough to serve with pâté
enriched with Calvados.
279393

92 | Henri Goutorbe

$63

Champagne Brut Rosé ^ The fruit for this
wine (75 percent pinot noir, 25 percent
chardonnay) grows at the Goutorbe family's extensive holdings in Aÿ. This release is
based on the 2016 harvest, blended with 25
percent reserve wines. Daniel Osman of the
Dream Away Lodge in Becket, Mass., pointed
out that "the taste and the color match-a
pretty, golden apricot." You might also find
orange-blossom honey, Marcona almond
and undertones of chalk. It's a fleshy Champagne, one that would bring joy to a juicy
grilled sirloin burger.

GOUTORBE-BOUILLOT
Récoltant-Manipulant in Damery (Vallée
de la Marne); founded in 1911; owns 21.25
acres: 45% pinot meunier, 35% chardonnay,
20% pinot noir; average vine age: 35 years;
oldest vines: 90 years. Cellarmaster: Bastien
Papleux; Vigneron: Dominique Papleux;
3,750 cases produced. § Imported by Banville
Wine Merchants, NY
279454
48

WINE & SPIRITS

DECEMBER 2020

ALFRED GRATIEN

93 | Alfred Gratien

$125

90 | Alfred Gratien

$90

2013 Champagne Cuvée Paradis Brut ^
Bright and zesty, this wine's generous fruit
completely fills the structure imparted by
its initial barrel fermentation, with no overt
presence of oak. As the wine opens, its sweet
citrus notes of orange and Key lime gain
pithy acidity, extending the clean flavors into
a lasting finish.
279338
2007 Champagne Brut  ^ This is impressively fresh while delivering the firm grip of
oak tannins. The base wines at Gratien are all
fermented in barrels, giving this 2007 structure to hold its broad, honeyed flavors. It's a
vinous Champagne to serve at a Cantonese
seafood banquet.

MARC HEBRART
Récoltant-Manipulant in Marueil-sur-Aÿ
(Vallée de la Marne); founded in 1964; owns
37 acres: 70% pinot noir, 30% chardonnay;
oldest vines: 40+ years. Vigneron: Jean-Paul
Hébrart; 11,250 cases produced. § Imported by
Skurnik Wines & Spirits, NY
279345

93 | Marc Hébrart

$51

Champagne Cuvée de Réserve Brut (Best
Buy) ^ Mostly pinot noir (82 percent), the
balance chardonnay, this underwent its primary fermentation in glass-lined stainless
steel. Jean-Paul Hébrart based this blend on
the 2017 vintage (45 percent), with contributions from 2014 through '16, all of the fruit
from his parcels in the Marne Valley. It's a
powerful wine, almost astringent in its spice
notes of coriander and its mineral notes of
chalk. But the texture overrides any sensa-

tion of tannins, as does the ripe apple freshness, making it compelling to drink.

JACQUESSON
Négociant-Manipulant in Dizy (Vallée de
la Marne); founded in 1789; owns 72 acres:
50% chardonnay, 30% pinot noir, 20% pinot
meunier; average vine age: 25 years; oldest
vines: 60 years. Cellarmasters: Jean-Hervé
and Laurent Chiquet; Vigneron: Mathilde
Prier; 20,833 cases produced. § Imported by
Vintage '59 Imports, Washington, DC
279256

95 | Jacquesson

$311

95 | Jacquesson

$354

93 | Jacquesson

$311

2009 Champagne 1er Cru Avize Champ
Caïn ^ The Chiquet brothers began making
experimental lots of single-parcel wines at
Jacquesson in the 1990s, helping to track the
changes in their farming. With the 2000 vintage, they decided to release one of the parcel
wines-Corne Bautray-commercially, then
followed with two more from 2002. This year,
they released three 2009s, and all three are
remarkable, well worth seeking out, though
they are made in very small quantities.
Champ Caïn, from a 3.2-acre parcel of chardonnay planted in 1962, is among the most
aristocratic chardonnays we've tasted in
some time, flaunting its wealth of fresh fruit
while still holding it discreetly tight. Notes of
floral chamomile and savory almond pastry
combine with mineral richness in a lasting
flavor that keeps bringing you back for more.
279257
2009 Champagne 1er Cru Aÿ Vauzelle
Terme ^ This comes from a parcel of pinot
noir planted in 1980 in clay-limestone soils
over chalk. The fruit skins provide a delicate
pink gold to the color while the wine delivers a pure limestone-and-chalk essence of
red fruit. That immediate hit of red fruit
turns translucent, a ghost of summer raspberries and strawberries, the fresh crunch of
Asian pear, all of it lasting for minutes on the
breath, open and beautifully complex.
279255
2009 Champagne 1er Cru Dizy Corne Bau-
tray Extra Brut ^ The Chiquet brothers farm
one hectare (2.5 acres) at the top of the hill
in Dizy, a southwest-facing slope with deep
clay-rich topsoil over the chalk to help sustain the chardonnay vines, planted in 1960.
Their 2009 has the floral character of fresh
chamomile, with bold apple crispness even
as the wine's texture is elegant and lithe. It's
a sunny, fragrant expression of chardonnay
with a clear terroir signature.
279253



Wine & Spirits - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - December 2020

Contents
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover1
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 1
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 2
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Contents
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 4
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 5
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 6
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Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover3
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover4
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