Henri Giraud Fût de Chêne Brut Champagne (Previously $200)
The NV Brut Fût de Chêne is a big departure from previous years. A gorgeous, striking wine, the Fût de Chêne impresses for its weightless, gracious personality. The essence of the Giraud house style comes through beautifully here. The vintage Fût de Chêne was always impressive, but at times heavy, as shown by a complete vertical I did here a few years ago. This new release is flat-out gorgeous. In many ways, it is a direct link with the Hommage bottling, but with more complexity, pedigree and nuance. This release is 50% 2005 vintage and 50% reserve wines, vinified in oak (20% new) and aged for six years on its lees.
Elegant, with a fine, creamy mousse, delicate acidity and layered notes of toasted almond, black cherry, honey, crème de cassis and lots of ground clove, anise and ginger. The minerally underpinning holds sway on the finish. Disgorged October 3, 2012. Drink now through 2023.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A multi-vintage assemblage consisting of 70-30 Pinot-Chardonnay, Giraud’s NV Brut Fut De Chene Disg. 3/2012 exhibits resinous – almost coniferous – overtones that point toward wood, in this case new oak from the Argonne....But these wood-borne elements nicely segue into intimations of ocean spray, as well as white peach, grapefruit and lemon that form the luscious basis for this bottling’s sappy, substantial yet vivacious palate. In its gripping and almost blatantly intense finish, too, this wine’s faintly resinous, woody edge manages to dovetail into bittersweet citrus oils, ripe peach, and mouthwatering salinity. Plan to follow it for 3-5 years. (I wouldn’t be surprised to witness it performing impressively thereafter, but lack the experience with Giraud’s singular wines to predict.) (DS)
This multi-vintage blend is composed of the 2002, 2004 and 2005 harvests and is entirely estate grown fruit from the grand cru of Ay. It has been vinified in oak barrels and is composed of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay.