2008 Launois "Spécial Club" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (750ml - ships as 1.5L)

SKU #1292062

Without a doubt, this is one of the best Champagnes we carry at any price. Made from two plots of 65-year-old vines, one in the grand cru of Oger called the Chenys and one in Mesnil called the Derriere Maison, this is among the ultimate expressions of Chardonnay that we have to offer. The wine shows the paradox of 2008 perfectly with great ripeness and scintillating acidity. Add in the richness and complexity of old massal-selected from grand cru, mid-slope sites and you have a must buy for any Champagne lover! Because of the shape of this 750ml bottle, it must ship in a magnum box. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer)

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Price: $59.99

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Staff Image By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/5/2017 | Send Email
This is one of the most profoundly great young vintage Champagnes that I have ever had, and I bought a case for my own cellar. The 2008 vintage is a historic one, and either the greatest or tied for the honor in this young century. The Champagne that Bernard Launois was able to make from his two oldest Mesnil plots in this great year promises to be equally historic. The only problem is that it tastes far to good now... And I know that it will do nothing but improve. I will put this case at the bottom of a tall corner stack in my cellar! This Champagne has not only the richness of a 2002, but also the laser minerality of the best 2004's. It has it all!
Drink from 2017 to 2058

Staff Image By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/28/2017 | Send Email
I first purchased Champagne Launois’ Special Club bottling with the 2000 vintage at the urging of our Champagne buyer, Gary Westby. I was so impressed I made sure to buy at least a few bottles of every subsequent release – the 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006. The only regret I ever had was not buying more. Now we have in stock the 2008 Launois Special Club, and it is unquestionably the finest vintage of this wine I have tasted to date. It combines exceptional richness with superb focus and intensity. Very precise with admirable persistence. This is showing remarkably well now but will really shine with a few years in the cellar.

Staff Image By: Cindy Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/28/2017 | Send Email
Looking back, my last Launois Champagne review was for the 2005 Special Club. Now we are on to the 2008 and they are very, very different wines! The 2008 is a classic example of Mesnil's bright, chalky terroir and that electric backbone of minerality. Letting it warm up just a bit provides hints of future enjoyment with lemon curd and graham cracker crumbs. A prime candidate for ageing, you will wish you'd bought twice as much!

Staff Image By: Muriel Sarik | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/28/2017 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full
This is a perfect champagne! I tasted this with our closing staff last week and we were wowed! We were all looking at each other then our glass then each other. I don't know if we were in awe or just pure bliss. This is a must have for champagne lovers......

Staff Image By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/28/2017 | Send Email
This is one of those special bottles that has a “je ne sais quoi" that is difficult to put into words. You know that a Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs from the best parcels of Launois’ old Chardonnay vines on the Cotes de Blancs in Mesnil is going to be special. Indeed, this has beautiful, rich flavors of meyer lemons, fresh nectarine and acacia blossom, with subtle hints of minerals, nutmeg, coriander and walnuts, all perfectly blended and balanced, and amplified by the stellar 2008 acidity. The juicy flavors stick to your palate for over a minute, and leave you shaking your head in disbelief at just how good a Champagne can be. Tasting this could almost be described as an epiphany moment for me, and I am certain it will only improve with age. ​

Staff Image By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/27/2017 | Send Email
I was extremely fortunate enough to go through a tasting of the Launois Quartz with some fellow staff members the other day, which markedly demonstrated the undeniable benefits of letting that Champagne sit for a year before popping it open. I have been told to follow the same principle with this Launois and if the extra aging time improves it, I can only image that this will be one of my favorite wines of all time. It is phenomenal now, but because it contains that backbone of acidity, it can age for decades and will unbelievably only get better. Like Gary Westby, I am going to have to hide it to keep from opening it tomorrow, but I know it will be so worth it when I do.

Staff Image By: Lilia McIntosh | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/27/2017 | Send Email
Have you ever tasted wine that is so perfect you would not take or add anything extra to it?! Well, this is what 2008 Launois Special Club is! If I had to choose one word to describe it that would be "pristine". Its pure and fresh acidity marries precisely with roundness and richness of the fruit, creating absolutely perfect (I am not afraid to use this word, because that's what it is!) Champagne. Hats off to Launois for making such beauty and to Gary Westby for finding it and bringing it to us!

Staff Image By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/27/2017 | Send Email
This top tier champagne from our beloved Launois is one of my very favorites of the last 10 years. While the 2006 had a quite rich and round character, the 2008 is more structured, with higher acidity and brightness. As per usual, the textbook Launois creaminess is present, with more chalk-driven minerality than previous, citrus fruit, green apple, white floral notes, and background nuts and toffee. This bottling should age extremely gracefully over the next decade plus. My previous favorite was the 2004, with its laser-like acidity, which I bought in the magnum. I may actually like this one a little bit more for its added richness! Please, please, please, ship those mags soon, Severine!

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Champagne

- The French region of Champagne (comprised of the towns of Rheims, Epernay, and Ay) was the first region in the world to make sparkling wine in any quantity. Today, the name of the region is synonymous with the finest of all sparkling wines, and winemaking traditions of Champagne have become role models for sparkling wine producers, worldwide. Surprisingly, the region of Champagne is now responsible for only one bottle in 12 of all sparkling wine produced. Styles of champagne range from the basic brut (often blends of several vintages), single vintage champagnes, and rose. View our bestselling Champagne.