Hello friends. Back in August, we offered a wine where my pre-offer estimates waaaaaaaaaay understated our list’s eventual interest. It was an aged Champagne; specifically, Copinet’s 2005 Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Cuvee Marie Etienne. Looking back, it seems that our max allocation was (gulp) one bottle, and I see dozens of list members who were shut out entirely.
Fortunately, Copinet’s national importer is based in Seattle, so I’ve been able to follow (stalk?) the next vintage of the wine. It was disgorged on the first of October, departed the Port of Le Havre on October 16, and is scheduled to hit the dock in Seattle in the next day or two. So let’s not waste any time. This is, after all, peak Champagne season, and this time, we should have access to enough bottles to cover something a little greater than one-bottle allocations.
The importer I mentioned above is William Woodruff’s Chloe Imports, an absolute gem of a company based in North Seattle. Recall that William turned a banking job in Siena in the late-‘90s (where he was dealing with foodstuffs, including wine) into a wine import company when he moved to Seattle in 1997. It began with William importing one family’s wines from Tuscany, and in eighteen years in business, William has grown to represent that same family in Tuscany, two families in Piedmont, three families in Burgundy, four families in the Rhone, and exactly one grower Champagne: the outstanding Jacques Copinet.
These old Copinet Champagnes have been total mind-exploding standouts. 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. Here, we’re benefiting from the fact that William is direct-importing these from Champagne right into Seattle, so our pricing is outstanding.
Here is William’s introduction to Copinet: [TEXT WITHHELD]
Those “fortunate few” William is referring to? Me. You. Us. This is indeed a recently disgorged 2006 vintage (as I mentioned above, disgorged just this past October). It is 100% Chardonnay, 100% 2006 vintage, with 10-11g/L dosage. It offers a nose immediately recognizable as mature Champagne: nutty hazelnut, smoky/savory toasted bread and chicken stock subtleties. The fruit combines lemon curd and autumnal apple and peaches, and the palate is a nervy dynamo, with a sturdy citric-mineral spine supporting intense fruit and mineral flavors that stain the palate and won’t quit. It’s amazing how fresh and mouthwatering this remains at a decade past vintage. I’m not afraid to say again what I said about that 2005: I find wines like this moving. One family, one grape, one vintage, and then a one-decade passage of time. Glorious.
Please limit order requests to 6 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive in a week or two, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.