Cristal Champagne Brut 2012 Louis Roederer
– The Cristal 2008 is deep, intense and masterful. It offers the quintessential reflection of its chalk soils which lend it its velvety texture and delicate tension. Amber hue with green and orange tints. Fine, even and lively sparkle.
Complex and intense bouquet disclosing candied citrus, yellow fruit, Williams pear, pollen and toasted almond. The delicately seductive bouquet shows intensity and well-honed precision.
The wine is powerful, full yet tight, on entry to the palate. The 2008 is undeniably well structured but in a particular way: the wine’s almost saline concentration has not been created by the sun, but is derived from the dryness of the chalk soil in a particularly cool summer.
The result is a smooth, almost liquorous, mouthfeel that coats the palate with a powerful yet soft texture. This gives way to an incredible finish, underpinned by freshness and an impression of absolute purity with a taut and very saline character.
Veuve Clicquot – “La Grande Dame” Brut, 2004
Named after the ‘Grand Lady’ as a tribute to Madame Clicquot, ‘La Grand Dame’ is the flagship and pinnacle of Veuve Clicquot’s style. Elegant, refined and delicate, Grand Dame is the utmost homage to the role she played in the formative years of the Champagne house.
94 points James Suckling
“I drank this in Antibes, France today with some friends and I was pleasantly surprised. I have been pretty underwhelmed with Le Grand Dame recently but the 2004 shows a return to the finesse and balance of the cuvée. A balanced yet dense Champagne with dried apple, pear and hints of bread dough. Very appley and lemony. Pretty strawberry undertones. Full body, bright acidity and a round texture. Refined and flavorful. A little sweeter than some tête de cuvée Champagnes but delicious. One of the more balanced vintages of La Grande Dame. Drink now.” (7/2015)
94 points Wine Enthusiast
*Cellar Selection* “This is a rich and creamy Champagne with a lively mousse, giving it a forward fruit character. Slowly the depth and concentration of the wine come through, with a white fruit flavor and hints of grapefruit and toasty yeast, which all promising good aging.” (9/2012)
94 points Wine Spectator
“Sleek, with mouthwatering acidity and an aromatic base note of chalky minerality, this features well-meshed flavors of black currant pâte de fruit, pastry, candied ginger and almond skin. The finely detailed, creamy mousse lends lasting finesse to the finish. Drink now through 2025.” (11/2013)
93 points Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar
(made from fruit grown in eight different grand crus, mostly Verzenay and Avize; lot 5122815): “Vivid gold. Heady aromas of orange, white peach and smoky minerals, with a note of buttered toast adding depth. Densely packed citrus and pit fruit flavors show chewy texture and a bright mineral quality that adds vivacity. Rich but lively and precise, finishing very long, with notes of candied fig and toasty lees.” (12/2013)
91 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“As with the corresponding (and varietally identical) rose, Clicquot’s 2004 Brut La Grande Dame is vivacious and buoyant, with lemon and grapefruit set in entertaining counterpoint to almond paste and vanilla-tinged, tart-edged baked apple. Saline oyster liquor adds another, savory dimension in a lingering finish, while hints of chamomile and jasmine serve for aromatic allure. This delightful bottling might well achieve genuine profundity over the next two or three years.” (DS) (11/2013)
17/20 Jancis Robinson
“61% Pinot Noir, 29% Chardonnay. Six years on lees. Lovely biscuit and brioche richness. Very pure. Laser-like. Quite saline and taut. Still very simple on the palate, but undeniably super quality. Not heavy, but has strength.” (7/2012)