The Wine Advocate - USA

Alexandre Penet Extra Brut 88/100
Alexandre Penet's citrus-colored and intensely fruity-flavored NV Extra Brut blends 30% Chardonnay with 30% Pinot Noir and 40% Meunier. The current release is based on the 2013 vintage and is a medium to full-bodied, round, elegant and fruit-intense, yet refreshing and refined Champagne; it has a good and aromatic, well structured and slightly mineral finish. Almost too rich to be served as an aperitif, this remarkable Extra-Brut goes very well as a sun-downer and with food. - Stephan Reinhardt - Jun 2016 - Drink: 2016 - 2019
Alexandre Penet Grand Cru Brut Nature 90/100
Based on the 2010 vintage (plus 30% reserve wines) and aged for four years on the lees, Penet's current NV Grand Cru Brut Nature is a citrus-colored assemblage of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay, both from Boozy (Montagne de Reims); it was disgorged in December 2015. The wine opens with a very clear, deep, ripe and intense sweet cherry and lemon fruit on the nose, and indicated good freshness and complexity. Full-Boded, nutty and very elegant on the palate, this is a finesse-full, fresh and well-structured Champagne; it has a long, pure and well-structured finish. Very good grip, this Champagne is really excellent. - Stephan Reinhardt - Jun 2016 - Drink: 2017 - 2021

Penet-Chardonnet Grand Cru Cuvée Diane Claire 94/100
The current NV Grand Cru Cuvée Diane Claire is based on the 2002 vintage and blends 70% Pinot Noir with 30% Chardonnay. Bottled in June 2003 and disgorged with four grams as Extra Brut in May 2015, this medium golden prestige cuvée opens with a deep and elegant, very complex and vinous bouquet of toast, nougat, almonds, Turkish honey and mandarin aromas. Full-bodied, round and very complex, yet pure, fresh and elegant, this is an intensely flavored Verzenay Grand. It has a silky texture and a very delicate, but long and intense finish. This is a seriously great Champagne, but it shouldn't be your first bottle of matured Champagne. I had two bottles of it, the first one was darker, oxidized and corked. - Stephan Reinhardt - Jun 2016 - Drink: 2016 - 2024
Champagne Penet-Chardonnet Grand Cru Extra Brut Terroir Escence 89+/100
The straw-yellow, almost brass-colored NV Grand Cru Extra Brut TerroirEscence blends 70% Pinot Noir with 30% Chardonnay from the Montagne de Reims (Verzy and Verzenay). The most recent release was disgorged after four years in May 2015 and is based on the 2010 vintage, which the blend is completed by barrel-fermented Reserve wines. The wine opens with a clear and pretty intense, fresh lemon and grapefruit aroma intertwined with delicate brioche flavors on the nose. The attack on the palate is round and fresh, and the mid-palate is dense and juicy. The fruity and persistently mineral finish reveals a very fine mousse, as well as a very good aging potential. Still a bit stringent, but promising. - Stephan Reinhardt - Jun 2016 - Drink: 2017 - 2022
Champagne Penet-Chardonnet Grand Cru Extra Brut Terroir Escence Rosé 90/100
The intensely salmon/onion-colored NV Grand Cru Extra Brut TerroirEscence Rosé is a 70/30 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Verzy and Verzenay. The current cuvée is based on the 2010 vintage and was bottled in May 2011, disgorged as Extra Brut (four grams of sugar) in May 2015. The wine offers an intense, lovely matured and vinous bouquet of red fruits, dried herbs and flowers, with a touch of champignon and dried porcini. This leads to an intense and fruity, but pure, fresh, elegant and firmly structured palate. It has an excellent, aromatic, mineral-flavored and dry finish with a stimulating grip. Excellent quality, and will also go well with food. Less than 2,000 bottled produced. - Stephan Reinhardt - Jun 2016 - Drink: 2016 - 2020
Champagne Penet-Chardonnet Grand Cru Les Blanches Voies 92/100
The 2010 Grand Cru Les Blanches Voies is a Verzy Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut from a 26-year-old, northeast facing parcel that was picked on September 16th. The wine was fermented and kept on the lees in oak barrels (no malolactic fermentation though) and bottled in May 2011. After three years on the lees, it was disgorged in late July 2014 with five grams. The wine offers a clear, bright and intense bouquet of ripe white and yellow fruits, but remains discreet and distinguished in its aromatic expression. Fresh, round and mouth-filling, this is a full-bodied, complex and finesse-full Champagne. The palate of this Blanc de Blancs is perfectly dry with a silky texture, and a juicy, very well-balanced and persistent, pretty mineral finish. Beautiful bright aromas, finesse and purity. This is gorgeous, but extremely rare, with less than 600 bottles made. - Stephan Reinhardt - Jun 2016 - Drink: 2016 - 2026
2009 Champagne Penet-Chardonnet Grand Cru Les Epinettes 92/100
From a 40-year-old Pinot Noir parcel in a rather flat, northwest facing slope in Verzy (Montagne de Reims), the 2009 Grand Cru Les Epinettes is a clear, deep, fresh and subtly flavored Extra Brut with delicate red apple and fruit aromas, along with lemon flavors. Full-bodied, pure, firm and fresh on the palate, this is a still young, but promising, very delicate and finesse-full Grand Cru. It was fermented in small, stainless steel vats and disgorged after four years in July 2014 with four grams of dosage. The wine is lean, straight, firm and elegant, and reveals a complex, persistent finish. Excellent quality. Less than 3,000 bottles made. - Stephan Reinhardt - Jun 2016 - Drink: 2016 - 2026
2009 Champagne Penet-Chardonnet Grand Cru Les Fervins 89+/100
The slightly copper-colored 2009 Grand Cru Les Fervins is a 70/30 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay blend from the eponymous single vineyard in Verzy. Picked between September 19th and 22nd, fermented in stainless steel (no malolactic fermentation) and bottled in May 2010, this cru was disgorged in July 2014 as Extra Brut. It shows a clear and pretty, ethereal, slightly reductive bouquet with white (pears) and citrusy fruit, as well as floral aromas. On the palate, this is a full-bodied, silky-textured and complex wine with a remarkable finesse and persistent mineral structure. However, the wine seems a bit restrained today and should develop over the next five, or maybe eight or more years. - Stephan Reinhardt - Jun 2016 - Drink: 2018 - 2024
Champagne Penet-Chardonnet Grand Cru Prestige Grande Réserve 93/100
The NV Grand Cru Prestige Grande Réserve is a dark golden-yellow colored single village Grand Cru from Verzy (Montagne de Reims) and blends 70% Pinot Noir with 30% Chardonnay. The current release is based on the 2001 vintage and was disgorged as Brut Nature in February 2014. The wine has a lovely, matured, extraordinarily precise and articulated bouquet with flowers, smoke, pumpernickel and honey flavors that highlight the candied lemon, ripe quince and dried apricot aromas. Full-bodied, beautifully clear, dry and fresh (no malolactic fermentation), this is a lean and silky textured, very complex and fascinatingly pure Verzy with a long and salty, citrus-flavored finish. This zesty Prestige Réserve drinks beautifully on its own, as an aperitif and certainly with fish à la nature. - Stephan Reinhardt - Jun 2016 - Drink: 2016 - 2021
Comte de Grimm (La Maison Penet) Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut 91/100
A result of the cooperation between Martine Penet-Grimm from Barr (Alsace) and Alexandre Penet from Verzy (Champagne), the NV Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut is a fruit-intense, perfectly round and very elegant blend of 80/20 Pinot Blanc/Auxerrois vinified in stainless steel. Aged on the lees for 24 to 36 months and disgorged with six grams of sugar, this is an impressively mouth-filling, finesse-full and seriously long sparkling wine; it matches the lovely Alsatian Pinot fruit with the elegance and finesse of Champagne. The mousse here is unrivaled in its lightness and delicacy. This Comte de Grimm is doubtlessly one of the finest and most charming Crémant d'Alsace I have ever tasted. Under the Comte de Grimm brand, Champagne's Maison Penet (better known with its brands Alexandre Penet and Penet-Chardonnet) produces an outstanding Crémant d'Alsace Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut from Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois. It's one of the most charming and finest Crémants you can find in Alsace. - Stephan Reinhardt - Jun 2016 - Drink: 2016 - 2018


