Browse Tag

champagne 1er cru

Great years think alike

[bottle]J. Lassalle Champagne 1er Cru Brut Rosé “Réserve des Grandes Années” (Champagne) – Bubbles aside, this could be a somewhat mature red Burgundy from a “lesser” appellation – Givry, perhaps – for all the earthy, mushroomy softness to its red fruit. There’s a fullness that combats against this sensation of age, and a hint of orange rind for focus, but this is compelling as much for its otherness as for its characteristics. A lovely wine, perhaps more so than a Champagne. (7/09)

Qu’est-ce Cuis?

Gimonnet Champagne Cuis “1er Cru” Brut Blanc de Blancs (Champagne) – Metal-jacketed apple, makrut lime, and rhubarb. Interesting, to say the least. I’m not sure how to describe the texture here, as it’s something a little out of the ordinary. Rhomboid? Sure, why not? Incisive, long, and strong-willed. Insistent stuff. Almost certainly needs age. (3/09)

C’est Cuis

[label]Pierre Gimonnet Champagne Cuis “1er Cru” Brut Blanc de Blancs (Champagne) – Striking nose of rainforest rocks and humidity. Huge lemon brioche (sprinkled with grapefruit shavings) on the palate. There’s excellent balance between bitterness and acidity. Massively long and frankly gorgeous, with skins dominating right now, and a very trebly midpalate that I expect to mellow with a little age. (12/08)

Misty water-colored Marmery

[label]A. Margaine Champagne à Villers-Marmery “1er Cru” Brut (Champagne) – At first, a perfect blend of fresh apple, grape, and sweaty yeast, with sharper slashes of lime sorbet later on. And then, it turns into a cherry-lime rickey. Vivid to the extent that it suggests neon, but clean, strong, and exceptionally long. One for the cellar, for sure. (12/08)

Bloody bubbly

[label]René Geoffroy Champagne “1er Cru” Brut Rosé “de Saignée” (Champagne) – Sweet-glazed biscuit, fresh red fruit (strawberry, mostly…including the seeds). Pure and complex. There’s a fine foundation of stones ground into gravel, and a lovely, drying, mineral component to the finish. Very, very good, but far from its peak. (12/08)

Chiquet monkey

[label]Gaston Chiquet Champagne “1er Cru” Brut “Tradition” (Champagne) – Wind-swept and cold, with rinds and hard-edged quarts. Frothy. Unconvincing in this company, and I’m surprised, because this is a wine I usually like. (12/08)

Aÿ alone

[label]Marc Hebrart Champagne à Mareuil-sur-Aÿ “1er Cru” Brut “Cuvée de Réserve” (Champagne) – Brioche, yeast, mixed apples, and hints of stone fruit over paper. A bit frothy. Persistent. Just OK. (12/08)


[label]René Goeffroy Champagne “1er Cru” Brut “Expression” (Champagne) – Almost minty, but at least herbal. Buzzes with electrically-charged freshness and static. Full of lovely gentility. Red-tinged fruit, but sprightly rather than deep. Fun. (12/08)


[vineyard]Larmandier-Bernier Champagne “1er Cru” Brut Blanc de Blancs “Vertus” (Champagne) – If there were such a thing as mineral soda, this would be it. Not in the hyper-austere fashion of a sekt, but in a poised, brilliant, flowing way; elegant mineral soda as conceived by Frank Gehry, perhaps. (3/08)

Acute, Vertus

[vineyard]Larmandier-Bernier Champagne “1er Cru” Blanc de Blancs “Vertus” (Champagne) – Delicate and floral, with strobe-like metals and powdered lemon-apple crystals. Incisive but not sharp, long, feminine (with gentle but inexorable strength), and just beautiful throughout. (1/08)

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