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Krug: 2006 In Three Acts

France: Champagne, featured

Antonio Galloni, Sep 2020

Clos du Mesnil is one of the most revered sites in Champagne. Rémi and Henri Krug bought the 1.84-hectare vineyard in 1971 with the goal of securing a high-quality fruit source. But once they started working with the fruit, they realized they had something special. The first Clos du Mesnil, the 1979, remains epic to this day. Although not be design, Clos du Mesnil is also the archetype for what many grower Champagnes would later become – single vineyard, single variety, single vintage wines. I recently had the chance to taste the 2006 Clos du Mesnil, the latest release, with Olivier Krug over Zoom, which is how everything seems to happen these days.

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Champagne: 2020 New Releases

France: Champagne, featured

Antonio Galloni, Aug 2020

For the first time in a dozen years, this past spring I was unable to travel to Champagne to taste the new vintage and survey the latest releases. Given the extraordinary challenges this year of both traveling and collecting hundreds of samples in a timely fashion, we will be publishing Champagne reviews within this article in a continuous stream over coming weeks and months, as I taste the wines. The best way to stay up to date on additions is to make sure you are receiving our emails and turn on notifications within the Vinous app.

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Roses de Jeanne La Bolorée Retrospective

France: Champagne, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Antonio Galloni, Mar 2020

"What would you like to taste?” Cédric Bouchard asks as we descend into his cellar. We are in the middle of a brutal heat wave in France. The cool cellar provides a much-needed break from the unrelenting heat. “Really, whatever you want,” Bouchard says, sensing my apprehension as I gaze at a stunning collection of bottles, but not wanting to ask for too much….

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Cristal in Magnum: It’s Another World

France: Champagne, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured

Antonio Galloni, Dec 2019

I have had a number of unforgettable and deeply educational tastings at Roederer over the years. This was one of the most fascinating. It is well known that wines show better from magnums. That is especially true with Champagne. But why? Roederer’s long time Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon pulled out a remarkable selection of Cristal and Cristal Rosés earlier this year to show exactly why.

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Champagne – 2019 Fall Releases

France: Champagne, featured

Antonio Galloni, Dec 2019

Readers will find a wide range of new releases in the market this fall, everything from tiny-production Champagnes to the latest from the grandes marques. The pace of change in Champagne continues to be incredibly rapid, with new, small domaines popping up left and right while the big brands expand their ranges and increase quality. All of that makes Champagne an incredibly exciting and dynamic region to follow.

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The 2019 Champagne Summer Preview

France: Champagne, featured

Antonio Galloni, Jul 2019

I tasted a wide range of wines during two highly educational visits to Champagne this year. Our Summer Preview includes everything from reviews of new releases coming into the market, from both grower domaines and grand marques, as well as notes on a handful of collectibles. The pace of change on the ground is dizzying, which makes Champagne one of the most dynamic regions in the world today.

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Cellar Favorite: 2014 Champagne Christophe Baron Brut Nature Les Hautes Blanches Vignes

France: Champagne, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Antonio Galloni, Jun 2019

The 2014 Brut Nature Les Hautes Blanches Vignes is the first wine I have tasted from Christophe Baron’s new project in Champagne, and it is magnificent.

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Cristal – The 1980s…A Decade of Change

France: Champagne, featured, France

Antonio Galloni, Dec 2018

A recent vertical of 1980s Cristals was the third chapter in a remarkable series of tastings I have been fortunate to experience at Roederer over the last few years. In each of those occasions, I have come away with a deeper understanding of what makes Cristal and Cristal Rosé so special. For this tasting, longtime Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon presented a complete vertical of the 1980s Cristals, all from the original disgorgements, for what turned out to be an unforgettable survey of a decade during which so much changed in Champagne.

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Champagne – The Season’s New Releases

France: Champagne, featured

Antonio Galloni, Nov 2018

I came away from my annual fall Champagne tastings absolutely exhilarated by the quality of the wines. As it turns out, I reviewed most of the new releases from the grandes marques in our Summer Preview, so this article focuses heavily on grower Champagnes. That is merely a coincidence, or maybe in the end, it isn’t. As I scan through the domaines covered in this article I can’t help but pause to think about how much Champagne has changed in just the last decade or so.

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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.