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André Clouet, “Cuvée 1911” Grand Cru

Champagne, France MV (750mL)
Regular price$85.00
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André Clouet, “Cuvée 1911” Grand Cru

Unveiling the newest batch of Cloeut’s “Cuvée 1911” is an annual tradition now, but as with all things amazing, there’s a caveat: Jean-François Clouet’s 1,911-bottle annual production has and will always remain constant—despite ever-growing global demand. To add an even greater sense of urgency, this newest rendition has reached an unprecedented level of perfection. Between the blend of old vintages, length of aging, and judicious dosage, today’s “1911” is the most refreshing, texturally profound bottle I’ve tasted. For all newcomers, read on to see why we geek out over this luxurious, extremely limited Grand Cru tête de cuvée, everyone else, you know the drill...
Like giddy children on Christmas morning, we annually uncork one of these ornate bottles and this time around, Jean-François’ handwritten notes show the disgorgement date as June 2019 and the bottle number as 489 of ‘Cuvée 79.’ As mentioned, his latest edition does not disappoint—it’s the most vibrant and beautifully integrated I’ve had. As longtime subscribers know, André Clouet is one of the greatest ‘grower-producers’ in Champagne and “Cuvée 1911” is their top-of-the-line offering. It’s an ever-evolving, three-vintage blend of old reserve wines from their 10 best Grand Cru Bouzy parcels. This is as intense, precise, and serious as Champagne gets, yet in a deep sea of triple-digit prestige cuvées, its price comfortably remains in the shallow end. With us generously offering six per person today, our minuscule allocation will disappear fast—it always does!
The Clouet family first found the spotlight after becoming the official printers for the Royal Court at Versailles in the mid-18th century (hence the beauty of their wine labels). Their estate in Bouzy, which current owner Jean-François Clouet still calls home, dates back even further! Beneath this historic site lies their labyrinthine chalk cellar, which still contains partial false walls that hid precious bottles during Nazi invasion in World War II. With all this historic grandeur surrounding him, Jean-François draws from tradition and time-honored techniques while respectively embracing modern technology into the mix. What you’re getting in “Cuvée 1911” is a little piece of performance art in the form of a bottle. Jean-François Clouet is eccentric and a bit of a showman; there’s no specific formula behind 1911, but instead a periodic exploration of older reserve wines and the assembly of a blend according to Jean-François’ whims. 

Clouet farms only eight hectares of vines, most of them in Bouzy, a Grand Cru village famous for its exceptionally concentrated and vinous Pinot Noir due to a slight dip in the hillside that protects it from harsh winds and earns it slightly warmer temperatures. Always coming in at 100% Grand Cru Pinot Noir,  “1911” is sourced from 10 of their best parcels, or lieux-dits, in Bouzy that produce a wine of rich concentration and intense minerality. This is his current release—hitting our shores two months ago—with 50% consisting of a barrel-fermented base wine from 2008 and the other half coming from an old perpetual reserve of vintages between 2002 and 2008. The blended wine aged on lees in a combination of stainless steel and then in bottle for over 10 total years. It was disgorged (with a five-gram dosage) in the middle of 2019. 

Clouet’s latest disgorgement of “Cuvée 1911” reveals a radiant yellow core in the glass that shimmers with bright gold and silver reflections. Compared to last year’s, this brings unrivaled energy that overflows with rich yet supremely finessed layers of ripe fruit, atomized minerals and developing flavors. Within minutes of pouring into all-purpose or Burgundy stems around 55 degrees, you’ll be met with lively aromas of creamy red and yellow apple, crushed red currant, fresh brioche, honeysuckle, Bosc pear, citrus peel, Rainier cherries, acacia, wild herbs, and heaps of crushed nuts and chalk. The palate is full and concentrated as always, but this masterful blend shows brilliant equilibrium and never-before-seen levels of freshness. If you want lush, tension-filled Champagne that exudes luxury, by all means, secure yourself a bottle of “1911.” Just to reiterate: To allow the magnificent aromatics to really blossom, avoid serving in a narrow, traditional Champagne flute. Opt instead for a white wine stem, a more open, tulip-shaped Champagne stem, or a large Burgundy stem (I chose the latter). This wine can most definitely handle main courses, but with this disgorgement’s surging energy and freshness, my bottle disappeared before the food even hit the table. Enjoy!
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Enjoying the greatest wines of Beaujolais starts, as it usually does, with the lay of the land. In Beaujolais, 10 localities have been given their own AOC (Appellation of Controlled Origin) designation. They are: Saint Amour; Juliénas; Chénas; Moulin-à Vent; Fleurie; Chiroubles; Morgon; Régnié; Côte de Brouilly; and Brouilly.

Southwestern France


Bordeaux surrounds two rivers, the Dordogne and Garonne, which intersect north of the city of Bordeaux to form the Gironde Estuary, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The region is at the 45th parallel (California’s Napa Valley is at the38th), with a mild, Atlantic-influenced climate enabling the maturation of late-ripening varieties.

Central France

Loire Valley

The Loire is France’s longest river (634 miles), originating in the southerly Cévennes Mountains, flowing north towards Paris, then curving westward and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean near Nantes. The Loire and its tributaries cover a huge swath of central France, with most of the wine appellations on an east-west stretch at47 degrees north (the same latitude as Burgundy).

Northeastern France


Alsace, in Northeastern France, is one of the most geologically diverse wine regions in the world, with vineyards running from the foothills of theVosges Mountains down to the Rhine River Valley below.

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