Philipponnat "Royale Réserve" Brut Champagne
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Pale yellow. Smoky, expressive aromas of pear skin, lemon zest and redcurrant, with a spicy topnote. Juicy and precise, offering intense orchard fruit and candied citrus flavors that put on weight with air. Closes spicy and long, with lingering mineral and floral notes.
Black currant and blackberry fruit flavors mix with floral, crystallized honey, whole-grain toast and candied ginger notes in this well-cut version, endowed with a refined texture and a mouthwatering finish. Disgorged March 2012. Drink now through 2018.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The NV Royale Reserve is wonderfully creamy and generous on the palate. Green apples, pears and white flowers are all layered into the expressive finish. This is a delicious entry-level Champagne to drink now and over the next few years. The current release is based on the 2007 vintage, with the addition of 26% reserve wines. Dosage was 8 grams per liter. This bottle was disgorged in August 2011. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2106.
The house of Philipponnat is a neighbor of Billecart-Salmon in Mareuil sur Ay in the heart of Champagne. This wine is a big, toasty, yeasty wine made mostly from black fruit. It is composed of 45% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 20% Meunier from vineyards on the Mountain of Reims, the Côtes de Blancs and the Valley of the Marne. They use 25% reserve wine, which is kept in a Solera and accounts for a lot of the complexity and richness in the wine. This wine has a ton of rich flavor for a very reasonable price. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)