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Roland Champion Grand Cru Champagne Blanc de Blancs NV

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 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 90 Wine Enthusiast: 90 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:

"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

"Medium gold color with very attractive aromas of yeast and lemon tart. A lovely and very flavorful palate of yeast and nuts gives way to a long, long finish. This is a crowd pleaser!"
- I-Wine Review 91 pts

"Graphite, bread dough and citrus aromas segue to lemon, apple and floral notes as this remains focused and crisp. There's a nice chalky feel on the long finish.   1,800 cases made. –BS"
- Wine Spectator  90 pts

"A finely wrought wine, this is tangy and mineral drivel, layering acidity, citrus and white fruit in a complex, elegant whole"- Wine Enthusiast  90 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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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:

"Clean, poised, rounded notes of ripe, red-cheeked apples play on every front. There is something joyous and bountiful here. The frothy mousse accentuates the light-hearted but generous aspect on the dry but rounded palate, which also brings ample refreshment.- Anne Krebiehl, MW"

Wine Enthusiast (Dec 1st 2015), 90 pts

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 Wine Enthusiast: 90
Roland Champion Champagne Special Club Grand Cru 2011

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.

Review:

"Produced from old vines in the Grand Cru vineyards of Chouilly in the Côte des Blancs, this is a beautifully crisp, ripe wine, showing taut fruit and fine, stylish acidity. As a Special Club bottling, it adheres to stringent qualitative guidelines set out by an elite group of growers. Still young, it will be best from 2019. - Roger Voss"

- Wine Enthusiast (May 2017), 94 pts

 

 Wine Enthusiast: 94
Roland Champion Champagne Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru 2008

Roland Champion Champagne Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru 2008 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:

"Still so crisp and fruity, this is lively Champagne. It has a great tang of lemon zest and a tight texture that shows plenty of minerality. It will continue to age gracefully, allowing a more mature toasty character to come through. Drink from 2018. –Roger VOSS"
- Wine Enthusiast (May 2017), 90 pts

 Wine Enthusiast: 90
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.
This non-vintage champagne is the newest addition to the Champagne Champion line.
Total Production for this Cuvée : 950 cases (9 liter equivalent) per year


- Wine Enthusiast (December 1st 2012), 88 pts

 Wine Enthusiast: 88
Trouillard Elexium Rose Brut NV

Trouillard Elexium Rose Brut NV rosé cuvée is made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes and aged for 3 years on the lees. The color is a seductive salmon pink with fine bubbles. The Pinot Noir gives this fruity wine its rich bouquet of raspberries and fresh-baked bread. On the palate it is rich yet balanced with lashings of red-berry fruitiness and an ephemeral creaminess. An enormously popular and versatile rosé, this wine is perfect with roast game birds or fowl, smoked salmon and creamy cheeses. 

ELEXIUM stands for: 
          *EL for ELegence
          *EX for EXcellence
          *IUM- for Optimum and Summum

Thorn Clarke 18 year old Rare Tawny Port (500ml)

20% Alcohol by Volume.
pH: 3.47
Thorn Clarke 18 year old Rare Tawny Port is made from predominately Grenache, Shiraz and Touriga

The grapes are crushed and de-stemmed into fermenters. Yeast is added immediately once in fermenter and the ferments are pumped over twice daily to maximize colour, tannin and flavour extraction. Cooling is used to ensure ferments remain in the 22-25 degrees Celcius range which will allow the fruit to display maximum fruit expression. Spirit is then added, the wine is pressed and aged in old barrels (older than 7 years) for a period which makes the average age of the wine 18 years.

Tawny brown in colour. This wine exhibits lifted a nose of raisins, dried fruits and plum pud-ding. The palate is rich and viscous with roasted apples, sultanas and cream caramel the predominant flavours. The sweetness is well balanced with clean acidity and gives the pal-ate fantastic length. This wine would be served equally well with sweet deserts or with petit fours and coffee.

Dark and sweet, with coffee and allspice notes weaving through a fairly sweet layer of tea, walnut and crème brûlée. Persists nicely.
Drink now.—H.S. Wine Spectator 90 Points

 Wine Spectator: 90
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Avennia Sestina Red Blend 2015

Avennia Sestina Red Blend is made from 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc

The Sestina is a poetic form from Medieval France. Just as a contemporary poet can use an old form like the Sestina to express modern ideas, we use the traditional Bordeaux blend to make modern wines that express Washington fruit. Sestina is our vision for an old vine blend where the focus is on structure, balance, and complexity. This wine is designed for the cellar, but is enjoyable now.

Sestina: This wine is a blockbuster, with black currant, black raspberry, saddle leather, freshly tilled earth, vanilla, and violet on the nose. Exceedingly rich and balanced on the palate, with great poise and structure for long aging. The finish echoes with fresh black fruits, minerally touches, and floral notes.

Review:

"The 2015 Sestina is showing very well, offering up a rich, more exuberant bouquet than the 2014 rendition. This emphasizes notes of cassis, black plums, dark chocolate, espresso roast and a subtle framing of new oak. On the palate, it's full-bodied and lavish but controlled, with an ample, more sun-kissed core of fruit and fine-grained structuring tannins. Like the 2014, it's a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. While the 2014 and 2015 are quite different in style, it's hard to choose between them qualitatively. While it needs a few years in the cellar, I suspect the 2015 will hit its peak sooner. - William Kelley"
- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (Issue 237, June 29th 2018), 96 pts

Number #93 On Top 100 Cellar Selections From Wine Enthusiast 

 Wine Advocate: 96