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Champagne Paul Launois Blanc de Blancs Illustration #4 Brut Nature Grand Cru NV Wine - Last Bottle

Champagne Paul Launois Blanc de Blancs Illustration #4 Brut Nature Grand Cru NV

Ultra-rare, excitingly layered, and made with the utmost precision – this Illustration #4 Brut Nature Grand Cru NV from the always-impressive Champagne Paul Launois house is sure to take you on the adventure of your life.



Flavor Profile: Pears, peaches, coffee beans, rose petals, wildflowers, lemon meringue, grass, thyme, bay laurel, pencil lead, struck flint, lilies, and white oleander
Time on Lees: 24 months
Disgorgement Date: June 2023
Dosage: 0 g/L

Why We Love It...

The best winemakers and most devoted enthusiasts agree that great wine begins with exceptional terroir and grapes. Julien Launois happens to own 11 acres of Grand Cru vineyards in Le Mesnil sur Oger, some of the most coveted land in all of Champagne…and it shows in his epic wines. Their home and winery backup to one of Champagne’s most famous monopoles – Krug’s revered Clos de Mesnil. The aura of this place creeps over the wall into the cellars at Paul Launois, and helps make this favorite haunt one of the fastest-rising stars in all of Champagne! This Illustration #4 is a wine I want everyone to try – it’s that spectacular. Its complexities and multifaceted layers know no end, and with each sip, you’re bound to experience something new and enticing. Furthermore, we’re the only place stateside you’ll be able to get this gem! Make haste!

Paul Launois is a house that continues to capture the attention of Champagne aficionados. Winemaker Julien Launois grew up in Le Mesnil, working with his father’s house, Champagne Jean-Pierre Launois, and also following in his footsteps – taking over his father’s gig as head for the local Le Mesnil co-op (quite the village honor) for a time. He headed out on his own in 2013, alongside his graphic designer and artist wife, Sarah. They bought a worn and aged home, winery, and cave compound – literally a handful of steps to the revered Clos du Mesnil vineyard – and launched their own brand under the name of their son, Paul. Today, after ample legwork that Julien and Sarah put in during the COVID-19 pandemic, the estate is thriving, quaint, and slowly becoming filled with some of the best Champagne in all the land! 

This wine – OK, every wine we’ve had from them – absolutely sings. They don’t make much, and haven’t been around all that long comparatively, but the impact they’ve already forged is quite profound. This is Illustration #4, based on the 2020 vintage, mostly features a huge amount of the winery’s reserves (86%) that rests for 2 years on the lees, with some of the wine developing added character through prolonged time in barrel. This is a beautiful expression of Grand Cru chardonnay from the best place in Champagne to grow it, Le Mesnil sur Oger. Zero dosage permits its Extra Brut designation and allows the wine to “more freely express the finesse of its aromas as well as the identity of the terroir,” according to the producer's website.

We are just absolutely thrilled about this wine – as we are with everything from Paul Launois. An orchestra of pears and peaches with coffee beans, rose petals, wildflowers, and lemon meringue develop on the initial whiff and sip, producing an effect that’s all at once grassy, fresh, and penetrating. Thyme and bay laurel, with pencil lead and struck flint, form the backbone of this rigid and multi-faceted wine, with a finish that turns lightly oxidative and expressively floral, bringing in high-toned notes of lilies and white oleander. This is deeply serious, wildly complex, fully intense bubbly in the best possible way. You can’t find it anywhere else in the USA, so dare we say…stock up while you can! We don’t have nearly as much as we’d like! 

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Technical Details

Country: France
Region: Champagne
Appellation: Cote de Blancs
Varietal: Chardonnay
Winemaker: Julien Launois
Oak: 86%
Alcohol: 12.5%
Pair it with: Grilled oysters with shaved Spanish chorizo

About the Producer

Belonging to the Launois family for three generations, Champagne Jean Pierre Launois is today a winery that retains traditional values while evolving with the times. Jean Pierre Launois, with his son Julien, carry on the family tradition as stewards of the family vineyard, located in the Grand Cru village of Le Mesnil sur Oger in the heart of the Cote des Blancs. In a great turning point of the family story, Julien and Sarah Launois have decided to become producers as well as growers. Their handmade cuvees are as delightful as they are rare. They also hand riddle and hand disgorge all their cuvees "A La Volee." They believe that Champagne is a product of luxury and quality, but also a vector of contacts and openness to the world. Anxious to keep this spirit, they will welcome you to the property to share with you their love of incredible wine. This is one place you truly must visit.

Champagne Paul Launois Blanc de Blancs Illustration #4 Brut Nature Grand Cru NV




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