VM96: The 2012 Brut Nature Les Longues Violes is Vincent Laval's latest creation. Even more impressive than it was last year, the Longues Violes possesses remarkable intensity and resonance in all of its dimensions. In the glass, the Longues Violes is ample and creamy, as one might expect from a Pinot Champagne, and yet it also has remarkable freshness, with hints of graphite-infused minerality that are laced throughout the translucent, magnificently pure finish. Les Longues Violes is 90% Pinot Noir planted in|964 and 1974 and 10% Meunier planted in 1947. It is a magnificent Champagne by any measure. The 2012 is expected to retail for 600 euros a bottle, which, needless to say, is very expensive. Vincent Laval told me Les Longues Violes has never been treated with herbicides, and that there are only two other domaines in Champagne like his, where that is the case. I don't have the historical perspective to know whether that is fully accurate or not. I also believe that the market ultimately sets prices for wines. To be sure, no one wants to earn less than they think they are worth, so far be it from me to begrudge any winemaker for their choices on pricing. Even so, at this level, the traditional Laval consumer will be almost certainly be priced out. Who is actually going to buy the 2012 Longues Violes (and other ultra-expensive domaine bottlings), and is this the beginning of grower Champagnes that are totally out of reach for the consumer? We shall see... Disgorged November 13, 2017.