2002 was an outstanding vintage in Champagne and the wines of this year are long-lived and top quality. R Renaudin is an RM (Recoltant-Manipulant), meaning a grower who grows, produces and bottles estate Champagne. The 2002 R. Renaudin “Espiègle” Brut Champagne is a premier cru Blanc de Blancs and performs far above its price level.
I've had a chance to taste it twice in recent months. Vinification in oak opens up the personality of this wine to be more expansive and layered to show oodles of toasted hazelnuts, honeyed tones and biscuit mingled with citrusy fruit and stones. The malolactic fermentation was arrested to give this one the acidic backbone to age even longer though its barely up to the task of supporting the creamy texture and medium-heavy body. But I wouldn't wait too long, as there's a idiosyncratic touch of rancio nuttiness. The Espiègle is a very interesting and complex quaff, one to linger over. I'm fascinated by it and recommend this one for those who like a richer Champagne that still has plenty of electricity. 92 points.
D&M in San Francisco has some in stock at $44.99 per 750ml. In the link below D&M describes it as a Baby Billecart.