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Champagne: The 2018 Summer Preview

France: Champagne

Antonio Galloni, Jul 2018

Two thousand-eighteen is shaping up to be a terrific year for Champagne lovers, as there are a number of new releases in the market, from large houses and small estates alike, including many wines that are being offered for the first time. Champagne continues to be one of the most fascinating regions in the world. Of course, the best wines are compelling, but it is the fast pace with which new Champagnes and estates continue to emerge that makes the region so exciting today. The 2018 Summer Preview mostly focuses on new releases in advance of my much larger and more comprehensive annual fall coverage.

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Cellar Favorite: 1966 Heidsieck & Co. Brut Rosé Dry Monopole

France: Champagne, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Apr 2018

AG will probably kill me if he reads this, so please don’t tell him, but I once wrote something along the lines: “if you want to drink mature Champagne then you might as well pour a prematurely oxidized Meursault into a Sodastream.”

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Cellar Favorite: 2002 Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Françaises

France: Champagne, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Antonio Galloni, Dec 2017

Bollinger’s 2002 Vieilles Vignes Françaises remains one of the most compelling wines of this iconic Champagne vintage.

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Champagne: 2017 New Releases

France: Champagne, featured

Antonio Galloni, Dec 2017

Champagne remains one of the hottest regions in the world. The emergence of small, family run domaines continues at a fast pace as the grower Champagne movement comfortably settles into its second generation. Many of the grandes marques, Champagne’s historic high-end houses, have quietly expanded their ranges, with an assortment of single-parcel and/or late-release ultra tête de cuvée bottlings that did not exist just a few years ago. All of that means consumers have never had more choice – at all ends of the quality and style spectrum – than they do today.

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Cellar Favorite: 2002 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne

France: Champagne, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Antonio Galloni, Nov 2017

Several recent bottles of Taittinger’s 2002 Comtes de Champagne have been nothing less than stellar. In a vintage in which many Champagnes show the raciness and flamboyance of very ripe Chardonnay, the 2002 Comtes remains fresh, vibrant and nuanced.

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Dom Pérignon in Three Acts

France: Champagne, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Antonio Galloni, Nov 2017

One of the most fascinating aspects of Champagne is its ability to transform over time. This remarkable tasting provided a truly once in a lifetime opportunity to compare the three principal releases of Dom Pérignon across a number of iconic vintages of the 1960s and 1970s.

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Jacques Selosse: A Study of Substance

France: Champagne, featured

Antonio Galloni, Oct 2017

Anselme Selosse is one of the pivotal figures in the modern history of Champagne. Selosse’s meticulous attention to detail in the vineyards and bold wines inspired a whole generation of younger growers, some of whom spent time working alongside him, and others who were captivated by a vision of Champagne as a wine that is, first and foremost, born in the vineyard. This recent tasting provided a remarkable opportunity to check in on a number of disgorgements of the flagship Substance going back to the early days.

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Cellar Favorite: 1964 Dom Pérignon - Original Release

France: Champagne, Cellar Favorites, featured

Antonio Galloni, Oct 2017

Wine lovers often debate which is the greatest vintage of the 1960s in Champagne. To be sure, it is a magical decade, with several candidates for that honor. Perhaps even more importantly though, the 1960s mark a sort of transition into modern times in Champagne.

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Cellar Favorite: 1971 Dom Ruinart

France: Champagne, Cellar Favorites, featured

Antonio Galloni, Sep 2017

Dom Ruinart flies under the radar relative to many of its peers, but it is one of the most compelling Champagnes in the market.

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Cellar Favorite: 1990 Jacques Selosse Brut Blanc de Blancs

France: Champagne, Cellar Favorites

Antonio Galloni, Aug 7

Seldom seen today, Anselme Selosse’s 1990 Brut Blanc de Blancs has become one of the rarest of all Champagnes.