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Bereche Reflet d'Antan Brut NV (1.5L)
94 Points, David Schildknecht, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Bereche's NV Brut Reflets d'Antan Disg. 10/2012 represents the latest installment of a singular bottling whose origin is a solera-like, annually renewed blend of equal parts Chardonnay, Meunier and Pinot, held in (hence, rotated through) demi-muids, and begun nearly two decades ago. This is truly a revelation of what Champagne can be! (Not that one would want all Champagne to be like this.) The intensely pungent aromas of green herbs, toasted nuts, and bittersweet floral perfumes are head-turning - yet so variegated and at the same time elusive that I won't try to name even some of them. The correspondingly multi-faceted effect on a silken palate is at once piquantly oxidative and coolingly, even refreshingly green herbal and juicily citric. This finishes with awesome persistence and penetration, a wine that you can shake your head over in delighted contemplation for hours, and which will prove terrifically versatile at table. And incidentally, there's no sense of austerity or (too-)obvious dryness here, thanks to some 5-6 grams of residual sugar. What will become of this in bottle - and how quickly - I wouldn't pretend myself capable of predicting; but I am confident it will continue to mesmerize and delight for at least several more years. And as Bereche disgorges bottles, year after year (perhaps even more often?!), I predict the list will rapidly grow of those whose "wish list" it adorns. Raphael Bereche began working with his father Jean-Pierre in 2004 - which was also (and probably not coincidentally) the year in which this estate went organic - and has gradually taken the lead. This estate has holdings in the area around their home base of Ludes; in the gravel and sand "Meunier" belt of the Petite Montagne de Reims; and around Mareuil-le-Port on the Left Bank of the Marne. Amazingly, other than the (far from) "basic" Brut and Extra Brut "Reserve" bottlings, all of the wines here are disgorged by hand after aging under cork rather than crown capsule, a luxury (and, true, to some small degree a risk) that applies to few Champagne estates today, and if at all, then usually only for a couple of their most expensive bottlings. This is also, I'm told, one of those precious few wine estates in any given region that perpetuates the work of massale selection from its old vines. Given that the Bereche wines do not "do malo" - though most wines see barrel - and are typically finished with very low dosage, it's not so surprising that as a group they tend toward tartness and a certain austerity, but for the most part, that is well-buffered and subsumed into a complex whole. Except for their Brut Reserve - and the "Reflets d'Antan," to which this notion doesn't apply - all of the non-vintage Bereche wines I tasted on this occasion were from vintage 2009. They were, as a group, sharp as the proverbial tack, so I can imagine that in a year naturally high in acidity - notably malic - they may well draw blood!" 11/13
93 Points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous: "The flagship NV (2012) Reflet d'Antan is quite rich and intense, yet it also maintains striking translucence. Dried flowers, herbs and spices add aromatic nuance throughout, but, as is often the case, Reflet d'Antan is a wine of texture and feel above all else. Dosage is 6 grams per liter." 7/17
94 Points, James Suckling, jamessuckling.com: "Very deep and rich, showing sweet-smelling nuttiness and yellow plums. Essence-like palate that's deeply concentrated, smooth and richly textured. Super vinous with a mellow bead. A selection of reserve wine, just 4-5 demi-muids (500-600 litre oak barrels) each year. Drink or hold." 09/18