First, use a good well-shaped wine glass, not a tall skinny flute. And don’t be afraid to swirl the wine (I know: the bubbles may fade). But this sensational super-Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs will continue to evolve for hours, which is a hallmark of the finest wines in Champagne (even the empty glass smells great the next day). The wine has a lovely flaxen-gold-in-bright sunlight color, with flashes of platinum; perfectly limpid, except for the streaming bead of tiny precise bubbles. At first, the elegant Chardonnay nose suggests white cranberries, green apples, toasted almonds, and fresh sorrel, with white peaches, fresh fennel, and coconut moving in and out of the foreground as the wine evolves in the glass. On the palate, the wine is racy, precise, and energetic, with a fine mineral structure, and a feathery, delicate mousse. The flavors echo the nose, with more white flowers, caraway seeds, rye toast, and pink sea salt, and the mesmerizing long clean finish is sustained by lively tartaric acidity and the velvety, persistent mousse. Drink now–2030.
About this wine producer: The Roberts have been vine-growers since the nineteenth century, but the current estate dates only to 1960, when André Robert, whose grandfather founded the cooperative in Oger, established what is now one of the most important independent grower estates in the legendary Grand Cru village of Le Mesnil sur Oger. Bertrand Robert and his wife Colette brought the estate into the modern age, and in 2013, responsibility passed to their daughter Claire Robert, and her husband Jean-Baptiste Denizart. The estate is spread over 14 hectares in 53 parcels, more than half of which lie in Le Mesnil sur Oger itself, including a small parcel in Chétillon, the most prestigious vineyard in the village. Les Jardins du Mesnil is 100% Chardonnay from Le Mesnil dur Oger, 70% of which is fermented in stainless steel tanks, and the other 30% in used neutral barriques (see photo above). Finally, the wine is assembled and bottled in July following the harvest, and is matured in bottle for four years on the lees.