Champagne Brut ‘Reserve’, Lallement
The Brut ‘Reserve’ is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the villages of Verzenay and Verzy.
cépage 80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay
assemblage 80% 2010 and 20% 2011
info/source Verzenay and Verzy
élevage Stainless Steel
Montagne de Reims
“Old Blue” is a year older, or rather it reverses the proportions of vintages such that this one is now 80% 2011 and 20% 2012; it also hails from superior parcels and is a little drier—though all of these qualify as ”Extra Brut.” Deg 9/2015, I can’t account for how excellent this is considering the proportion of ’11 it contains. It’s crusty and lacquered like the skin of a pork roast; cloves and star fruit and a silky-chalky texture into a finish tinged with matja-powder; crystalline and long—classic Lallement. Somehow!
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Press & Reviews
Lallement’s NV Brut Reserve represents, as usual, an inverse blend to that of the corresponding “basic” Brut, meaning that here we have 80% 2008 with 20% 2009. (That having been noted, there was no Reserve based on vintage 2007.) It’s hard to understate how compellingly complex and alluring as well as what an amazing value this is – and that’s when tasted from a relatively recently disgorged bottle! (I last tasted the November, 2012 disgorgement of this cuvee when it was similarly young, and with similarly dazzling effect.) Black tea and buckwheat smokiness share aromatic attention with intimations of the fresh apple and crabapple, orange and pineapple that go on to inform a lusciously juicy palate infused with black tea and suffused with crushed stone. The mouthwatering saline-sweet savor of scallops that emerges mid-palate, so typically for this address, is here apple wood-smoked. To the aforementioned sense of hidden sweetness (not at all on account of residual sugar, as there are but four grams) is joined, in a profoundly protracted finish, by almond-like nuttiness; maritime alkalinity and salinity; and kisses of candied orange rind and caramelized onion. If this wine doesn’t set your salivary glands pumping, you might want to consult your doctor.
Hints of honey, vanilla and pastry cream enrich this creamy version, layered with flavors of glazed apricot, walnut, black currant and ground spice. Very appealing, with fine balance and finesse. –AN
(80% pinot noir and 20% chardonnay; 80% 2008 wine and the rest from 2009, all from the grand crus Verzenay and Verzy): Bright straw. Deeply perfumed scents of candied citrus and pit fruits, toasted nuts, honey and chamomile. Spicy and nicely concentrated, offering intense poached pear and orange zest flavors and a hint of marzipan. Tighter on the impressively persistent finish, which emphasizes smoky minerals and bitter pear skin.
The discreet nose is markedly perfumed with really lovely floral and
soft citrus aromas that serve as an elegant introduction to the detailed, intense and utterly delicious flavors that possess very
good if not truly exceptional complexity, all wrapped in a cool, clean and notably dry finish that manages to avoid being
aggressive or more than slightly austere. I quite like this as it’s a Champagne of refinement and understatement. It isn’t really
for those who enjoy big, bold and robust examples but for those who enjoy restrained and distinctly cool Champagne, this
would be an excellent choice.
Like the current version of Tradition, this is 80 percent 2006 and 20 percent 2007; however, this cuvée is made exclusively from vines over 30 years old. It’s deeper and more vinous in tone than the Tradition, its dark notes of blackberry and black cherry feeling coiled and concentrated. The aromas persist on the finish with a lovely balance, definition and length, full of vibrant energy. Last tasted: 3/10
Lallement's NV Brut Grand Cru Cuvée Reserve comes across as a bit compact today. This release is 80% 2008 and 20% 2009 juice and it may be the prevalence of 2008 that contributes to the wine's tightness. There is good vertical energy and length here, but less in the way of the typical Lallement breadth and volume. The Cuvée Reserve is 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay, 80% 2008 and 20% 2009, all done in steel. This bottle was disgorged in May 2013.