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    Oysters in a Champagne Sabayon

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93 points Wine Spectator

 Bordering on amber, this Champagne is slightly oxidized in aroma and flavor, yet fresh, with roasted nut, leather and woodsy notes. Full-bodied and firm, with a long, citrusy and woodsy aftertaste. Not a typical Champagne, yet complex and intriguing. (BS, Web-2009) 

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The Story

Anselmes purest expression of terroir is of course the famed Substance, a solera created in 1986. By marrying some twenty vintages, he removes vintage variation, allowing the Avize terroir to speak on its own.

Substance is one of the most sought after of Selosse’s wines. 

Substance is a Blanc de Blancs sourced from two prime vineyards in Avize, Les Chantereines and Les Marvillannes, and is aged in a solera that was founded in 1986. The intention of Substance is to be a pure reflection of terroir transcending individual vintages.

Substance offers a bottomless, constantly evolving complexity. There seems to be nuance piled upon nuance. Every component, whether it’s minerality, spice, florality or fruit, seems to go through an endless number of iterations.


95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Selosse’s NV Extra Brut Substance Disg. 04/2013 represents the current state of a solera begun in 1986 and based on the same two sites that inform his basic vintage bottling. (This cuvee is routinely disgorged in the last quarter of each year, but due to the theft of stocks when his cellar was broken into early this year, Selosse interpolated an additional small disgorgement.) “‘Substance’ expresses the blood line,” he explains “whereas ‘Millesime’ expresses individual personality.” There is a sweet as well as toasty sense of nut concentrates; an aura of autumn foliage; decadent lees character; as well as hints of beeswax, toasted buckwheat, peach kernel, smoky black tea, and of course flor. Yet amid all of those arguably oxidative or biologically evolved elements are succulent juiciness of white peach and fresh albeit bittersweet floral perfumes. That the base wines here are exposed to 70% new barrique is not in any way obvious, and what subtle suggestions of lanolin, spice or resin are present merely add new layers to this profoundly multifarious experience. Nor have controlled oxidation or new wood in any way deprived this cuvee of traits that cry out for mineral descriptors. I am forced to refer to “chalk,” “salt,” and “alkali” for lack of better choices, and to point to a maritime sense of depth that helps lead to mouthwatering as well as profoundly layered finishing savor. 



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Wine Information

DOMAINE JACQUES SELOSSE In 1949 Jacques Selosse, Anselme's father, created in Avize the domain, which still bears his name, with his wife.

Anselme took over the estate in 1974.

Domaine Jacques Selosse produces 57,000 bottles of Champagne every year from grapes grown and harvested on 7.5 ha of vines spread over Chardonnay plots in the Côte des Blancs — Avize, Cramant, Oger, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger — and a few Montagne de Reims plots, dedicated to growing Pinot Noir, in Aÿ, Ambonnay and Mareuil-sur-Aÿ.

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Tasting note

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Written Notes

The NV Substance is a total stunner. Radiant and yet remarkably fresh, with tremendous tension, the Substance is wonderfully expressive from the very first taste. Whereas Substance can be oxidative and also a bit heavy, this release is explosive, vibrant and simply stunning in its beauty. This version is based on the 2009, with a solera that goes back to 1986. Anselme and Guillaume Selosse ascribe the less-oxidative recent style of Substance to the diminishing influence in the solera of a number of vintages that were aged without SO2, specifically 1996 through 1999 and 2002. Disgorged May 4, 2017. Dosage is 1.3 grams per liter.

  • 97p
Tasted from Selosse's cellar, solera starting from 1986. Aromas of ripe apples, spices, cinnamon, citrus fruits, oak and some ox. Always great and fun wine to taste, although wasn't at same OMFG-level with 02 and 99.
  • 94p
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Avize, Champagne

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