2012 Michel Arnould "Memoire de Vignes" Brut Champagne SKU #1347074

Price: $69.99

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Tasting Notes

It is hard to beat the Grand Cru of Verzenay for pure class when it comes to Pinot Noir Champagne. The northernmost of all the Grand Crus, the village of Verzenay faces the wrong way, nearly due north, and yet produces nutty, deep yet delicate wines prized by every négociant and Champagne fan alike. We have been lucky enough to work with Patrick Arnould of Champagne Michel Arnould for 18 years now, and he has consistently delivered for our customers, with one of the best values in top-flight grower Champagne: estate grown from Verzenay Grand Cru. This wine is exclusively old vine Pinot Noir (over 60 years) from the best parcel in Patrick's holdings and he only makes one press load. This is vinous, powerful, black fruited Champagne in the mold of the Vieilles Vignes Francaises from Bollinger. Because of the north-facing exposure, the wine retains its finesse even at the very high level of concentration that it has. Even the fullest cellar should be rearranged for a little of this.

Staff Reviews

  • William Beare
    By: William Beare
    K&L Staff Member
    This is pretty incredible stuff-- regardless of vintage. So much so that many of my colleagues buy by the case months before they'll even have a chance to taste. Such was the case with the 2012-- and it would be an understatement to say that no one was disappointed when we finally got around to opening a bottle last week. There is a wonderfully concentrated frutines to this release, like dried apricot and honeysuckle nectar. The nose smells like a candy-store kitchen, caramelising sugars, bright green apple sours. Texturally magnificent, it embraces the palate like a fluffy cloud.
  • Scott Beckerley
    By: Scott Beckerley
    K&L Staff Member
    This absolutely outstanding 100% Pinot Noir offering from Michel Arnould is one of my new favorite champagnes. A gorgeous nose of cream, apricot, brioche and meringue. On the palate, red fruits (especially cherries!), toasted pinenuts, creme caramel, and generous lemon zest on the long finish. Almost Krug like! This little beauty should also age extremely well, particularly for this vintage. Having had experience with aging it, I can definitely vouch for it. However, it is very, very hard to keep ones hands off of it, once you have it!
  • Alex Schroeder
    By: Alex Schroeder
    K&L Staff Member
    For those pinot-power champagne lovers out there, this is the best K&L has to offer you until Krug’s next Clos D’Ambonnay is released. This is made entirely from third-generation owned, massale-selected, grand cru pinot noir of Verzenay from one of the most exciting vintages in decades. It has cream, butterscotch, cherry and myers lemon on the nose with that delicate nutmeg, hazelnut brioche richness underneath. On the palate the fruit shows beautiful power and concentration but has the acid to back it up and send the finish into the stratosphere.
  • Rachel Alcarraz
    By: Rachel Alcarraz
    K&L Staff Member
    Last year I reviewed the 2011 Memoire De Vignes and wrote how it was the wine of the line up that stopped me in its track. With a stronger vintage, I had the same experience today with the 2012.While drinking in the nuances of this new vintage, notes of red apple and cherries appeared on the nose and palate. The wine is concentrated and powerful from the rich, brioche filled start to the long, lemon cream finish.
  • Shaun Green
    By: Shaun Green
    K&L Staff Member
    Wonderfully powerful and with layers of complexity, the Memoire is an astonishingly great Champagne. Dark fruits give way to creamy cracker notes then to nuttiness, red fruits and a long finish, all the while maintaining grace and poise in the glass. This quite small production is always a favorite value in luxury cuvee Champagne.
  • Chris DePaoli
    By: Chris DePaoli
    K&L Staff Member
    This is what champagne is all about. Complex, candied, and nutty, on the second and third pass the big black fruit backing comes to the fore, a hallmark of the best Blanc de Noirs. This bottle is eminently ageable, but is fantastic right now too.
  • Gary Westby
    By: Gary Westby
    K&L Staff Member
    This Champagne is always sourced from one of three plots, and sometimes a combination of all three. This year it is made from the Perthois, near the lighthouse in Verzenay. It is a 100% Pinot Noir Blanc de Noirs, and the vines are 60 years old and massal selected. This wine is dry and tense, with kaleidoscopic complexity. The airy maraschino cherry fruit and lightning rod acidity play very well with the best pieces of sushi-grade tuna right now, but the best this wine has is yet to come. In another five years it will open up to reveal a warm, nut bread toast to rival the best Krug your cellar.


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