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Roederer Cristal: That ’70s Show

featured, France: Champagne

Antonio Galloni, Jun 2017

I have had many memorable tastings at Roederer over the years, but this vertical of Cristals from the 1970s might go down as the most remarkable yet. For the occasion, longtime Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon pulled out all of the Cristals of the 1970s, nine wines in total, all of which we tasted from the original disgorgements. The wines were moving for their extraordinary beauty.

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Cellar Favorites: 1973 Krug Vintage & Krug Collection

France: Champagne, Cellar Favorites

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2017

It is always illuminating to taste the original release of Krug’s Vintage Champagne next to the late release. For this fun, informal tasting, the bottles were covered so as to remove any preconceived notions about the qualities of the two wines, but that turned out to be an unnecessary exercise, as it was plainly evident to all which wine was which.

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Cellar Favorite: 1991 Vilmart & Cie Brut Cœur de Cuvée

France: Champagne, Cellar Favorites

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2017

What a treat it is to taste Vilmart’s 1991 Cœur de Cuvée. Proprietor Laurent Champs opened two bottles on my most recent visit. The first was a relatively recent disgorgement from 2013, the second was the original disgorgement from 1999. I much preferred the original release, which was, paradoxically, far fresher and more nuanced than the late release.

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2016 Champagne: Harvest Report

featured, France: Champagne

Antonio Galloni, Apr 2017

My annual spring tastings of vins clairs suggest 2016 is an uneven vintage in Champagne. The wines I tasted were on the softer, more open-knit side of things relative to how vins clairs show in the very best vintages. Of course, vins clairs will go through several transformations as they are blended and bottled to become Champagne, and then aged prior to being disgorged and ultimately released, a process that takes a minimum of a few years. These are some early observations.

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Vinous Table: La Gare, Le Mesnil sur Oger, France

France: Champagne, Vinous Table

Antonio Galloni, Mar 2017

La Gare is an ideal place to stop by for an informal meal while visiting wineries and vineyards in Champagne’s Côte des Blancs. Housed in a former train station, La Gare is full of old world, countryside charm.

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Cellar Favorite: 1993 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rosé

France: Champagne, Cellar Favorites

Antonio Galloni, Mar 2017

The 1993 Comtes de Champagne Rosé has not changed much since I last tasted it three years ago. Soft, aromatically open and super-expressive, the 1993 possesses exceptional balance and class.

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Champagne: The Season’s New Releases

featured, France: Champagne

Antonio Galloni, Dec 2016

Readers will find a bevy of compelling, delicious Champagnes in the market this fall. Many of the current non-vintage releases are based on 2013, a year that, while inconsistent, yielded wines with healthy sugars and terrific balance at a number of top-performing houses. At the upper end, a number of houses have new tête de cuvées that are or will soon be in the market. As always, the stylistic breadth that Champagne offers makes it one of the most versatile and fascinating of all wines.

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1971 Krug Vintage - Magnum

France: Champagne, Cellar Favorites

Antonio Galloni, Oct 2016

Krug’s 1971 Vintage, tasted from magnum, is truly spectacular.

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Cellar Favorites: Taittinger: 1996 & 1995 Comtes de Champagne

France: Champagne, Cellar Favorites

Antonio Galloni, Oct 2016

Taittinger’s Comtes de Champagne has long been a personal favorite. Among other things, Comtes ages spectacularly well, is relatively easy to find (despite its small production) and is very well priced for the quality relative to its peers.

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Champagne: The 2016 Summer Preview

featured, France: Champagne

Antonio Galloni, Aug 2016

Continuing a tradition at Vinous, our Summer Preview highlights the best new releases coming into the market. Full coverage of new releases will follow in the fall.