Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 49

YEAR'S BEST CHAMPAGNES
90 | Jacquesson

$100

Champagne Cuvée 743 Extra Brut ^ Cuvée
743 is based on the 2015 vintage, a blend of
fruit from Aÿ, Dizy and Hautvillers in the
Marne Valley (60 percent) and Avize and Oiry
in the Côte des Blancs. It comes together in
a fragrant apple-harvest scent, developing
notes of coriander and butterscotch as the
flavors open with air. The richness is checked
by a formidable structure, the wine lasting on
the cool feel of a limestone cave.

KRUG
Négociant-Manipulant in Reims; founded
in 1843; owns 50 acres. Cellarmaster: Julie
Cavil. § Imported by Moët Hennessy USA, NY
279286

97 | Krug

$299

Champagne 24th Edition Rosé ^ Edition
24 of Krug Rosé is based on the 2012 vintage, and the exceptional harvest shows in
the delicacy and evenness of the wine. This
takes time to show its complexity, but the
depths are there in the fragrance of roses
and the subtle thorn of acidity, in the woodland mushroom savor, the savory strawberry
pastry and the notes of raspberry ganache.
When Krug Rosé hits, it is one of the most
beautiful wines you'll find in Champagne.
This edition wraps the flavors of a grand cru
Burgundy into a delicate essence, with freshness and energy to spare. Luxurious, buzzing with floral notes of fraises des bois and
tannins that structure and frame the flavors
while remaining virtually imperceptible, this
offers up its pleasures for days and will continue to thrive for years in the bottle.
279506

95 | Krug

$1,050

2006 Champagne Clos du Mesnil Brut
Blanc de Blancs ^ The Krug brothers purchased this ancient walled vineyard in 1971,
its 4.5 acres of chardonnay adjacent to the
village church in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. In
2006, the early summer heat that benefited
the vines led to significant rains in August;
rot might have been a problem had the sun
not returned to finish ripening the grapes,
readying Clos du Mesnil for harvest by the
middle of September. The wine is more structured than most from the vintage, the oak
fermentation of the base wine evident in
the luscious litchi richness up front, turning
toward elegant gingerlike freshness as the
wine coasts into a creamy-brisk memory of
the Côte des Blancs.
279285

95 | Krug

$160

Champagne Grande Cuvée 168th Edition ^
Julie Cavil based Edition 168 on the 2012
vintage, including 42 percent reserve wines
in the blend. If you love Grande Cuvée, this
is an edition not to be missed. Rose scents
power the wine's red-fruit tones, the firm
berry essence layered with white and yellow
notes of lemon meringue and fresh vanilla
bean. Through all the depth of flavor, Champagne's limestone continues to resonate, the
rich oceanic compression of fossilized oyster
shells opening to a lively mineral breath in
the end.

JEAN LALLEMENT ET FILS
Récoltant-Manipulant in Verzenay (Montagne de Reims); founded in the 1940s; owns
ten acres: 80% pinot noir, 20% chardonnay;
oldest vines: 40+ years. Vigneron: Jean-Luc
Lallement; 1,667 cases produced. § Imported
by Skurnik Wines & Spirits, NY
279447

91 | Jean Lallement et Fils

$51

Champagne Brut ^ This is a meaty pinot
noir-based Champagne (80 percent of the
blend, with 20 percent chardonnay, all of it
from Verzenay and Verzy, grand cru villages
in the Montagne de Reims). A tingle of whiteraspberry acidity frames the wine's richness,
along with dark spice tones of cardamom and
cumin that place it with the ginger-and-pork
depths of a finely crafted ramen broth.

P. L A N C E L O T - R O Y E R
Récoltant-Manipulant in Cramant (Côte
des Blancs); founded in 1960; owns 12 acres
of chardonnay; average vine age: 40 years;
oldest vines: 50 years. Vigneron: Michel
Chauvet; 2,500 cases produced. § Imported by
North Berkeley Imports, Berkeley, CA
279496

93 | P. Lancelot-Royer

$94

2012 Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de
Blancs Brut ^ Silken in its youthful lime flavors, evocative of the fossilized oyster shells
in the chalk soils of Cramant, this is a wine
of both generosity and clarity. Like all of
Michel Chauvet's wines, it is stainless-steel
fermented with ambient yeasts and riddled
by hand. Long aging on the lees has taken
its ripe apple flavors toward brioche, even as
those fruit flavors still feel primary. This wine
has a long life ahead.

279494

92 | P. Lancelot-Royer

$62

91 | P. Lancelot-Royer

$65

Champagne Grand Cru Cuvée des Chevaliers Blanc de Blancs Brut ^ This chardonnay
from the chalk soils of Cramant has the fresh
floral scent of buttercups, and equally fresh
ripe-apple notes. It's a wine of formidable
structure and tension, yet with the saline cut
to take on oysters.
279495
Champagne Grand Cru Cuvée des Chevaliers Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature ^ While
this wine's texture is plump, its flavors are dry
and austere-firm apple flesh and autolytic
notes of smoky, toasty lees. It was too lean
for some of our panelists, but the contrast of
the roundness and the dryness appealed to
others, and would even more so if there were
chilled oysters nearby.

LARMANDIER-BERNIER
Récoltant-Manipulant in Vertus (Côte des
Blancs); founded 1970; owns 44.5 acres:
90% chardonnay, 9% pinot noir, 1% pinot
gris; average vine age: 37 years; oldest vines:
80+ years. Vignerons: Pierre and Arthur Larmandier; 14,000 cases produced. § Imported by
Polaner Selections, Mount Kisco, NY
279493

93 | Larmandier-Bernier

$88

92 | Larmandier-Bernier

$63

2013 Champagne 1er Cru Terre de Vertus Non Dosé Blanc de Blancs ^ This is the
estate's signature wine, a selection from two
midslope vineyards in Vertus, biodynamically grown, spontaneously fermented in oak
casks-a naked chardonnay from the Côte
des Blancs. It tastes like an oyster pulled from
the cold ocean-salt, flesh and mineral-
that brininess fattened up by white-nectarine intensity, the wine lasting on lemon and
chalky freshness.
279492
Champagne 1er Cru Longitude Extra Brut
Blanc de Blancs ^ Pierre Larmandier blends
this wine from his biodynamically farmed
vineyards running along a north-south axis
in the Côte des Blancs. He ferments it with
ambient yeasts in a mix of old foudres and
neutral barrels, later blending in 40 percent
WINE & SPIRITS

DECEMBER 2020

49


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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
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 7
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 8
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Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover3
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover4
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