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Roland Champion Grand Cru Champagne Blanc de Blancs NV

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 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91 Wine Enthusiast: 92 Wine Spectator: 92 International Wine Review: 92 93 Points
Country:France
Region:Champagne
Grape Type:Chardonnay
Winery:Roland (Champagne Champion)
Product Description

Roland Champion Champagne Blanc de Blancs NV is aged for minimum 30 months (the minimum for NV is 15 months). This cuvee is made from 100% Chardonnay and is produced from the free run juice only. The current release is the result of the blend of the 2005, the 2006 and the 2007 vintage.
Fresh and delicate, its fine bubbles and wide range of aromas will be perfect as an aperitif. This Champagne will also match very well with seafood and shellfish.

dosage : 8 grams per liter
ageing : 30 months on laths
Even if it doesn't say on the label, 100% of the production is RD (Recently Disgorged)
Total Production for this Cuvée : 1,500 cases (9 liter equivalent) per year
 

Reviews:

"(L40): Light yellow-gold. Musky pear and peach pit aromas are enlivened by notes of lemon zest and chalk. Weighty but energetic, offering powerful orchard fruit flavors and hints of candied fig and lemon curd. The pear skin quality comes back strong on the clinging finish. This powerful Champagne is definitely better suited for duty at the table than for serving by itself. - Josh Raynolds" - Antonio Galloni's Vinous (Dec 2012), 91 pts


- Roger VOSS"

Wine Enthusiast (December 1st 2019), 92 pts


"Golden yellow color. Lively, fruity, toasty leesy aromas of honeyed brioche and apple tart with a satiny, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a sleek, interesting, snappy lemon curd, nougat, and chalk finish with silky, soft, fruit tannins. A classic example of blanc de blanc champagne, delicious."
- Beverage Testing institute , 93 pts

"Spiced with ground anise and ginger accents, this offers notes of poached pear, lemon meringue pie, hazelnut and stony mineral. Very elegant and well-meshed throughout, with a silky finish.  Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 1,500 cases made. –AN"
- Wine Spectator  92 pts

"This cuvée made from 100% Chardonnay offers a fresh aromatic nose of light toast, dried yellow fruit and nuances of yeast. On the palate it has a creamy mouth feel of toasted nuts and rich autolytic notes. This is a beautiful wine, rich and complex."
International Wine review  92+ pts



"Small grower. Autumn fruits dominate the aromas of this wine, which is blatantly more like a wine than we normally expect a champagne to be. Some may find that unexpected and even off-putting, while others will find it intriguingly delicious."
- Washington Post  - EXCELLENT

"Roland Champion is a small family-owned producer, now with the fourth generation, in the village of Chouilly (”shoo-ee”), which has only Grand Cru vineyards. Made from 100 percent chardonnay grapes, this Champagne offers ethereal grace and poise and harmony; if I were fighting a duel tonight, I would ask for this Champagne as my last beverage. The nose here is about the richness of warm biscuits and hazelnuts, dried fruit and spice, like a Platonic, ineffably light fruitcake; in the mouth, however, it’s about a structure that encompasses an incredible marriage of power and elegance, like the delicacy and strength of the finest bone china. And there’s something porcelain-like about this Champagne, in its notable crisp, lively character, its transparency and its slightly chalky, shale-like mineral elements. Forget the Champagnes that come on with heavy toasty, caramel qualities; here, instead, is a wealth of subtlety and nuance touched with a racy, dynamic edge. Exceptional."
Biggerthanyourhead.net 

Winery: Roland (Champagne Champion)

The Champagne Champion Roland Estate
This small grower is located in the Grand Cru Village of Chouilly, in the `Cote des Blancs`. The vineyard of Chouilly has a south, southeast sun exposure, which gives the chardonnay its delicate aromas.
Founded in 1951 by Andre Champion, his son Roland expanded the company by purchasing some new land, and gave his name to the family house of Champagne. François is the third generation of the family and continues in his father’s footsteps. He is the enologist and currently runs the company. He farms their 18 hectares (44.5 acres) and blends wines resulting from different parcels and various vintages to elaborate his Cuvees.
The property consists of 40 different parcels planted with the following grape types:

  • Chardonnay: 70%
  • Pinot Meunier: 22%
  • Pinot Noir: 8% in the commune of Verneuil

The grapes are harvested manually, which is the rule in Champagne. Then, the grapes are immediately pressed in-site to avoid oxidation and preserve the quality of the grapes.
The wine is aged in their cellar made of chalk where the constant temperature is 1012°C (50/54°F).

Production is 85,000 bottles (7,000 cases) yearly, part of which is sold “sur latte” to negociants. The remaining 35,000 bottles are sold under their own name.

