Bottles awaiting disgorgement deep below the village of Cumières.

A Connoisseur’s Cellar, Part 7 – Champagne

Share

As we've seen with the other portions of the MOCA (Mother of All Cellars), the Connoisseur has wide-ranging tastes embracing the classics in addition to the more avant-garde growers. And were one able to "have-it-all," who wouldn't want to check in with back vintages of Ulysses Collin, Jérôme Prévost, Selosse, and Vouette et Sorbée? Salut to this astute Champagne lover! John McIlwain

 

An Important Note:

These wines are in professional-quality wine storage, and we’ve just spent 3 days there inspecting every bottle in the cellar. Because of the large volume of wines they are not available for quick delivery - we can’t bring them back to the store at one time, but we expect to take them in here over the next couple of weeks. Please inquire if you have any questions about this.

  • white sparkling
  • 1 in stock
  • no discount
  • $374.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Bouchard, Cedric 2011 Champagne Roses de Jeanne Blanc de Blanc La Bolorée

In many ways Bolorée is as much an expression of Cedric Bouchard's aesthetic as it is an expression of terroir. It is made in tiny quantities from 50-year-old parcel of Pinot Blanc planted on chalk rather than the typical argilo-calcaire (clay and limestone) of the Aube. And while Pinot Blanc can be a bit vapid in some cases, Bouchard's has a taut, mineral, and nervy architecture beneath the richness of the fruit. John McIlwain  

  • white sparkling
  • 1 in stock
  • no discount
  • $164.99

  • 1 in stock
  • no discount
  • $59.99

  • 6 in stock
  • no discount
  • $79.99

  • white sparkling
  • 1 in stock
  • no discount
  • $129.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • white sparkling
  • 2 in stock
  • no discount
  • $119.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Léclapart, David NV Champagne Trépail 1er cru L'Apôtre Extra Brut

This wine is in the warehouse and will not be available for pick-up or delivery until after Labor Day.

  • white sparkling
  • 4 in stock
  • no discount
  • $129.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Maison Bérêche 2007 Champagne Côte des Blancs "Côte" disg. 01/16, 4g/l

Sourced from the grand cru village of Cramant in the Côte des Blancs, La Côte Grand Cru 2007 is beginning to display the aged character of Champagne from the famed village, a balance of mineral precision with the burnished fruit character of long aging sur latte. On the nose lemon oil, honeycomb, and brioche aromas overlay hints of seashell, and stone. The palate shows hints of halzelnut, brown butter, Seville orange, salt, and crushed herbs on a creamy, rich, rounded, finish with fine bead and good persistence. (4g/L dosage, disgorged 01/16.) John McIlwain

  • white sparkling
  • 8 in stock
  • no discount
  • $89.99

  • white sparkling
  • 1 in stock
  • no discount
  • $59.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Vouette et Sorbée 2005 Champagne Extra Brut Extrait

A new cuvée from Côtes-des Bar sensation Vouette et Sorbée is cause for celebration for lovers of pure, organic Champagnes. Extrait is a late-disgorge bottling from a single vintage, bottled without dosage. The 2005 is 70% Pinot Noir from the Sorbee vineyard by grower Bertrand Gautherot's house and 30% Chardonnay from the Biaunes vineyard where they source Blanc d'Argile. The wine has a pale gold robe and fine bead.  The nose has notes of honey, dried orange peel, fresher red-fruit,  and citrus aromas (tangerine, blood orange). The palate shows great energy, with candied orange peel, red fruit, and pungnet mineral flavors with notes of brioche and crushed herbs. Quite dry, but by no means austere, this has good mid-plate density with a hint of burnished character on the long, persistent, punchy finish. This is linear rather than broad and a makes a convincing case for aging wines from the Aube. John McIlwain

  • white sparkling
  • 3 in stock
  • no discount
  • $139.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Vouette et Sorbée 2006 Champagne Extra Brut Extrait R

This wine is in the warehouse and will not be available for pick-up or delivery until after Labor Day.

