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We are very proud to feature a new selection of the extraordinary Champagnes of André Beaufort, just in time for the holidays, featuring the delicious Polisy Brut Nature NV, based on the 2014 vintage and disgorged in June of 2018. Primarily available at natural wine shops in France, Italy and Japan, we are happy to bring these exceptional Champagnes to New York. They all show the intense "vinosity" and complexity found in the Beaufort wines - products of superb farming, living soils, extended sur-lie aging and the commitment of the Beaufort family to create true Champagnes of terroir. Domaine André Beaufort has farmed organically since the early 1970s and, to our knowledge, the only grower rivaling Beaufort in long-time organic vine-growing in Champagne is Georges Laval in Cumières. Vinifications at Beaufort are generally 8-10 months long and both fermentations take place with native yeasts. Sulfur is added only at disgorgement, or not at all, and is present in moderate quantities.
Of special interest are four wines from the excellent 1988 and 1996 vintages, which will offer an extraordinary experience for your holiday gathering, or be extraordinary gifts for the Champagne lover. We'll taste them at Racines on Nov. 27, along with the 2002 Polisy Brut Nature and the 2010 Ambonnay Brut Grand Cru. Six half-pours, $75, starting at 6pm, please reserve by emailing Racines at email@example.com.
The Beaufort wines are remarkably different from most modern Champagnes, usually showing a softer mousse due to the wild-yeast fermentations, and always displaying an expression of fruit and mineral flavors one associates with a fine Burgundy. Quoting the French review, Bettane and Desseauve: “The natural expression of Beaufort's wines will remind older fans of the incomparable Champagne that prevailed before the adoption of industrial agriculture…” Please note that although the Beaufort wines normally receive a dosage of 4 to 8 grams per liter, a few of today's offerings are Brut Nature, and all have have been recently disgorged.
All wines arrive by Monday, 11/26.
We're fans of the Champagnes of Beaufort for a number of reasons. The farming at this historic Domaine is impeccable and the winemaking is classical and refreshingly old school. The 2015 base Ambonnay Grand Cru in handy half bottle is a pocket-sized example of Beaufort's distinctive character.
The new Beaufort Polisy Reserve Brut Nature NV is based on the 2015 vintage and was disgorged in March of 2019. The Polisy NV Brut Nature is a lean, racy expression of the Kimmeridgian limestone of Polisy. The nose is cool-toned and faintly herbal with aromas of green apple, lime zest, and wet stone. The palate is steely and focused, with a prominent mineral character giving way to taut structure and a compelling savory character on the brisk, chiseled finish. I'd love this with crudo, ceviche, or a platter of briny Beausoleil oysters. John McIlwain
The Beaufort Polisy Brut Rosé is from the 2016 vintage, disgorged for this shipment in September of 2018. The wine shows a bright pink/orange color and fresh aromas of red currant, raspberry and tart cherry with orange peel and floral hints. The palate shows bright berry fruits with earth, citrus and mineral flavors framed in brisk acidity with nice length of red currant and citrus. Serve this young, refreshing rosé with patés and charcuterie, smoked fish, goat cheeses...
For those of a classical bent who prefer not to shop at the big Champagne houses, André Beaufort is a wonderful alternative. Longtime organic farming and extended lees-aging produce rich wines of uncommon detail and complexity. The 2010 Ambonnay offers aromas of white flowers, orange peel, bergamot, and chalk on the nose. Bright acid, salted plum, citrus oil, and a fine line of sapid minerality on the supple and rich palate. This shows a fine interplay between power, tension, and a suave, supple finish. This is one heck of an Ambonnay and a fine bottle of Beaufort! (Disgorged Sept 2018) John McIlwain
A sensational mature Champagne from André Beaufort - the estate converted to organic agriculture in the early 70's and makes brilliant, full-bodied Champagnes that are among the most "vinous" being made today. Medium golden yellow in color and sporting a discrete mousse. The nose is quite floral with tones of cherry blossoms, apple blossoms, and irises before touches of quince and fresh baguette. The palate is concentrated with a spherical yet laser-like focus that offers notes of lemon sorbet, tart lemon custard, and apple pie, underlined by a fine minerality that persists through to a rounded, savory finish. Really a very pretty and lovely wine. This medium-bodied Champagne is made of approximately 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay and was disgorged in March 2017 after 14 years of sur-lie aging, illustrating the Beauforts' commitment to releasing mature wines.
The 1998 Ambonnay Brut has long been a staff favorite and this disgorgement does not disappoint. Brillliant, golden yellow in color and showing a finely-beaded mousse, this offers one of the two most expressive aromatic profiles of this current Beaufort lineup. Aromas of Mirabelle plums, toasted hazelnuts, and crème brulée transition to notes of Jonagold apples, cinnamon, and wild flowers. The palate is generous and expansive and carries tones of brazil nuts, greengages, and irises that crescendo to a fine, zippy finish. This is complex and delicious Champagne!
Tasted in January 2017 at the estate. Complex aromas of lychee, candied pear, citrus, beautiful palate of yellow fruits, minerals, citrus, caramel with fabulous length. (This shipment disgorged in July 2017)
With all its nuance and detail, this nearly 23-year-old Champagne has the potential for wide appeal. On the edges it shimmers a more bright golden yellow and its core it rests a burnished golden color, speckled by a fine and discrete mousse. The nose offers aromas of honeysuckles, Granny Smith apples, hazelnuts, chestnuts, vanilla, and smoky tones. The palate is round, circular, and weighty with aromas of lemon verbena and wisteria before a mineral, singing finish. This combines so many of the best qualities of Beaufort's Champagnes : strikingly nuanced aromatic detail, along with a gracefully powerful palate and a resounding finish. (Lot #96A. Disgorged 11/18.)