89 Points Tyson Stelzer
At well over 20 million bottles, and rising steeply, this one wine accounts for more than 7% of Champagne’s production. To put this in perspective, the vines that supply this label alone would cover an area close to 4000 rugby fields! This is a blend of everything from everywhere, on an oceanic scale that makes a single blend impossible, dictating three quite different blends every year. The aim is to use young and fruity reserves of two vintages to build consistency by contributing any elements missing from the latest harvest. There is thus no recipe, with a different dosage and different liqueur for every batch. ‘I call this tailor-made winemaking,’ says Gouez. ‘We have to adapt and be flexible.’ The mind-boggling scale of Brut Impérial makes its improvement in recent years all the more impressive, presenting pretty freshness of lemon zest, pear and apple. Reductive notes of grilled toast are a hallmark of the house. The difficult 2011 season leaves its mark in a dry, biscuity palate and notes of tilled earth on the finish. Nonetheless, it upholds good length, fresh acidity and fine-tuned dosage, concluding as dry and refreshing as I’ve seen it. From magnum it predictably carries more precision and purity.
Source: Tyson Stelzer.