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Varnier Fanniere Cuvee St Denis Grand Cru NV
France >Champagne >Avize
(AG=95) The NV Brut Cuvée St. Denis emerges from a single parcel of old vines in Avize. A rich, vinous Champagne with gorgeous savory and mineral overtones, the Cuvée St. Denis boasts fabulous resonance and texture. Layers of fruit build to a vivid, breathtaking finish as this voluptuous Champagne shows off its considerable personality. This is the purest essence of old-vine Avize Chardonnay. Simply put, I can't recommend the Cuvée St. Denis highly enough. Readers who can find it should not hesitate, as it is a real head-turner. The current release is 60% 2009 and 40% 2008. Disgorged June 2014. Dosage is 7 grams per liter. (RP=93) After five years on the lees before disgorgement, the white-golden colored NV Brut Grand Cru Cuvee St Denis (LSD2012) displays a deep, intense and yeasty-complex Blanc de Blancs bouquet of ripe and dried fruits, lemons, herbs, blossoms, hazelnut, caramel and chalky flavors. Sourced from a 65-year-old, 0.6-hectare vineyard in Avize east ("Clos du Grand Père"), this is a full-bodied, pretty rich and matured Brut. However, it is also clear, silky textured and vivacious with a firm structure and a long, complex finish. Though the St-Denis cuvée lacks the charm and perfect elegance of the Jean Fannière, it is a serious and expressive old vines Champagne that shows persistent salinity; it has to be served with the right (seafood) dishes. As a soloist, the finish is maybe a bit dry and austere. (WS=92) Atypical yet seductive. Extremely fragrant, evoking red berry, tropical fruit and vanilla aromas and flavors, all matched to a firm structure and dense texture. Powerful yet graceful with a terrific finish. Drink now through 2006.
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