Our tasting impressions
Mineral flavor is something rather easily identified in a wine even though most people likely haven't consumed a pure mineral in their life. This has it...in spades! It is creamier and clearly more mature than the Brut Tradition. An immensely pretty wine to enjoy now or hold for 7-10 years. This is one of the world's great wine values!
About this wine
100% Chardonnay from select Grand Cru plots, all with vines at least 50 years old. Vinified without malolactic fermentation to emphasize freshness and terroir. Dosage: 6 g/litre. Disgorged April 2018.
About the grape
Chardonnay is the most popular wine variety in the the US. Winemakers love the green-skinned grape as well because it’s so easy to grow and adaptive to many different production techniques. Grown everywhere, Chardonnay’s greatest expressions are widely believed to come from Burgundy. Indeed, this is believed to be where the grape originated. Chablis, in Northern Burgundy and Champagne also offer superlative examples of Chardonnay.
About the vintage
2011, a wild and crazy vintage, presented some of the most erratic weather in modern history and resulted in some very uneven grape ripening. Fortunately, as it relates to this cuvée, Chardonnay generally fared best; and diligent growers (like those in the VDLT portfolio) were able to produce excellent wines.
On your table…
Crab or lobster in black bean sauce followed by a triple cream cheese would make for an indulgent and memorable evening. This wine can work with rich, creamy foods and has enough acidic energy to handle big flavors. Serve at or just below cellar temperature.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Mineralité
The roots of this Grower Champagne estate dates back to 1920. Hervé's grandfather Paul was in the business of transporting wine to the big Champagne houses by horse. He bought land in Avize in order to feed and raise the horses and this land eventually was designated Grand Cru vineyards. A decade later, he developed the property to focus on wine production.
In 1981, Hervé began bottling their wine under his own name. His daughter, Nina is heir apparent, managing the commerce and gradually learning winemaking from her father.
The 7.5ha estate in the Côte des Blancs near Épernary is 60% Chardonnay (mostly Grand Cru in Avize. The estate also comprises 1.5ha Pinot Meunier, 1ha Pinot Noir and .5ha 1er Cru Chardonnay in Montagne de Reims. Other vineyards are in Oger and Cramant.
Thirty-eight years ago, Hervé discontinued using malolactic fermentation in his Chardonnay and has remained committed to this less common practice. He believes it results in fresher, livelier wines that more transparently reflect the terroir.