Jacques Selosse Extra-Brut Millésime 2008
100 points - Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, March 2021
The 2008 Extra-Brut Millésime is soon due for release, and I'm a little afraid to fan the flames of what is sure to be insatiable demand with a laudatory review. But such reservations notwithstanding, I'm obliged to report that the wine meets and indeed surpasses the lofty expectations that Selosse's admirers will have surely have formed for it. Disgorged in January 2020, this bottle soared from the glass with scents of citrus oil, buttery pastry, candied peel, crisp orchard fruit, toasted pecans, iodine and smoke. Full-bodied, deep and concentrated, it's immensely layered and intensely vinous, with a tightly wound core, racy acids and a long, pungently saline finish. "If the 2009 is a Catholic," observes Selosse, "the 2008 is a Protestant"—though a Protestant, I'm tempted to add, who is evidently not entirely immune to the pleasures of the flesh.
Last year, in the July 2020 Week 1 issue of The Wine Advocate, I published an extensive overview of Anselme Selosse's career and methods, which I won't reprise here. On this most recent visit to Avize, we took the time to tour the estate's vineyards, where the vines are hedged higher than the norm and the soils cultivated, visiting the family's parcels in Avize. Then, we returned to the winery to taste a few new releases and older wines. The standout, readers won't be surprised to know, was the just-released Millésime 2008, one of the finest young wines I've ever tasted from chez Selosse. If Substance represents the "ne plus ultra" of the domaine's style, the vintage is more tightly wound and generally evolves more slowly in the cellar, and that will certainly be the case for this prodigious 2008, a wine that's built for the long haul. "If the 2009 is a Catholic," reflects Selosse, comparing the wine with its most recently released sibling, "the 2008 is a Protestant"—though a Protestant, I'm tempted to add (as I observe in my tasting note) who is evidently not entirely immune to the pleasures of the flesh. One of the finest wines of the vintage, I'm afraid it's likely to become rather expensive. I won't be touching my bottles for the better part of a decade, though in the meantime I'll be happy to drink my friends' bottles.
- William Keeley