Extrait is a newly-released late-disgorged cuvée from biodynamic grower Vouette et Sorbée. The 2006 is 60% Pinot Noir 40% Chardonnay.  It has a golden robe, soft mousse, and a fine bead. The nose shows aromas of Seville orange peel, cocoa, mint, with notes of autolyse. The palate offers flavors of honeycomb, orange oil, sous-bois, and stone,  with hints of brine and broth on the broad, verging on muscular finish. This is vinous and comes off richer, perhaps more powerful still than the 2005. The long lees aging adds compelling layers of complexity to an already fascinating expression of Aube terroir. This is a essential drinking for fans of Vouette et Sorbée's Champagne!  Disgorged 5/16 and bottled without dosage. John McIlwain

  • white sparkling
  • 1 in stock
  • no discount
  • $139.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur
  • white sparkling
  • 1 in stock
  • no discount
  • $149.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • white sparkling
  • 3 in stock
  • no discount
  • $89.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • white sparkling
  • 2 in stock
  • no discount
  • $89.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur
Sorry, the Following have Already Sold
  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $89.99

Bérêche, Raphael 2006 Champagne 1er Cru Ludes Le Cran

This vintage of Bérèche's "Le Cran" is the best yet (given, there have only been three...). The most powerful of his single vineyard wines, it highlights the terroir of Ludes, where the winery is located. These are the vineyards Bérèche first farmed organically. From midslope parcels and a blend of equal parts Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the base wines are aged in old barrels and cork is used rather than capsule for the second fermentation and lees aging. In 2006 the wine is slightly more delicate, less oxidative, and more chiseled than in 2005. The nose offers fleshy orchard fruits, stones, fresh mint, and white flowers. The finish is extremely long and impressive. It's a wine that stands up to food and always reminds this drinker ever-so-slightly of a white wine from the Jura for its intense minerality and high acidity. Three thumbs up! -msb

Light golden in color and carried by gently rising beads, Le Cran begins with ripe red currants, dark mint chocolate, toffee, and honeycomb that dovetail into red and black peppercorns, smoked venison, and cinnamon sticks. The palate is dark-toned and delicious with highlights of toffee-covered hazelnuts and black plums before an anise seed, cherry cola finish (Disgorged 1/13, Dosage 3g). -David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $92.99

Bérêche, Raphael NV (2012 Base) Champagne Extra Brut Beaux Regards Chardonnay

Les Beaux Regards is a blend of two parcels of Chardonnay in Ludes on the northern slope of the Montagne de Reims planted in 1964 and 1970. The loamy clay soils produce a Champagne more vinous in character, rather than exclusively taut and chalky. The 2012 displays floral and orchard fruit aromas,  with delicate notes of spice and Meyer lemon following. The palate is distinctly mineral and racy, with overtly stony notes, cool notes of mint and lemon balm and a long tangy, expressive finish. Great energy and volume here. (Dosage 3g/l.) John McIlwain

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $69.99

  • Organic
  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $24.99

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $74.99

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $129.99

Bouchard, Cedric 2008 Champagne Blanc de Noirs Côte de Béchalin (La Parcelle) R

Formerly part of the Inflorescence lineup, La Parcelle (now Côte de Béchalin) comes from a meticulously farmed .73 hectare parcel in Celles-sur-Ource. Where previously Bouchard sold wines made by the former owner, then vinified the wines in those cellars, 2007 was the first vintage where the wines were made completely in Bouchard's cellars. While these Champagnes have seemed to have a broader palate with more exotic fruit, they maintain poise with pinpoint acidity. One can certainly enjoy this now, but some time in the cellar to further knit the elements of structure and fruit should pay off handsomely. -John McIlwain

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $109.99

Bouchard, Cedric "Vintage 2009" Champagne Roses de Jeanne Blanc de Noirs Ursules R

This Blanc de Noirs hails from the "les Ursules" vineyard, less than a hectare in the Cotes des Bars. For those unfamiliar with Bouchard's wines, he makes single variety, single vineyard, single vintage Champagnes that are singular and remarkable. Raised in stainless steel, the wines undergo a long, slow second fermentation, giving them tiny, delicate bubbles and intense vinosity. The wine is deep in color with the dense and earthy fruit of Pinot Noir. A serious wine, Bouchard recommends decanting and serving in a wine glass rather than a flute. -msb

