Jacques Selosse "Substance" Blanc de Blancs Champagne

SKU #100245 97 points Vinous

 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)  (11/2014)

95 points 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)  (11/2013)

93 points Wine Spectator

 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. (BS, Web-2009)

Jancis Robinson

 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)  (3/2013)

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Price: $299.99
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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.


- The French region of Champagne (comprised of the towns of Rheims, Epernay, and Ay) was the first region in the world to make sparkling wine in any quantity. Today, the name of the region is synonymous with the finest of all sparkling wines, and winemaking traditions of Champagne have become role models for sparkling wine producers, worldwide. Surprisingly, the region of Champagne is now responsible for only one bottle in 12 of all sparkling wine produced. Styles of champagne range from the basic brut (often blends of several vintages), single vintage champagnes, and rose.