VINOUS / ANTONIO GALLONI - USA

EXTRA BRUT PAR ALEXANDRE PENET 90/100
Pale yellow. Zesty mineral-tinged citrus and orchard fruit aromas are complemented by deeper hints of toasted brioche and honey. Dry and incisive on the palate, offering bitter lemon pith, pear skin and chamomile flavors and a suggestion of smokiness. Closes taut and nervy, with a subtle floral quality.
-- Josh Raynolds, January 2015
GRAND CRU BRUT NATURE PAR ALEXANDRE PENET 91/100
Light yellow-gold. Smoky, mineral accented aromas of fresh citrus and orchard fruits complemented by slow-building floral and anise elements. On the palate, juicy tangerine and yellow apple flavors are firmed and lifted by juicy acidity and a touch of gingery spice. Finishes with excellent focus and stony cut, the floral and mineral notes echoing.
-- Josh Raynolds, January 2015
BLANC DE BLANCS EXTRA BRUT GRAND CRU PAR ALEXANDRE PENET 91/100
Pale yellow. A highly fragrant, tightly focused bouquet evokes fresh pear, ginger, toasty lees and beeswax, with hints of green tea and jasmine in the background. Dry and incisive on the palate, offering lively orchard fruit and citrus pith flavors that are complemented by suggestions of tarragon and chalky minerals. I suspect that this minerally, tense Champagne will reward at least a little bit of patience.
-- Josh Raynolds, January 2015
RESERVE, EXTRA BRUT, PENET-CHARDONNET GRAND CRU 91/100
Light yellow. Mineral- and ginger-accented citrus and orchard fruits on the incisive, tightly focused nose, with a suave floral nuance emerging with aeration. Juicy orchard fruit and blood orange flavors show very good clarity, putting on weight as the wine opens up. Leaves a chalky mineral note behind on the finish, which hangs on with strong tenacity and subtle smokiness. This fruit came from Verzy and Verzenay.
-– Josh Raynolds, January 2015
LIEU-DIT «LES FERVINS», VERZY-GRAND CRU, VINTAGE 2009, PENET-CHARDONNET GRAND CRU 92/100
Light gold. Sexy, spice-laced aromas of ripe citrus fruits, pear nectar and white flowers, with a toasty nuance building in the glass. Sappy, penetrating and sharply focused, offering bitter pear skin and orange pith flavors, a touch of anise and chalky minerality. Closes on a gentle leesy note, with excellent focus and mineral drive. Here's yet another 2009 that doesn't suggest its warm-year origin.
-- Josh Raynolds, January 2015
DIANE CLAIRE, BRUT NATURE, PENET-CHARDONNET GRAND CRU 92/100
Vivid gold. Deeply scented, complex bouquet of peach nectar, poached pear, gingerbread and toffee, complemented by a smoky mineral undertone. At once dense and vibrant, offering broad orchard and pit fruit flavors and hints of buttered toast and marzipan, with a subtle mineral quality lending focus. Closes sappy, broad and very long, with repeating pit fruit and smoke notes. In a hefty, mature, vaguely decadent style, with the oomph to work with rich poultry dishes or mature, funky cheeses.
-- Josh Raynolds, January 2015