This is a wine with staggering length and immense purity. It's as powerful as Chardonnay can be, showcasing an incredible depth of pure fresh lemons, yellow grapefruit, honey and dried white and yellow flowers. The concentration and complexity of primary fruits are outstanding, and there are some more exotic flavours here too in the peach and green-mango spectrum. The texture is ultra-fine and creamy through the mid-palate, its majestic curves sweeping long around a sturdy mineral core. This is very silky and focused, offering gently creamy moments before twisting towards a composed, restricted and compressed chalk-like finish. It delivers an impression of Chardonnay that captures incredible richness, fleshiness, persistence and power. Yet the acidity is staggering while being simultaneously perfectly balanced. Drink now but this will have a lot more to come after 2020. 100 points, jamessuckling.com (10/2016).
A lovely, lacy Champagne, with ripe apricot, fennel seed and espresso aromas. This caresses the palate with a finely detailed mousse and expansive flavours of pineapple pâte de fruit, toasted brioche, fleur du sel and grated ginger. Long and chalky on the finish, this is a prima ballerina, showing power cloaked in grace. Disgorged winter 2015. Drink now through 2032. 98 Points, Alison Napjus, (11/2016).
The 2002 Clos du Mesnil is wonderfully pliant and expressive in the glass. The radiant personality of the year comes through in the wine's ripe, tropically-leaning flavors and open-knit personality. I imagine the 2002 will develop at a relatively fast pace by Clos du Mesnil standards. Even so, there is more than enough freshness underpinning the fruit to support at least two decades of very fine drinking. 95 points, Vinous (7/2017).
Located 150 km east of Paris, Champagne is the French wine region renowned for producing the finest, most rich and complex sparkling wines in the world. The elegance, longevity and racy acidity of these wines are attributed to the influence of the chalky soils of the region and the cool, marginal continental climate. The region spans an area of 35,000 ha and has 4 main growing areas, each favouring one of the three noble Champagne varieties; Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Champagne has a vineyard quality hierarchy based on the soils, aspect and overall quality of the grapes. Like Burgundy, these quality designations are allocated to the vineyards of the village. Of the 319 villages of Champagne, 17 have Grand Cru status and 44 villages are designated Premier Cru. All Champagne is produced by Traditional Method. The vast majority of Champagne is a blend of the three varieties and may also be a blend of several vintages producing the popular Non Vintage (NV) house styles. Top quality blends from exceptional years are sold as Vintage (Millésime) Champagne.