Champagne Jacquesson 2004 Avize "Champ Cain" 750ml
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From vines planted in 1962, the single-vineyard Jacquesson 2004 Extra Brut Avize Champ Cain leads with an utterly remarkable nose. A greenhouse-like profusion of leafing and flowering things is imposed over sea breeze, with jasmine; musky narcissus; nose-prickling spice as if from some exotic orchid; iodine-tinged toasted shrimp shells; and toasted grain all pungently present and anticipating the elusive complexity delivered on a caressingly polished yet consummately refreshing and almost ethereally delicate palate. Over time, the sense of creaminess and the refinement of bubbles became more evident, along with a contrasting impression of enhanced piquancy, suggesting hops and lentil sprouts, all in the context of remarkable poise and transparency to nuance. The endlessly fascinating finish remains infectiously juicy and subtly yet mouthwateringly saline. Lucky owners should plan to follow bottles for at least a decade. (And at around 10,000 bottles – twice the volume of the corresponding Corne Bautray and four times that of the Vauzelle Terme – there is at least a better chance you can get hold of some. I’m told, though, that only 118 bottles were allocated for the U.S., at least initially, which gives you an idea how regrettably few will have been shipped here of the other two Jacquesson single-vineyard gems.)
David Schildknecht, eRobertParker.com #1113, 96 points
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