Full Pull Aged Champagne (+Summer Goodies)

Hello friends. The thrust of this one is going to be an outrageous aged Champagne, but I’m going to use the occasion of today’s offer as a more general late-summer mixer. Below the aged Champagne, look for two new whites (one Washington, one import) and several reorder opportunities on northwest rosés.

2005 Copinet Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Cuvee Marie Etienne

We tasted through a handful of Copinet wines, all lovely, but this 2005 was a total mind-exploding standout. I think by now many of you know how I feel about sparkling wine generally (good), and how I feel about Champagne specifically (really really good). Well, aged Champagne is the motherlode, and well-priced aged Champagne is a unicorn. The only other time I can remember us offering aged Champagne was back in February 2013 when we offered a 1996 from Jean Vesselle. It’s not for lack of trying. I mean, is aged Champagne my very favorite category of wine for drinking? Maybe. It’s certainly in the conversation. But well-aged parcels like this: they just don’t exist. Or if they do, they’re prohibitively expensive. Just like with the Burgundy from last month, we’re benefiting from the fact that William is direct-importing these from Champagne right into Seattle, so our pricing is outstanding.

Now then, here is William’s introduction to Copinet: In the midst of the Marne Valley, in the tiny village of Montgenost, is the estate of Jacques and Brigette Copinet. With parcels in Villenauxe a Grande, Verpillieres sur Ource, Cuchery and Chantillon du Marne, complexity is the hallmark of these mineral rich wines. Along with the assistance of their daughter Marie Laure and son in law Alexandre Kowal, this family estate is the source of very fine Champagne. In 1975, Jacques and Brigette struck out on their own and began to bottle their own production. No herbicides or pesticides are used. Champagne is bottled and matures in the frigid chalk cellars beneath the family home. A fortunate few can now obtain the RD (recently disgorged) early vintages of Cuvee Marie Etienne.

Those “fortunate few” William is referring to? Me. You. Us. This is indeed a recently disgorged 2005 vintage, disgorged in November 2014. It is 100% Chardonnay, 100% 2005 vintage, with 10.5g/L dosage. It offers a deeply appealing nose, immediately recognizable as mature Champagne with its nutty notes of hazelnut and salted Marcona almond, and it’s smoky/savory chicken stock subtleties. The fruit combines peaches and plums and lemon curd, and the palate is a rich intense dynamo, the balance of savory and fruity notes pinpoint, the chalky minerality fresh and nervy. I’m not afraid to say it: I find a wine like this moving. One family, one grape, one vintage, and then a one-decade passage of time. Glorious.

The only unfortunate aspect of this wine is parcel size. We grabbed every bottle left in Seattle, but it’s not much, so please limit order requests to 3 bottles, and we’ll do our best.

2013 For A Song Riesling Caliche Lake Vineyard

We offered the 2012 last summer, and it was a popular wine among our list members. By the time Sean Sullivan’s 90pt review came out in Wine Enthusiast this spring, that ’12 was sold out. Today we’re back with the new vintage, and it’s another beauty. Once growers and winemakers began to see the terrific chalky minerality of the white wines coming out of Evergreen Vineyard, it wasn’t long before other sites in the Ancient Lakes were planted out. The “Caliche” in Caliche Lake refers to calcium carbonate deposits scattered in large rocky chunks throughout this area. And of course it was Riesling from the Ancient Lakes that really put this area on the map. With this bottle, we can see why. Stats are 11.6% alc and 2.2% RS. It drinks at a Kabinett level, off-dry, with white peach, lime leaf, and plenty of good caliche minerality. The sense of palate-coating extract is wonderful here, and this easily outpunches its price class.

2014 Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough

A terrific, honest example of New Zealand Sauv Blanc, with a strong recent Wine Spectator review, at a few bucks off its $23 release price. Peach and grapefruit fruit comingle beautifully with good green Marlborough pyrazine character, in the form of grass and jalapeno. Rich and savory in the mouth (13% listed alc), this is undeniably plump, but it has a sturdy enough acid spine to stand up to the fruit. The lingering green notes on the finish evoke all sorts of fresh green summer veggies, and this would be a versatile food-pairing white indeed. Wine Spectator (MaryAnn Worobiec): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD] 92pts.”

2014 Renegade Rose

Originally offered March 9, 2015. Original offer here.

2014 Julia’s Dazzle (Long Shadows)

Originally offered March 9, 2015. Original offer here.

2014 Lorelle Rose

Originally offered May 18, 2015. Original offer here.

Please request what you like for these wines (with the exception of Copinet; max requests of 3 bottles on that one, please) and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wines should all arrive in the next few weeks, at which point they will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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