WINE ADVOCATE REVIEW 30 JUNE 2016

Under his own name, winemaker and Maison Penet's chef de cave Alexandre Penet sells a quintet of fresh and characterful, low-dosage Champagnes—of which I have tasted three recently. The Grand Cru Brut Nature is really remarkable, whereas the Rosé is bit one-dimensional in its upfront fruitiness. With their own vineyards in Verzy and Verzenay, the family-owned Maison Penet is well-known for its excellent Penet-Chardonnet Grand Cru range, which includes terroir-driven Champagnes that are partly marketed as single vineyard Champagnes. Under the brand Comte de Grimm, the Maison also produces Crémant d'Alsace, and in cooperation with the Caelum Bodega in Mendoza (Argentina) three sparkling wines under the Eclat brand.

Under the label Penet-Chardonnet, Alexandre Penet - who took over the small family property in 2009 - produces a range of excellent single vineyard cuvées from the Grands Crus Verzy and Verzenay (Montagne de Reims), as well as a blend of both villages ("TerroirEscence"). Since he blocks the malolactic fermentation in all his Pinot Noir-dominated, only poorly dosed cuvées, these are rather lean and fresh, but firm and complex. The lean and tangy Grande Réserve (based on 2001), and the full and round Cuvée Diane Claire (based on 2002) are spectacular prestige cuvées for lovers of matured and vinous Champagnes. Under his own label, Alexandre Penet produces more stylish cuvées from purchased grapes. I have also tasted an excellent and charming Crémant d'Alsace (Comte de Grimm) and a sparkling wine from Argentina (Eclat – a joint venture between Maison Penet and Bodega Caelum). The umbrella brand of all the cuvées is La Maison Penet, but Alexandre prefers to speak about the different brands, although he is the winemaker of all the cuvées.