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $89.99

Bouchard, Cedric 2010 Champagne Infloresence Blanc de Noirs Val Vilaine R

This is an extremely pretty wine with luxurious yet delicate, creamy texture and notes of red and purple fruits on the nose. There's almost a quality of raspberries and cream about the wine in spite of its dryness, cut, and lingering minerality. As is often the case with Cédric Bouchard's wines, this feels effortlessly, perfectly dry but not overly austere. The wine is from a vineyard called "Val Vilaine" in Polisy, just a few kilometers away from Celles-sur-Ource where Cédric is based. Less than 1.5 hectares, the vineyard is owned by Cédric's father but worked by Cédric himself. Trust us; you want to drink this. (disgorged April, 2012)

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $64.99

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $99.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Bouchard, Cedric 2011 Champagne Infloresence Blanc de Noirs Val Vilaine R

Inflorescence "Val Vilaine" comes from a vineyard of Pinot Noir planted in 1974. It's designed to be Bouchard's "apéritif" Champagne, more fruit forward and less concentrated and intense than the wines he labels under the Roses de Jeanne label. 2011 Inflorescence Val Vilaine is quite honeyed and tropical while still offering the blue and red berries that we loved in 2010. It's a ripe example of this wine that in some ways is better thought of as a Burgundy with bubbles! There's pronounced and delicious earthiness and limestone-y minerality to the wine's finish that we'd also say is more typical of Burgundy than Champagne. MSB

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $64.99

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $119.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur
  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $69.99

  • Organic
  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $69.99

  • Organic

Collin, Ulysses 2009 Champagne Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Les Roises R

The Chardonnay vines that go into Collin's "Les Roises" bottling are 60 years old; this is very old for Champagne vines and they suffer from two maladies called "millerandage" and "court-noué," which may contribute to the intense concentration of this wine. "Millerandage" means that the vine yields small berries of very different sizes that ripen irregularly, and "court-noué" is a disease of the vines, themselves, which results in a decline in vigor. Yet this wine is absolutely incredible and special, and probably the most age-worthy of Collin's wines because of the sheer concentration and density of the juice in the bottle. Less open at this point than the Pierrieres and more pillar-like, this is the wine to throw in your cellar for ten years or so... -msb   

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $119.99

Collin 2010 Champagne Extra Brut Blanc de Noirs Les Maillons

Olivier Collin's "Les Maillons" bottling is an arresting and unique bottle of wine. Unlike Collin's other single vineyard wines, which come from close to his winery in Congy, Les Maillons is half an hour away by car, and these 40+ year old vines are planted on dark, clay rich soil. As always with Collin's Champagnes, the grapes are harvested at low yields and very ripe, resulting in a rich, complex finished product that is packed with intense, stony flavors. Les Maillons is faintly pink in the glass, and offers vivid red fruit aromas of sour cherry, red currant, and cranberry. The wine is unapologetically dry on the palate and fleshes out with time open. Don't serve it too cold! -Sophie Barrett

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $99.99

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $119.99

Collin, Ulysses 2010 Champagne Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Les Pierrières

In a lineup of incredibly rare Champagnes, the "Pierrières" bottling is the most obtainable, and the most delicious and accessible at this stage of the game. (Read: drink this while your bottles of "Les Roises" are coming around ... ) It's also the first wine Collin made in the early 2000s. The chalk in this vineyard is quite close to the topsoil and mixed with black silex, giving the wine a spicy aromatic profile, and a rich, broad, almost Jurassic finish. The nose offers notes of white pepper and ground coriander. Though none of Collin's Champagnes are exactly giving on the palate, Pierrières has a certain generosity that makes it a joy to drink, even young and tightly coiled. A superb effort! -Sophie Barrett

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $99.99

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $51.99

  • Organic
  • Out of Stock
  • rosé sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $199.99

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $199.99

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $49.99

  • Organic
  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $59.99

  • Organic
  • Out of Stock
  • rosé sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $59.99

  • Organic

Lassaigne 2005 Champagne Blanc de Blanc Brut Nature

This wine is in the warehouse and will not be available for pick-up or delivery until after Labor Day.

