Jacques Selosse "Substance" Blanc de Blancs Champagne
The NV Substance, Selosse's first solera-style Champagne is quite restrained in this release with more freshness and fewer oxidative notes than are typical. Honey, graphite, dried apricots, wild flowers and anise blossom in an ample, resonant Chardonnay loaded with personality. The flavors are remarkably bright, pure and focused. (AG)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Selosse’s NV Extra Brut Substance Disg. 04/2013 represents the current state of a solera begun in 1986 and based on the same two sites that inform his basic vintage bottling. (This cuvee is routinely disgorged in the last quarter of each year, but due to the theft of stocks when his cellar was broken into early this year, Selosse interpolated an additional small disgorgement.) “‘Substance’ expresses the blood line,” he explains “whereas ‘Millesime’ expresses individual personality.” There is a sweet as well as toasty sense of nut concentrates; an aura of autumn foliage; decadent lees character; as well as hints of beeswax, toasted buckwheat, peach kernel, smoky black tea, and of course flor. Yet amid all of those arguably oxidative or biologically evolved elements are succulent juiciness of white peach and fresh albeit bittersweet floral perfumes. That the base wines here are exposed to 70% new barrique is not in any way obvious, and what subtle suggestions of lanolin, spice or resin are present merely add new layers to this profoundly multifarious experience. Nor have controlled oxidation or new wood in any way deprived this cuvee of traits that cry out for mineral descriptors. I am forced to refer to “chalk,” “salt,” and “alkali” for lack of better choices, and to point to a maritime sense of depth that helps lead to mouthwatering as well as profoundly layered finishing savor. (DS)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright yellow-gold. Powerful, perfumed aromas of iodine, toasted nuts, peach pit and poached pear. Round, sappy and powerful, with bright acidity adding lift and spine to dense orchard and pit fruit flavors. The explosive, very long finish echoes the iodine and toast notes and clings with impressive tenacity. This Champagne reminded me of a rich white Burgundy.
Bordering on amber, this Champagne is slightly oxidized in aroma and flavor, yet fresh, with roasted nut, leather and woodsy notes. Full-bodied and firm, with a long, citrusy and woodsy aftertaste. Not a typical Champagne, yet complex and intriguing. (Web-2009)
Deeper gold than Initial and Version Originale. Rich and bready but with a stony/mineral layer and a touch smoky. Toast and honey, maybe a hint of beeswax. Really bready and yeasty. Although it reminds me of honey on toast it doesn't have any sweetness. More oxidative than Initial and Version Originale. Rich and mature and complex. Amazing drive and length and power but leaves your mouth fresh and clean. Substance is well named. Has a touch of sherry about it too, but I guess that is the oxidative solera style. A wonderful cross between barrel-fermented burgundy, rich toasty champagne and flor-aged sherry. Super rich and long. Powerful and superfresh. When the bubbles have gone, it has something of traditional white Rioja about it but fresher. 18/20 points.(JH)