They produce the following wines:
NV Brut, Blanc de Blanc: 25% of production
Vintage Champagne, Speciale Club Carte Noire: 70% of production
Rose Brut: 5% of production

Currently, all wines are 90% pre-sold to an adoring French clientele. Daughter Carole Champion represents the fourth generation to continue with the property.

 

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Redolent of strawberries and roses, fragrant and medium bodied. Refreshing, tart finish.

Average age of the vines: 30 years old (between 20 and 60 years old). Skin contact maceration: between 2 and 5 days depending on the parcels.

Beaujolais-Nouveau has been very popular with almost every Thanksgiving dish - from turkey to ham, green beans to mashed potatoes, and gravy to cranberry sauce.

Rubus Old Vine Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015

Rubus Old Vine Shiraz Barossa Valley is a blend of 98% Shiraz & 2% Viognier, this richly concentrated Barossa Shiraz is indicative of the style for which Australia's top production region is famous. The wine is dark in color, rich and dense. There are ample tannins balanced by the powerful fruit. You will note the hints of blackberries, mint, and eucalyptus flavors upfront and in the finish. Try Rubus Barossa Shiraz with rich dishes like lamb shank, Osso bucco, beef steak or roast duck.

 


Review:

"Blackberry, currant and blueberry flavors are dense, intense and powerful, mingling with black licorice, sage and spice notes, with a brambly undertone. A spicy hint lingers on the finish. Drink now through 2030. 1,200 cases made. - MaryAnn Worobiec"

- Wine Spectator (November 15th 2018), 90 pts

 Wine Spectator: 90
Roland Champion Champagne Special Club Grand Cru 2012

Champagne with rich and structured aromas. Very pleasant and generous roundness, nice length in mouth. Golden color with buttery and fruity aromas. All the expression of a magnificent terroir for your most pleasurable moments.

To be a member of this Club, Champagne producers have to elaborate their Cuvées in their own facility, meaning the pressing, bottling, ridding, disgorging, etc., have to be done at the domaine/estate. Then, only the Recoltants-Manipulants are accepted. Everybody has to respect the Club’s rules to ensure the quality. These rules include: * Only vintages * Two tastings to control the quality: the first one after the blending, when the wine is still “Vin Clair” (juice) and another after the 3 years (or more) of ageing “sur lattes”. There are 26 members, each of whom can produce his Special Club with his own techniques: * blending or “monocru” (only one grape variety) * “blanc de blancs” or “blanc de noirs”; ageing from 3 to 10 years, brut or extra-brut. 4 year ageing minimum Strict selection of plots only made out of our old vineyards.



Special Club is a group of growers who taste and approve each other's chosen Champagnes before release, giving a wine with this label special cachet. This rich wine, aged for 10 years on its lees, is well textured, with fruit that still shows youth and intense apple and citrus flavors. Drink from 2022. 
- Wine Enthusiast (December 1st 2019), 94 pts



 

 Wine Enthusiast: 94
Roland Champion Champagne Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru 2011 (magnum)

Very complex nose. Elegance and finesse. A surprising aromatic complexity. A bouquet of aromas dominated by honey, brioche and notes of dried fruits, hazelnuts and sweets. Perfectly matured.

Juice exclusively 100% Grand Cru from Chouilly, chalky soil and subsoil.

It matches magnificently with foie gras!


Wolfberger Cremant d' Alsace Brut

Wolfberger Cremant d Alsace Brut NV is made with 90 % Pinot Blanc, 10% Pinot Auxerrois.

The production of sparkling wine was already known in Alsace in the early 1900's. The Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (A.O.C.) Crémant d’Alsace began with an official decree in August 1976.
 
Pale golden color. Fine, persistent bubbles. Floral nose with a hint of spiciness, gentle fruitiness (peach, apricot), and lovely balance. Fruity and lively in the palate, it has a clean and crisp finish. This wine will suit any special occasion.


Review:

""Straw color. Bright, fruity, creamy aromas of green apple pastry, peaches in cream, and lemon chiffon with a supple, tangy, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, amusing, medium-long white nuts, lime-pineapple sorbet, and minerals finish with no oak. A refreshing, tangy sparkling wine that will shine at the table."
-Beverage Testing Institute, 94 pts (Exceptional)


 

 94 Points
Roland Champion Champagne Cuvee Aramis Brut NV

Roland Champion Champagne Cuvee Aramis Brut is made from 70% Pinot Meunier, 20% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay.

Very nice effervescence, fine bubbles - A nose spawn with notes of mature fruits such as quince and yellow fruits jelly. Aromas of biscuits and honey at the end of the palate, which remains supple, well structured, and with a beautiful length.

Black grapes from Verneuil and Vandière in the Marne Valley, argilo-limestone soil. Chardonnay grapes from Chouilly, “Grand Cru” from the famous “Côtes des blancs”, limestone soil and subsoil.


