Champagne Claude Cazals, “Clos Cazals” Grand Cru Millésime
Champagne Claude Cazals, “Clos Cazals” Grand Cru Millésime

Champagne Claude Cazals, “Clos Cazals” Grand Cru Millésime

Champagne / Côte des Blancs, France 2012 (750mL)
Regular price$160.00
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Champagne Claude Cazals, “Clos Cazals” Grand Cru Millésime

If you thought Grand Cru Vintage Champagne was a rarity, it’s time for Claude Cazals’ prestige cuvée to redefine the word. For starters, this recherché collectible hails from the five-star 2012 vintage and aged nearly 10 years on lees before release. Those two factors alone shift this wine into a rarefied circle. Still, that hardly scratches the surface for Clos Cazals...

This cuvée was sourced from a walled vineyard (“clos”) planted to vines older than 65 years of age, something only a handful of producers can match. Genuinely, this is one of the few instances in which (1) seriously old vines, (2) a Grand Cru clos, and (3) a decade of aging are infused into a single bottle. And again, this just so happens to come from one of the most revered and age-worthy vintages of contemporary times. I’ll leave you with this: I’ve had the great fortune of tasting nearly every “Clos Cazals” release since 2000, and I believe today’s 2012 not only exists on the winners’ podium but should also be in the discussion for first place. We only have a few dozen cases to dole out to our loyal customer base and we own the best price in the country…feet dragging is ill-advised! Complimentary shipping on two bottles. 

From coopers to winemaking superstars, the origins of the Cazals family in Champagne start in the final years of the 19th century when Ernest Cazals, a native of Languedoc, resettled in the village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. However, today’s “Clos Cazals” bottling wasn’t born until much, much later. For that, we have two people to thank: (1) Olivier Cazals, who originally planted this prized clos to 100% Chardonnay in 1957, and (2) his granddaughter and current proprietor Delphine, who was the first to craft a cuvée entirely from this distinct site in 1997. 

“Clos Cazals” abuts the old église (church) in the northwest corner of Oger, one of the select few Grand Cru villages in the Côte des Blancs. Although the clos has gradually expanded over the years, it ultimately remains small at 3.7 hectares. Besides its exclusivity and small scale, another major benefit of a clos is that its enclosed vines enjoy more heat retention than those that are exposed to the elements. In a cooler continental climate like Champagne—especially in a classic vintage like 2012—his is incredibly advantageous.

Two Vintage Blanc de Blancs are made within this special walled site: their younger-vine and earlier-released “La Chapelle du Clos” and today’s old-vine, insanely long-aged “Clos Cazals.” In 2012, grapes were harvested by hand and trucked a few minutes south to their cellar in the bordering town of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. The Grand Cru Chardonnay was gently pressed, and fermentation (including full malolactic) occurred in a mixture of stainless steel and neutral French barrels. After transferring into bottle, the wine aged on its fine lees for over nine years in Cazals’ old, subterranean chalk cellar. This specific parcel was disgorged in January of 2022 and given a two-gram dosage. As always, production was exceedingly low. 

Those who have read my previous Champagne offers know that when I’m opening a vintage bottling of serious substance and poise, I generally reach for an all-purpose or Burgundy stem. For this 2012 “Clos Cazals,” I chose the latter and had zero regrets. While a bit tight and reticent at first, this blossomed into a gorgeous wine as it slowly shed carbonation and warmed to about 50-55 degrees. It’s packed with deep, chalk-inflected aromas of white peach, white pear, yellow apple, roast hazelnut, sweet lemon, acacia, honeysuckle, green apple pastry, and marzipan. There is no shortage of depth on the palate, as swells of white and green fruits are propelled by crushed sea shells, white stone, and brioche. Cazals’ Grand Cru bottlings have always contained extraordinary poise and persistence, but this 2012 takes it to another level. Enjoy!

Champagne Claude Cazals, “Clos Cazals” Grand Cru Millésime




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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