J. Lassalle Special Club Brut

Special Club is the one cuvée to rule all others at Lassalle. The philosophy here is of greater freshness and delicacy, hence a stronger representation of chardonnay, though the wine does its best to deny it. At almost nine years of age, it’s a beautifully bright and radiant pale straw hue. I was surprised to see such pronounced anise character in the 2002, and here it is again, in a bouquet that’s more black than white, reverberating with a depth of blackberries, plum liqueur, licorice, white peach and lemon. The palate follows, with an enthralling presence that transcends its pale hue and elegant stance, with darker shades of black cherries, cherry kernel, licorice, even plum liqueur and dark chocolate. In signature Lassalle delicacy, it is in no way heavy or broad, retaining a delightfully lively stance from start to finish, with elegantly entwined acidity, beautifully refined chalk minerality, impeccably integrated dosage and tremendous persistence. It’s deep, shadowy, enchanting, and downright delicious. $135 at Fine Wine Merchant.