Review:
"Brilliant pale yellow straw color. Lively, complex aromas of honeyed biscuit, buttery praline, and poached Asian pear with a supple, lively, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and an elegant, long creme brulee, white balsamic reduced lemon, spiced nuts and tangerines, and grassy earth and minerals finish with well-integrated, fine tannins. A layered and vibrant champagne with cascading waves of fresh and mature flavors."

- Beverage Testing Institute (November 19th 2012), 95 pts

 95 Points
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Roland Champion Champagne Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru 2012

Roland Champion Champagne Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru 100% chardonnay.

Champagne with rich and structured aromas. Very pleasant and generous roundness, nice length in mouth. Golden color with buttery and fruity aromas. All the expression of a magnificent terroir for your most pleasurable moments.

Review:

"Showing scents of freshly baked bread and pear on the nose, the 2012 Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs offers a refined mouth feel and complex, integrated flavors of pear, lemon and toasty lees. There’s excellent acidic cut on the finish. Aged 6 years on the lees."
- International Wine Review (Champagnes & Sparkling Wines for the Holidays: The Best of 2018), 92 pts

- Wine Enthusiast (December 1st 2019), 93 pts & Editor's Choice –Roger VOSS"


 Wine Enthusiast: 93 92 Points
Roland Champion Champagne Brut Rose Grand Cru NV

Roland Champion Champagne Brut Rose Grand Cru NV is the blend of 20% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Meunier, 40% Pinot Noir. 

Small red fruits (strawberry, raspberry, cherry), characteristic of Pinot Noir with some brioche, toasted aromas coming from the Pinot Meunier. Clear and vinous. Development of red fruit aromas (blackcurrant) on a spice backdrop (cinnamon) and a nice fresh cut apple, grapefruit flavor. A fresh, lively and delicate flavor. Ideal balance between Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir.
 
dosage : 8 grams per liter
ageing : 3.5 years on laths
Even if it doesn't say on the label, 100% of the production is RD (Recently Disgorged)
Total Production for this Cuvée : between 150 cases and 330 cases (9 liter equivalent) per year


"A delicate, subtle Champagne, delivering aromatic notes of mulling spices and yeast that accent the flavors of kirsch, bread dough, candied lemon zest and rose petal. This is finely tuned, with lively acidity and a minerally finish. 330 cases made. –AN"
- Wine Spectator , 91 pts

"Bright orange. Aromas of blood orange, dried rose, allspice and minerals, with a subtle note of anise. Juicy and precise, with very good depth to its spicy red berry and citrus pith flavors. Finishes smooth and long, with excellent clarity and lingering spiciness."
- Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar , 91 pts

"This rosé exhibits a lovely salmon color with layered flavors of dried red fruit, grilled nuts, and yeast notes. A blend of 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier, and 20% Chardonnay from two vintages, it is rich and creamy on the palate, with layers of yeast and dried red berry fruit flavors and a long refined finish."
- International Wine Review , 91 pts

"Champion is a small grower in Chouilly, in the Cotes des Blancs, an area known for fantastic chardonnay. This rosé — of which he makes only about 330 cases — includes 10 percent red wines (pinot noir, pinot meunier) to give it a pale, salmonlike color and a beguiling palate of cranberries, strawberries and currants. Wow. And yum."
-  Washington Post, ***

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91 Wine Spectator: 91 International Wine Review: 91
Roland Champion Champagne Cuvee Aramis Brut NV

Roland Champion Champagne Cuvee Aramis Brut is made from 70% Pinot Meunier, 20% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay.

Very nice effervescence, fine bubbles - A nose spawn with notes of mature fruits such as quince and yellow fruits jelly. Aromas of biscuits and honey at the end of the palate, which remains supple, well structured, and with a beautiful length.

Black grapes from Verneuil and Vandière in the Marne Valley, argilo-limestone soil. Chardonnay grapes from Chouilly, “Grand Cru” from the famous “Côtes des blancs”, limestone soil and subsoil.


Review:
"Brilliant pale yellow straw color. Lively, complex aromas of honeyed biscuit, buttery praline, and poached Asian pear with a supple, lively, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and an elegant, long creme brulee, white balsamic reduced lemon, spiced nuts and tangerines, and grassy earth and minerals finish with well-integrated, fine tannins. A layered and vibrant champagne with cascading waves of fresh and mature flavors."

- Beverage Testing Institute (November 19th 2012), 95 pts

 95 Points
Roland Champion Champagne Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru 2011 (magnum)

Very complex nose. Elegance and finesse. A surprising aromatic complexity. A bouquet of aromas dominated by honey, brioche and notes of dried fruits, hazelnuts and sweets. Perfectly matured.

