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Champagne at its very best - 08/26/2013 - Champagne

This is Champagne at its very best- our previous small allocations sold out instantly. We were lucky enough to get a little bit more, but not enough to last! Like any other great wine, the Nicole Moncuit starts with great quality fruit from a top terroir. This wine shares the same address, Mesnil with Salon and Krug’s Clos du Mesnil, but comes from far older plots- vines of over 90 years old on the Moncuit estate. This 2004 is showing well right now, but should keep for a generation to come! - Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer

Staff Image

2004 Pierre Moncuit "Cuvée Nicole Moncuit Vieilles Vignes" Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($74.99)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Rendered from 90-year-old vines in Les Chetillons, the Moncuits 2004 Brut Blanc de Blancs Nicole is fascinatingly scented with roasted pumpkin and hints of caramel that re-emerge as salted caramel and nougat on the polished palate. At the same time, intimations of fresh lime and pineapple in the nose manifest themselves in lusciously juicy, downright vivacious profusion on the palate. The tension between richness and cut mirrors that between subtly confectionary and vivaciously citric, yet somehow its 100% productive rather than at all discordant. The tang of candied lime rind and of pineapple close to the core; piquant yet soothing, sweetly suggestive nut creams; and saliva-liberating salinity joined to maritime alkalinity combine for a sensationally sustained finish. Follow this head-turner over the coming decade." (11/2013)

94 points Vinous: "The 2004 Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Cuvee Nicole Moncuit VV is a little more structured and implosive than the Brut Blanc de Blancs Gran Cru. Still quite primary, the VV is going to need at least another year or two in bottle for the aromatics to fully develop, especially for readers who appreciate tertiary nuances. Today the 2004 VV is all about fruit and structure, both of which it has in spades. Dosage was 8 grams per liter." (11/2013)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright yellow. Light yellow-gold. Intense pear and melon aromas are brightened by notes of ginger, jasmine and smoky minerals. Ripe, fleshy and expansive, offering pliant orchard and pit fruit flavors and a hint of anise. Rich yet lively wine with excellent finishing clarity, thrust and mineral-driven persistence." (11/2013)

Jancis Robinson: "Dosage 7 g/l. Seems to show a little more fruit on the nose than the Non Dosé 2005, certainly less immediate yeastiness and even a light white pepper spice. Complex aroma. The palate is rich, creamy and full of lovely bready depth, sweet brioche on the finish. There's fine acidity in the middle and then a surprising apparent softness on the finish. Very moreish." (06/2014)

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 20, 2013

Champagne doesnt get better than this- I could not believe how much class this 2004 had, even though I have been lucky enough to have many, many past vintages of this cuvee. This great bottle of Mesnil Grand Cru is made from two over 90 year old plots, some of the oldest vines in all of Champagne. The nose is restrained, detailed and multifaceted: I found perfect baguette, savory spice and fresh pineapple in the bouquet. On the palate it had both the lush richness of ancient vines and the fabulous mineral focus of some of the best chalk vineyard in all of Champagne. This wine sings with both ripe fruit and mineral freshness Too bad there is so little!

Staff ImageShaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 20, 2013

I couldn't go home without a bottle after tasting this spectacular Champagne. Opulent but with spectacular verve, fine focus and a rich creamy middle, Ripe pears, delicate spices and orange blossoms linger on the nose and through the palate. All the characteristics of Mesnil from amazingly old vines and half the price of the most famous Mesnil Champagnes - and a very strong competitor to them.