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Two Very Special Champagne Selections - 08/07/2013 - Champagne

When James Suckling came to K&L LA, we showed him two of our best small production vintage Champagne’s and he liked them every bit as much as we do. These bottles traditionally sell for about double our prices, yet we have purchased them direct from the producers, cutting out the export brokers, import companies and distributors that would normally drive up the price quite a bit. Once you try these two, I am sure you will agree with the K&L staff and Mr. Suckling- Champagne doesn’t get much better! - Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer

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2006 Marguet Pere et Fils Grand Cru Brut Champagne ($49.99)

94 points James Suckling: "This is seamless with lovely freshness and flavors, from pie crust to dried mango. Muscular. Wonderful density yet agile. Super lively, so insane." (03/2013)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(made from 70% chardonnay and 30% pinot noir; L0905): Light, bright gold. Sexy, floral aromas of pear, citrus fruit and redcurrant, along with notes of buttered toast and gingery spices. At once fleshy and energetic, offering intense orchard fruit and red berry flavors and a refreshing jolt of bitter citrus pith. Closes on a spicy note, with excellent clarity and smoky persistence. I really like this Champagne's blend of depth, power and energy." (11/2013)

K&L Notes: At Marguet, there is not really a hierarchy of wines, simply wines of differing qualities to be appreciated at various moments in life and times of the year. The vintage wine is intended as a reflection of the weather of that year in harmony with the character of the great vineyards. The blend is 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir from old vines located in grand cru vineyards in the Côte des Blancs and the Montagne de Reims. The wine is aged in the bottle on the yeast for at least 5 years thus ensuring a long period of autolysis that lends a unique complexity to the wine. This wine has a majestic equilibrium of the disparate elements. This is a very rich and quite toasty brut composed exclusively of Grand Cru Mountain of Reims fruit. It has fantastic black cherry Pinot Noir fruit, savory intrigue and quite a lot of minerality on the finish. It is surprising how dry the wine finishes for the amount of decadent flavor on the mid palate. The wine can be kept up to 20 years in a good cellar. Enjoy as an aperitif or as the main dinner wine with seafood or white meat.

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2005 Amaury Coutelas Vintage Brut Champagne ($39.99)

93 points James Suckling: "This is rich and full-bodied with a fine bead. Lots of fruit with vinous and complexity. Intense with a lot of weight and freshness. Elegant and fabulous. Half Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier." (03/2013)

K&L Notes: Angelique and Damien have 17 and one half acres, mostly in Villers sous Chatillon, but also in Ambonny, Bouzy, Vitry la Francois, and Troissy. Their family has been growing since 1809 and started making their own Champagnes in the 20s. This half and half blend of Meunier and Pinot Noir come from estate vines that average over 70 years old--among the oldest I have ever heard of in Champagne. The wine is vinified in stainless steel and finished with only six grams per liter of dosage. It is a very full-bodied wine, with super power in the middle, yet refreshing on the finish. This great new (but only new to the US!) producer is one to notice! (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer)

Staff ImageMari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 27, 2012

Gary has hit the ball out of the park again with this precious little find! While new to the K&L family, this seasoned champagne house has been around since 1809 which explains the 70 year old vines that make this vintage cuvee so layered and nuanced. What truly impresses me about this champagne is the delicate balance between the rich, full bodied palate, bright citrus driven flavors, concentrated complex mid-palate that's completed with a fresh, lifted finish.