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $64.99

  • Organic

Laval, Georges NV Champagne Brut Nature 1er Cru Cumières 375ml R

This wine is in the warehouse and will not be available for pick-up or delivery until after Labor Day.

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $39.99

  • Organic
  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $59.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Léclapart, David NV Champagne Trépail 1er cru L'Amateur Extra Brut

This wine is in the warehouse and will not be available for pick-up or delivery until after Labor Day.

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $59.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Léclapart, David NV Champagne Trépail 1er cru L'Artiste Extra Brut

This wine is in the warehouse and will not be available for pick-up or delivery until after Labor Day.

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $119.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Maison Bérêche 2004 Champagne Extra Brut Grand Cru "Montagne" (Verzenay) R

Another impressive bottling from Raphaël Bérêche's Crus Sélectionnés, the 2004 Montagne Grand Cru, from Verzenay on the north slope of the Montagne de Reims displays the characteristic richness of the Pinot Noir-dominated wines of the village. With a golden robe and fine mousse, the Champagne is beginning to hit a fine point of maturity. The nose balances aromas of red fruits, beurre noisette, shortbread, and stone. The palate is supple with fine flavors of dried cherry, apricots, brioche, and dried mint, leading to a detailed, persistent, mineral finish. This shows grand cru volume and length while maintaining plenty of complexity and finesse. (disgorged 01/2016, 5g/l dosage) John McIlwain

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $89.99

Marie-Courtin 2008 Champagne Extra Brut Blanc de Noirs Efflorescence

This superb, barrel matured Pinor Noir-based Champagne comes from Polisot in the Aube, where clay and limestone mark the wines, giving them a different minerality than the chalky Pinots of Bouzy and Ambonnay to the north. Rarely does the Aube's terroir sing through as vibrantly as in the wines of Dominique Moreau of Marie-Courtin. The vines that make Efflorescence are 40-ish years old, massale selected, and biodynamically farmed. This release of Efflorescence additionally benefits from the stunning 2008 vintage, a vintage that is very much felt on the palate, which is long and packed with acidity and stony mineral notes. This as a powerful, earthy Champagne that is dry, rich, and utterly delicious. -msb

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $79.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Marie-Courtin 2011 Champagne Concordance Sans Soufre

There are no two ways about it. This is a natural Champagne made from biodynamically farmed Pinot Noir and then vinified with native yeasts for both the alcoholic fermentation and the prise de mousse. Finally, the Concordance is free of any added sulfur. The Aube's warmer climate and Dominique's great farming have resulted in a Blanc de Noirs that will settle any doubts about the quality of the 2011 base vintage. Pale golden yellow in the glass and sporting a finely beaded mousse, the aromas of the Concordance are strikingly pure and vibrant with notes of ripe Cortland apples, red currants, fresh raspberries and a hint of brioche. The palate is pure with a fine minerality that carries aromas of cranberries and red plums through to a lengthy and savory finish. Beautiful Champagne! (Dosage : Zero, Disgorged : 1/2015). - David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $99.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Marie-Courtin NV Champagne Extra Brut "Résonance" R

For you lovers of bone-dry, acid and mineral driven wine, here is your next bottle of Champagne! Marie-Courtin, a small, biodynamically certified grower in the Cotes des Bars makes Pinot Noir based Champagne (this bottling is 100% Pinot Noir) with no dosage whatsoever. The grapes come from 35-40-year-old vines planted in clay and limestone soil. The wine is raised in stainless steel and everything about it is pure and laser-like. The nose is extremely stony, the palate bracing with citrusy acidity. Find some fresh, white fish such as halibut or trout, drench it in butter, and drink this wine... -msb

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $59.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $114.99

