Hello friends. Tomorrow is September, and so begins the final third of 2016. And much like we offer most of our rosés in March and April and May, a few months before the peak season for drinking them, so too we should offer some Champagne as we move into September, giving everyone plenty of time to pick these beauties up or have them shipped for any and all end-of-year needs.
(Of course, if you’re like my family, you’re drinking sparkling wine all year long anyway. August, November, March; it’s all good.)
Today we have a pair of Blanc de Blancs Champagnes from Copinet: one a reoffer of a vintage bottling now a decade old; the other a new offer for a Champagne with even older juice. Fortunately, Copinet’s national importer is based in Seattle, so we always get access to the gems of this lineup. Let’s dive in:
Originally offered November 22, 2015. Excerpts from original offer: 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. [Ed note: now passed onto Jacques’ daughter, the estate is currently called Marie 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.
When William visited our warehouse recently, one of the most fascinating wines he poured was this “Selection,” a blend of reserve wine from the 2000, 2001, and 2002 vintages. It was bottled in 2003, disgorged in 2016. The dosage is 5 g/L, about half that of the 2006, so – no surprise – this drinks a little drier and racier.
The nose combines creamy lemon curd, croissants baking in the oven, and salty minerals. Despite the low dosage, this conveys richness to spare, and a lovely aged-Champagne mousse, with fine soft bubbles exploding like little raindrops on the tongue. I loved this most after about 30 minutes open, when the savory earth/mineral notes really came to the fore, and so too the hazelnut complexities, again a hallmark of good old Champagne. What an elegant old beauty this is. What a fine bottle for a celebration! Or maybe this bottle is reason enough for a celebration on its own.
Please limit order requests to 12 bottles total, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wines should arrive in a week or two, at which point they will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.