R. Renaudin, Champagne Brut Nature Blanc de Blancs Millésime
R. Renaudin, Champagne Brut Nature Blanc de Blancs Millésime

R. Renaudin, Champagne Brut Nature Blanc de Blancs Millésime

Champagne, France 2005 (750mL)
Regular price$79.00

R. Renaudin, Champagne Brut Nature Blanc de Blancs Millésime

Folks, this is not a drill, or a deep fake. The stars of Champagne have aligned perfectly and we can offer a SommSelect exclusive on a very limited, very special back-vintage bottle of sublimely elegant bubbles today. There are precious few producers in Champagne that have the ability to do extremely long lees aging, and almost none of them are tiny growers. Sure, you can drop $1,000 on a bottle of P2 from Dom Perignon, or you can spend less than a tenth of that and get a tiny production Blanc de Blancs sourced entirely from the Grand Cru of Cramant. This beauty is so complex, sophisticated, elegant, and enthralling that you’ll wish you had a lifetime supply. Sadly there’s not nearly enough to make those wishes come true, but you can certainly grab a case or two if you act now!

It would be a fair assumption that a famous wine region like Champagne has nothing to offer in the realm of new discoveries. Yet even here, among the grand estates and massive cellars, there are hidden gems. Renaudin is a perfect example. This small but excellent grower outside of Épernay is relatively new to the U.S. market, and they have just one importer who works exclusively in California. He also happens to be a friend of SommSelect who has decades of experience hunting down the best small producers in Champagne. And that is how we were able to snag an exclusive on the achingly good 2005 vintage.

Renaudin’s current vineyards are located in what is known as the “Coteaux Sud” of Épernay, a beautifully pastoral region of rolling hills (there’s even a golf course amid the vines!) on the far southern border of the Vallée de la Marne, very close to where the Côtes de Blancs begins. As such, they have always been Chardonnay specialists, but in 2005, the estate was also in possession of a small parcel of vines in the Grand Cru Village of Cramant. Normally this parcel would be blended with the other top crus to make a single millésimé, or vintage, bottling. As fortune would have it, they bottled the Cramant on its own, a special micro-lot, and that is the parcel our importer friend chose. In his words it “took the biscuit!”

This is hardly surprising. Cramant, with its soils being almost pure chalky limestone, is highly regarded for producing excellent blanc de blancs that are known for an exquisite balance of opulent texture and precise, saline minerality. So the terroir itself is grand, but then you have the meticulous winemaking of Renaudin. Their 2005 was aged for eight months in neutral oak barrels to add more texture and to tame, just slightly, the laser like acidity of Cramant. Then, and this is real pièce de résistance: After undergoing bottle fermentation, the wine spent a whopping 14 years aging on the lees prior to disgorgement. Lees aging is what gives Champagne its sophisticated mousse (effervescence) and it also adds layers of complexity. 24 months is standard, 36 is for top tier wines, but 168 months? That is extremely rare, and usually it will set you back a good four figures.

But not today! You can buy an entire case of the 2005 Renaudin Blanc de Blancs and still come in well under what you might pay for a single bottle of similarly aged, luxury-labeled Champagne. This exquisite performance was bottled with zero dosage because the vintage and the aging give it plenty of richness and fruit—no sugar needed! Serve it chilled, but not too cold, at around 45 to 48 degrees in a nice Burgundy glass and you’ll be rewarded with many layers of brioche, ripe apples, toasted hazelnuts, lemon zest, marzipan, peach skin, and salty minerals. The texture is both rich and precise, the delicate acidity lingers for what seems like days. Yes, it’s delicious on its own, but it really shines with food. Oysters and caviar of course, but if you can save some for the fall a lobster pot pie would be a match made in gastronomic heaven. You’ll want as much as you can store, but it will be gone soon so don’t wait to pounce!

R. Renaudin, Champagne Brut Nature Blanc de Blancs Millésime

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