NV Lallier Grande Reserve Grand Cru Brut
Expert Rating
WS 92 points
(Read the full review below)
 
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Lallier Vineyards and Sommelier Serge Dubs Lallier Grand Brut Reserve and The #1 Sommelier in the World

Our first wine trip to France was in the summer of 1981. We had just landed jobs with one of the country's most revered wine importers. The company paid for our flights from JFK to Paris. After that, we were on our own.

We spent three weeks in northern France, cellar hopping between the Loire, Burgundy and Champagne. With just $1,000 in traveler's checks in our backpacks, and just four French francs to the USD, we traveled frugally. We slept in $10/night B and Bs. We rarely went out to eat, living instead on a charcuterie diet of poulet roti, cheese and pain de campagne, washed down by all the red, white and sparkling leftovers we could abscond with after late day tastings.

It would be over the course of the next four summers that we'd meet many of the winemakers who would help form our palates and our understanding of artisanal winegrowing. Three and one-half years later, In December 1984, we earned handsome bonuses from our employer, every penny of which was socked away for our next summer trip.

In the summer of 1985, Ronald Reagan was residing on Pennsylvania Avenue, and the dollar was again king. This time we flew out of JFK with $3,000, and even more importantly, there were 10 francs to the dollar. Suddenly, France was a bargain, and we planned our first gastronomic buying spree.

That June, we booked tables for two at a half dozen 3-star restaurants in Paris, Alsace and Burgundy. It would be while dining at Restaurant Taillevent that we were introduced to the brilliant Macon-Vire of Andre Bonhomme. Jean and Pierre Troisgros acquainted us with the bitter honey complexity of 10-year-old Domaine Corsin Pouilly Fuisse. At Marc Meneau's L'Esperance in Vezelay, we sipped our first flutes of Jacques Diebolt's Cuvee Prestige.

But the most unforgettable meal of the trip was in Illhaeusern, at the Haeberlins' Auberge de L'Ile. In a dining room full of rich Americans and Germans, we stood out like two sore thumbs. We were ushered to a deuce near the kitchen — the maitre d'hotel hoping to hide us from the monied crowd. We felt horribly out of place until sommelier Serge Dubs arrived at the table toting his wine "Bible."

We'd known all about Dubs. In 1974, at the age of 20, Serge became the region's youngest Meilleur Sommelier d'Alsace. Nine years later, still not quite 30, he would garner Meilleur Sommelier de France honors. On that afternoon in Alsace, we had the pleasure of being served by the one of the most decorated sommeliers of the 20th century.

Despite the strong dollar, we cautioned Dubs to practice budgetary restraint. The sommelier didn't miss a beat, proposing two half bottles — the first an ethereal 1972 Cote de Nuits Villages from Domaine Leroy, and the second, a 1979 Domaine Leflaive Puligny Montrachet "Les Folatieres." But the most memorable glass of the day was effervescent — an indescribably rich and crisp Lallier Grand Brut Reserve that Serge Dubs served to his guests on his wedding day!

This offer is literally seven years in the making. We've been knocking down Francois Tribaut's cellar door with no success since 2007. Finally, three weeks ago, with a helping hand from Le Meilleur Sommelier du Monde — the inimitable M. Dubs — our persistence finally paid dividends.

After spending three years on lees before disgorgement, the Lallier Brut Grand Reserve is a blend of Pinot Noir (65%) and Chardonnay (35%), drawn ENTIRELY from Grand Cru vineyards in Ay, Verzenay, Avize and Cramant. Tiny bubbles of excellent persistence. Brilliant bright yellow in hue, infused with intoxicating aromas of white peach, pear and apricot pit. Creamy in texture with great breadth and plushness, filled with a powerful mix of pear, apple and bitter honey, braced by juicy acidity. Finishes with tremendous vibrancy and mineral cut.

92 points from Wine Spectator.

Tasting Notes

NV Lallier Grande Reserve Grand Cru Brut
"This is rich, with a viscosity buoying its honey, toast, peach and nascent coffee flavors. The vibrant structure keeps it all balanced and drives the lingering finish. Drink now through 2014."
92 points -- Wine Spectator

"Tiny bubbles of excellent persistence. Brilliant bright yellow in hue, infused with intoxicating aromas of white peach, pear and apricot pit. Creamy in texture with great breadth and plushness, filled with a powerful mix of pear, apple and bitter honey, braced by juicy acidity. Finishes with tremendous vibrancy and mineral cut."
-- WineAccess Travel Log


*Important Shipping Information
    • This is a Pre-Arrival Offer: Weather permitting, wine will begin shipping in July, 2014.

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