Juice exclusively 100% Grand Cru from Chouilly, chalky soil and subsoil.

It matches magnificently with foie gras!


Roland Champion Champagne Special Club Grand Cru 2012

Champagne with rich and structured aromas. Very pleasant and generous roundness, nice length in mouth. Golden color with buttery and fruity aromas. All the expression of a magnificent terroir for your most pleasurable moments.

To be a member of this Club, Champagne producers have to elaborate their Cuvées in their own facility, meaning the pressing, bottling, ridding, disgorging, etc., have to be done at the domaine/estate. Then, only the Recoltants-Manipulants are accepted. Everybody has to respect the Club’s rules to ensure the quality. These rules include: * Only vintages * Two tastings to control the quality: the first one after the blending, when the wine is still “Vin Clair” (juice) and another after the 3 years (or more) of ageing “sur lattes”. There are 26 members, each of whom can produce his Special Club with his own techniques: * blending or “monocru” (only one grape variety) * “blanc de blancs” or “blanc de noirs”; ageing from 3 to 10 years, brut or extra-brut. 4 year ageing minimum Strict selection of plots only made out of our old vineyards.



Special Club is a group of growers who taste and approve each other's chosen Champagnes before release, giving a wine with this label special cachet. This rich wine, aged for 10 years on its lees, is well textured, with fruit that still shows youth and intense apple and citrus flavors. Drink from 2022. 
- Wine Enthusiast (December 1st 2019), 94 pts



 

 Wine Enthusiast: 94
Trouillard Blanc de Blancs Brut NV

The House of Trouillard has incredible holdings on the Côtes de Blancs. The vineyard's rating average 94-95, just one of the reasons the Blanc de Blancs has such incredible raciness and elegance. It is a Cuvée of eleven different Crus in the Reims Mountain, the Côtes de Blancs and the Sézannaise region and is the specialty of the house.


Trouillard Blanc de Blancs Brut NV is made of 100% Chardonnay with a green-gold color, characteristic of Chardonnay, and with fine persistent bubbles. This wine has an aroma that jumps out of the glass and is very inviting. On the nose there are seductive scents of warm almond croissant and honey, lightened by some floral notes. Crisp and refreshing in the mouth and lively with a very refined fruitiness and a touch of smokiness typical of wines from the Côtes des Blancs. The elegance and subtlety of the Chardonnay are to be especially appreciated as an aperitif, and nicely accompanies shellfish and fish. 
It has become the favorite of those who know Champagne Trouillard.


Reviews:

"A blend of grapes from the Aube and the Marne Valley, this ripe wine shows the structure of Pinot Noir. The fruit's richness balances the low dosage to give an almost bone-dry wine that is full, fruity and that could age further in bottle. - ROGER VOSS"

- Wine Enthusiast (December 2019), 91 pts

"Aromatic, offering ripe fruit and yeast notes, this is backed by firm acidity, with a lively bead and flavors of Golden Delicious apple, white peach, ginger and whole-grain toast. Drink now through 2018. 2,500 cases made. –AN"

Wine Spectator (Web Only 2013), 90 pts


- Chardonnay du Monde 2012, SILVER MEDAL

 Wine Enthusiast: 91 Wine Spectator: 90
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Quinta de Fafide Douro Reserva 2017

Grape Varietals: Touriga Nacional (60%), Tinta Roriz/Tempranillo (25%) and Touriga Franca (15%)

Quinta de Fafide estate is located on the outskirts of São João da Pesqueira, at an altitude between 550 and 650 meters. The grapes are generally harvested in October, with the altitude allowing them to ripen without water stress. Extremely fresh, this wine shows the freshness of the grapes. A very intense, elegant aroma where red berry and plum jam dominate, perfectly balanced with notes from ageing in new American oak barrels. Excellent tannins on the palate, with a long and lasting finish.

ORIGIN: Grapes exclusively from the estate, Schist soil, located around São João da Pesqueira, at an average altitude of 550 meters, with mainly exposure to East / South.

VINIFICATION: Hand-picked grapes, were fully destemmed and immediatly crushed. The grapes were fermented by grape variety with rigorous selection, so the final blend was what we wanted. This is the Old World of making wine, by selecting grapes by vineyard and lots in the winery. Fermentation in small stainless steel vats, with temperatures around 28 ºC. Smooth and controlled maceration, to get elegant and aromatic wines.

AGEING: Part of the wine ages 12 months in second and third use American oak barrels.

APPELLATION: DOC Douro
ALCOHOL: 14%
pH 3,59
TOTAL ACIDITY: 5,0 g/dm
TOTAL SUGARS: 0,6 g/dm

Serve with red meat, game, strong cheeses, spicy meat dishes.