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We're very proud to again offer the distinctively delicious and very "natural" Champagnes of André Beaufort, from excellent vintages dating back to 1996! The Beauforts produce Champagnes both in Ambonnay (Grand Cru) and in Polisy, usually with a blend of about 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay. These are broad, full-bodied wines that benefit from extended sur-lie aging - all the wines in this shipment have been recently disgorged. (The non-vintage Polisy and Ambonnay GC are base 2015 and were disgorged in September, 2020.) "We keep our wines sur-lie as long as possible before release, so one can taste a Champagne of ten years of age with mature aromas, having conserved some traits of youth - thus, disgorgement is always recent." They all show the intense "vinosity" and complexity found in the Beaufort wines - products of superb farming, living soils, and the commitment of the Beaufort family to create true, natural Champagnes of terroir. We recommend serving in a fairly large white wine glass, rather than a flute, in order to appreciate the complex aromas of these unique Champagnes.
The Beauforts converted to organic agriculture in 1971 and also avoid the use of copper sulfate in the vineyard, preferring to use essential oils and homeopathic preparations of their own creation. Vinifications at Beaufort are generally 8-10 months long and both fermentations take place with native yeasts. The wines go through the malo-lactic transformation and are not re-acidified, and SO2 is used sparingly or not at all depending on the vintage. The Beaufort wines are remarkably different from most modern Champagnes, often 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…”
Some wines are in stock, the remainder will arrive at the store on Nov 3rd.
The current release of Beaufort Polisy Reserve Brut Nature NV is based on the 2015 vintage and was just disgorged for this order in January 2021. The Polisy NV Brut 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
Our new shipment of the 2008 Polisy Brut was disgorged for this order in January 2021. 2008 continues to delight, even 12 years after the harvest. The current disgorgement of the Polisy has a pale yellow robe, fine bead, and soft mousse. The nose is soft and pretty offering aromas of golden apple, acacia, lemon curd and apple blossom. The mid-weight palate is bright and brisk on attack, with flavors of Macintosh apple, bergamot, and green tea giving way to a fine core of minerality lending focus. This has good length and energy on a lifted and expansive finish. This is very good with vibrant fruit and nascent aged flavors knitting elegantly. A fine effort from the Beauforts! John McIlwain
A sensational mature Champagne from André Beaufort from the superb 2002 vintage - 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 Sept 2019 after 16+ years of sur-lie aging, illustrating the Beauforts' commitment to releasing mature wines.
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. A great vintage in Champagne yielding firmly structured wines for long-term cellaring. We'd love to re-taste this wine but it keeps selling out before we can get to it! (Disgorged for this order in January 2021 after 24+ years on the lees).
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. Disgorged December 2020.
This is classic Beaufort: balanced, rounded and finely filigreed with a judicious dosage. In truth, the 2009 Ambonnay Grand Cru tastes very dry for a Brut, closer to an Extra Brut in style. It shows a burnished golden yellow in the glass, adorned by a finely beaded and generous mousse. The nose offers notes of brioche, cardamom, cinnamon, roasted chestnuts, white flowers, and honeysuckle. The palate is powerful and broad, accented with aromas of Cortland apples, apple pie, and nutmeg that lead to a lingering, herbal finish. The 2009 Brut shows the pedigree of its Ambonnay Grand Cru fruit. It's delicious now, but it also has real aging potential. (Lot #09A. Disgorged Nov 2020.)
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! (Disgorged for this order in Jan, 2021)
2009, says Jancis Robinson: "After early complications a superb summer produced a clean crop of high quality, with particularly good Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims. Wines are plump and approachable." The Beaufort Polisy shows subtle aromas of white fruits and creamy lemon with hints of spice and herbs, the palate is round and ripe with pear, citrus, almond, spice, anise... The finish is long and creamy with complex spice and mineral notes. The mousse is soft and delicate as with most of the Beaufort wines. This is a great white Burgundy that's masquerading as Champagne. Disgorged in Sept, 2020. DL
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 in August 2020) John McIlwain