Pierre Peters 2007 Champagne Cuvée Speciale Les Chétillons

While Pierre Péters has been making Champagnes under that name since 1947, the family has been tending vines since the mid-19th century and estate bottling since 1919. They farm 18 hectares of vines spread across the Côte des Blancs with 90% Of their vines spread across the grand cru villages of Avize, Cramant, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, and Oger with a majority planted in Le Mesnil. They farm without resorting to insecticides or herbicides and plant cover crops to reduce yields. The wines are fermented in tank and undergo malolactic fermentation. If you are looking for Blanc de Blancs Champagnes that express electric chalky minerality, Pierre Péters are masters of the form. They are poised, chiseled, and pure. Their top vintage-dated wine, from the Les Chetillons lieu-dit in Mesnil-Sur-Oger is one of Champagne’s greatest wines. With vines ranging in age from 35 to 70 years, Les Chetillons communicates the incisive chalkiness of the vineyard site, while balancing it with pure, concentrated fruit. Even within the context of Le Mesnil’s soils, the sense of chalk here is even more vivid. The 2007 is taut, sleek, coiled, and intense with a depth that is currently implied. In the glass, it begins to express its underlying grace and complexity with air. The mineral energy should integrate with its confident fruit in a few years emerging in a wine of seamless elegance and harmony. -John McIlwain

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $129.99

Prevost (La Closerie) NV (2008) Champagne Les Beguines R

Jérôme Prévost is part of the vinous, no-dose, single-variety, single-vintage Champagne school of thought. He learned wine-making from the famed Anselme Selosse. One thing that makes Prévost different from, say, Cédric Bouchard or Vouette et Sorbée is that his vineyard "Les Beguines" is planted entirely to Pinot Meunier, which means if you'd like to taste Meunier in a very pure and unadulterated form (perhaps even more so than Egly "Vrigny" or Bedel "Origin'elle"), here is your wine. The wine is made from old vines, aged in wood, and spends time resting on its lees. It's a wine that is compelling in its austerity and often requires air to show all it has to offer. -msb

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $109.99

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $109.99

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $164.99

Prevost (La Closerie) NV (2011) Champagne Les Beguines R

Lemony fresh, creamy with fine, seemless, elegant bubbles, both full-bodied and somehow weightless and sheer, this is an excellent release of Jérôme Prevost's "Les Béguines." 100% Pinot Meunier from Gueux in the nothern Montagne de Reims, this is quite possibly the most lazer-like and mineral Pinot Meunier we've tasted. With only two hectares, Prevost's wines are quite hard to come by and much prized by lovers of terroir-focused grower Champagne. The finish is very long, leaving a lasting impression of zesty, lemony acidity and stoney-ness. MSB

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $109.99

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $109.99

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $109.99

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $199.99

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $239.99

Selosse, Jacques NV Champagne Grand Cru Brut Substance R

This wine is in the warehouse and will not be available for pick-up or delivery until after Labor Day.

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $249.99

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $69.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $69.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Vouette et Sorbée 2011 Champagne Blanc d'Argile

Made from low-yielding biodynamically-farmed Chardonnay planted in the Kimmeridgian marls in the west-facing vineyard site of Biaunes, Blanc d'Argile is a blanc de blancs any many ways closer in character to Chablis than the chiseled Champagnes of the Marne. The distinction between the two types of chalky soil is palpable in the pungently mineral Blanc d'Argile. The nose is briny and citrus-inflected, with savory herbal notes. This cool-toned fruitiness (indicative of the 2011 vintage) carries over on the palate with a range of yellow fruit, seashell, and flinty sapidity. Typically, the long ripening period afforded by the vineyard manifests itself in a denser, richer, nearly flamboyant fashion; this vintage shows a leaner cut highlighting the Kimmeridgian pedigree. (Disgorged 5/2014).

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $89.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Vouette et Sorbée 2011 Champagne Saignée de Sorbée R

The Saignée de Sorbée, from the Portlandian soils of the Sorbée vineyard, is one of Vouette et Sorbée's most original and individual bottlings. A saignée rosé, this has deep concentrated pomegranate and raspberry fruits and savory, peppery, meaty flavors. With its power and stony, ferrous intensity, it tastes as if Gautherot bled the terroir of this vineyard straight into this idiosyncratic and singular Champagne! Jonas Mendoza

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $119.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur
  • Out of Stock
  • rosé sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $119.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur