NV Diebolt-Vallois Cuvée Prestige Blanc de Blancs Brut
Expert Ratings
ST 93+ points
WS 93 points
(Read the full reviews below)
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We first discovered Jacques Diebolt's chiseled Blanc de Blancs Champagne in the summer of 1983. The dollar was riding high and we took full advantage, making lunch reservations at a half-dozen 2- and 3-star Michelin Guide restaurants. In two of the six gastronomic palaces — Gérard Vié's Les Trois Marches in Versailles and Marc Meneau's L'Esperance in Vézelay — the meal began with a glass of Diebolt-Vallois.

Vié's sommelier, Pierre Paillardon, a 22-year-old redheaded Breton who had just been named "Meilleur Jeune Sommelier de France," called Jacques Diebolt on our behalf. That first visit to Diebolt's cellars in Cramant — and the family's patchwork quilt of 35 tiny parcels on the Côte des Blancs — would set the standard by which all other Blanc de Blancs would always be measured.

On December 4th, 2013, 30 years after our first trip to Épernay, we invited Jacques Diebolt and Nadia Vallois to lunch at Four Seasons George V. In March, we told the story of that unforgettable afternoon at Le Cinq, and how Eric Beaumard — the former Meilleur Sommelier d'Europe — told us that the George V sells 70,000 bottles of wine per year (at an average price of $250/bottle!). Of those 70,000 bottles, 24,000 are Champagne — a whopping 4,000 of which are Jacques Diebolt's incomparable Cuvée Prestige!

That story set off a Champagne buying bonanza the likes of which WineAccess had never seen. Our 840-bottle allocation vanished in less than 18 hours. Then we sat back and waited for the ratings and reviews to stream in.

Of the 135 buyers who took the time to rate and review, 79 came in at a perfect 5 stars. The average rating was 4.45 stars out of 5, tied for the second-highest score of any wine with more than 125 ratings in WineAccess history. Even more remarkable were the reviews, the subjects of which included "Awesome!," "Best of the Best," "Fabulous Champagne," "Everything you could ask for in Champagne," "This is among my top five lifetime wine experiences," and — finally — "Don't drink Clicquot any more!!!"

Today, after some gentle arm-twisting (and a promise of a followup lunch at George V this December), Jacques Diebolt has set aside another 900 bottles of the "house" Champagne, not only at Four Seasons George V, but also at 3-stars Le Bristol and Le Royal Monceau!

Tasting Notes

NV Diebolt-Vallois Cuvee Prestige Blanc de Blancs Brut
"A very young blanc de blancs with exceptional inner-mouth energy. Powerfully lemony, very long finish shows superb perfume and cut."
93+ points -- Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

"This tightly knit Champagne brings something more with each sip, and a hint of peach leads first to ripe apple and quince flavors, then papaya, nut, lemon meringue, ginger, licorice and grated coconut notes. This is very focused, with racy acidity and fine texture throughout. Drink now through 2018."
93 points -- Wine Spectator

"Fine, small bubbles. Gentle effervescence. Pale green to the rim with chiseled aromas of apple, pear, quince, and ripe citrus. Rich and finely layered on the attack, with tightly wound flavors of lemon tart, ripe apple and white peach — in many ways more like a fine Meursault with bubbles than most Champagne — finishing with tremendous vibrancy and energy."
-- WineAccess Travel Log

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