Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 50

YEAR'S BEST CHAMPAGNES
from a perpetual reserve he began in 2004.
The wine is cool and rich, with briskness in
the bubbles and in the buzz of gentle acidity
that lends a chalky abrasion to the finish. Its
focus and length make it a refreshing companion to grilled fish.

apple orchard. The structure is austere, with
tense acidity leading through an elegant finish. Skinny for now, this will grow ample and
accommodating with bottle age.

J. L A S S A L L E

Récoltant-Manipulant in Villers-Marmery
(Montagne de Reims); founded in the 1920s;
owns 23 acres: 90% chardonnay, 10% pinot
noir; average vine age: 35+ years; oldest
vines: 60+ years. Vigneron: Arnaud Margaine; 5,833 cases produced. § Imported by
Skurnik Wines & Spirits, NY
279449

Récoltant-Manipulant in Chigny-les-Roses
(Montagne de Reims); founded in 1942; owns
40 acres: 48% pinot meunier, 22% pinot noir,
30% chardonnay; average vine age: 50 years.
Vigneron: Angéline Templier; 10,000 cases
produced. § Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine
Merchant, Berkeley, CA
279394

91 | J. Lassalle

$57

Champagne 1er Cru Préférence Brut ^
With an emphasis on pinot meunier (close
to 60 percent), this wine shows the richness
of its long aging on the lees in toasty notes
and creamy textures. Its fresh cider-apple
fruit lasts, brightening the wine's line of
chalky acidity to focus on a creamy chicken
vol-au-vent.

LILBERT-FILS
Récoltant-Manipulant in Cramant (Côte des
Blancs); founded in 1746; owns 8.6 acres of
chardonnay; average vine age: 45 years; oldest vines: 84 years. Vigneron: Bertrand Lilbert; 2,300 cases produced. § Imported by Vintage '59 Imports, Washington, DC
279238

92 | Lilbert-Fils

$123

2013 Champagne Grand Cru à Cramant
Blanc de Blancs ^ Chardonnay from a small
parcel of vines planted in 1936 takes this
wine's chalky power toward the intensity
more typical of a red wine. Lilbert blends it
with fruit from a parcel higher up the hill,
facing east. They come together in a vinous
chardonnay, the smokiness of the chalk
implying the blush of red you might find on
the meat of a lobster claw, or the silvery red
of tuna belly sashimi, either of which would
accompany the mouthwatering complexity
of this wine. Decant it if you open the bottle
now; better to let it rest in the cellar for a
few years.
279236

92 | Lilbert-Fils

$66

Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs ^
Bertrand Lilbert makes this wine from the
first pressing of the fruit he grows at estate
parcels in three Côte des Blancs villages. It's
a blend of three vintages aged three years on
the lees. The fragrance is gingery, with the
springtime scent of blossoms in an heirloom50

WINE & SPIRITS

DECEMBER 2020

A. MARGAINE

90 | A. Margaine

$49

Champagne Le Brut (Best Buy) ^ As cool and
brisk as this wine is in its structure, almost
severely dry, it also has a compressed richness that brings to mind lemon custard, suggesting the direction the wine may take with
further bottle age. If you open it now, give it
some time in a decanter and then serve with
roast halibut.

PIERRE MONCUIT
Récoltant-Manipulant in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger
(Côte des Blancs); founded in 1889; owns
49.42 acres of chardonnay; average vine age:
50 years; oldest vines: 90 years. Vignerons:
Nicole Moncuit, Valérie Charpentier; 15,000
cases produced. § Imported by Polaner Selections, Mount Kisco, NY
279429

93 | Pierre Moncuit

$50

Champagne Grand Cru Delos Blanc de
Blancs (Best Buy) ^ Moncuit's wines are all
from single villages and single years-this
one from the family's parcels in Le Mesnilsur-Oger and the 2016 vintage. Fermented
spontaneously in stainless steel, it is markedly tense and holds a lot of energy in its
structure, even though it underwent malolactic conversion. There's an elegant earthiness in its spring-meadow scent, like Queen
Anne's lace, and a note of green tea that
extends through flavors of lemons and tangy
orange. Cool and refreshing.
279428

90 | Pierre Moncuit

MOUSSE FILS
Négociant-Manipulant in Cuisles (Vallée de
la Marne); founded in 1923; owns 26 acres:
85% pinot meunier, 12% pinot noir, 3% chardonnay. Vigneron: Cédric Moussé; 7,083
cases produced. § Imported by Skurnik Wines
& Spirits, NY
279396

90 | Moussé Fils

$51

Champagne L'Or d'Eugène Perpétuelle
Brut Blanc de Noirs ^ This wine's firm mineral toughness and potent fizz could use a
decant to bring out its pale litchi flavors. The
light tannins of red grapes deepen the vegetal
savor, to match a cauliflower curry.

M O U TA R D P E R E & F I L S
Négociant-Manipulant in Buxeuil (Côte des
Bar); founded 1927; owns 57 acres: 60% pinot
noir, 25% chardonnay, 5% arbanne, 5% petit
meslier, 2.5% pinot blanc, 2.5% meunier;
average vine age: 35 years; oldest vines: 68
years. 46,000 cases produced. § Imported by
Polaner Selections, Mount Kisco, NY
279491

91 | Moutard Père & Fils

$45

Champagne Brut Rosé (Best Buy) ^ The
warmth of the Côte des Bars shows in the
ripeness of this pinot noir, its gentle sweetness of red-apple fruit lasting with spice.
Round and buttery, it's a bold pink rosé for
aperitifs.

FRANCIS ORBAN
Récoltant-Manipulant in Leuvrigny (Vallée
de la Marne); founded in 1929; owns 18 acres:
90% pinot meunier, 10% chardonnay; average vine age: 30 years; oldest vines: 50 years.
Vigneron: Francis Orban; 3,500 cases produced. § Imported by North Berkeley Imports,
Berkeley, CA

$50

Champagne Grand Cru Delos Extra Brut
Blanc de Blancs (Best Buy) ^ This is the same
wine as the Delos Brut Blanc de Blancs, but
with the dosage cut from seven grams per
liter to 3.5. The lower dosage changes the
structure of the wine, emphasizing the brisk
coolness and exposing the ripeness of the
fruit itself. There's a tannic chalk buzz in the
end, which would be soothed by polenta with
wild mushrooms.

279487

92 | Francis Orban

$52

Champagne Extra Brut ^ This is pinot
meunier grown in the sand and clay of the
Marne Valley. Francis Orban ferments it


https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/francis+orban+extra+brut+champagne+france

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
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 9
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Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 101
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Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 103
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 104
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover3
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover4
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