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Alfred Gratien Brut Classique NV (1x75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2018 edition review of Value Champagne (see blue link below).

Alfred Gratien Brut Classique NV - December 2018 Decanter review

If exceptional had a name, it would be Champagne Alfred Gratien. Alfred Gratien Champagnes are handcrafted for guaranteed quality and consistency. A few miles away from Epernay’s bustling town centre, deep in the heart of a Champagne vineyard, are the Alfred Gratien Champagne cellars. It was here, on Rue Maurice Cerveaux, that Alfred Gratien set up his business and created his first cuvées in 1864. For over a century and a half, Alfred Gratien Champagnes have remained a family affair perpetuated by the expertise and know-how of their founder. For four generations, the Epernay-based Jaeger family have been handing down the trade of cellar master from father to son, ensuring the Alfred Gratien style lives on.

The pale yellow hue of this wine’s colour is complemented by its lively effervescence. The bubbles are small and quick to rise to a fine mousse. The nose is moderately intense yet complex. The sweet pastry, biscuit and orchard fruit notes are followed and enhanced by hints of citrus, white flowers and fresh butter. The initial taste is clean: this is a very silky and sparkling wine whose sugar content works well with its body. There is a certain chalky minerality and the texture is smooth. It is characterful without being overbearing. The finish is crisp, with a slight mineral undertone, and long at 6 to 8 seconds. It leaves an excellently balanced acidic aftertaste, with a sugar component that is undeniably pleasing on the palate.

Thi is an exemplary Brut Champagne, which places a great emphasis on the bubbles created in the wine. It has benefitted from its reserve wine content and its maturation in cellars. Superb complexity combines young aromas with notes gained through maturation in cellars.

Its balanced qualities mean it can be paired quite liberally. Avoid anything too salty, sugary, fatty or spicy, opting instead for balance. Ideal for your savoury or sweet-and-sour hors d’œuvre, and for apéritifs.

£36.60

Bruno Paillard Brut Premiere Cuvee NV (1x 75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2019 edition article on changes in chefs de cave in Champagne  (see blue link below).

Bruno Paillard Brut Premiere Cuvee NV - January 2019 Decanter review

Bruno Paillard Champagne is an independent, family-run house. Its exceptional vineyards are located in the heart of the Champagne region. The wines have a highly personal style characterized by stringent quality control at every stage of the process. They only use the first pressing of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, and each cru is produced separately in oak barrels or stainless steel tanks. The house was the first to indicate the date of disgorgement on its bottles.

The Première Cuvée is a very personal interpretation of the Champagne region and is the flagship of the Bruno Paillard style. A top quality wine, the Première Cuvée has the ability to survive any harvest The blend is made usingonly the first pressing of the grapes to extract only the purest juice - Pinot Noir (45%), Chardonnay (33%) and Pinot Meunier (22%), part of which (20%) was in barrel for the first fermentation. This champagne is a blend of 25 vintages, dating back to 1985. Ageing takes place over a period of time that is always longer than the legal requirement; three years sur lie, then a minimum of a further five months after disgorgement. 

The golden straw colour is indicative of the exclusive use of the first pressing. The fine bubbles are due to a strict selection of the best grapes, perfectly controlled temperature in the cellar and very long ageing. The primary aromas are of citrus - lime and grapefruit. Then the red fruits aromas start to appear - redcurrant, raspberry, morello cherries. When left to open up in the glass, the wine shows hints of dried fruits, which are sometimes exotic. The palate is lively and vivacious, thanks to a low dosage. The aromas on the nose are echoed in the mouth. There are primary flavours of citrus, almonds, and toasted bread, followed by redcurrant jelly but also dark fruits like cherry, fig and blackberry. As the wine opens up in the glass, and gets warmer, it expresses light plum and pear flavours. The palate is full, quite long with a very clean finish. The Premiere Cuvee champagne is an excellent aperitif. It matches divinely with cheese (Brie de Meaux, Camembert, aged salers), poultry and shellfish.

£38.55

Bruno Paillard Premiere Cuvee Rose NV (1x 75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2019 edition article on changes in chefs de cave in Champagne  (see blue link below).

Bruno Paillard Brut Premiere Cuvee Rose NV - January 2019 Decanter review

Bruno Paillard Champagne is an independent, family-run house. Its exceptional vineyards are located in the heart of the Champagne region. The wines have a highly personal style characterized by stringent quality control at every stage of the process. They only use the first pressing of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, and each cru is produced separately in oak barrels or stainless steel tanks. The house was the first to indicate the date of disgorgement on its bottles.

A hymn to the bright delicacy of Pinot Noir, the Premiere Cuvee Rosé is named on account of its composition of only the first pressing. This multi-vintage rosé, made with Pinot Noir, is created in two ways: 1. White wine from Pinot Noir: after a quick pressing, and a fast separation of the skins, the juice is very pale and can be vinified as a white wine. 2. Red wine from Pinot Noir: is obtained by a prolonged maceration of the juice on the skins. A touch of Chardonnay brings the necessary vivacity to balance the fruits of Pinot Noir.

The blend is a first pressing of mainly Pinot Noir with some Chardonnay, the amount of which remains a secret. The reserve wines are a blend of 25 vintages, going back to 1985. The champagne is aged for three years sur lie, then a minimum of a further five months after disgorgement. This wine has a very low dosage, (labelled as Extra Brut) at less than 6g per litre. It is a very pure wine.

The pink copper colour with a hint of raspberry when young evolves to salmon while ageing. The fine bubbles are due to a strict selection of the best grapes, perfectly controlled temperature in the cellar and very long ageing. The initial aromas of redcurrant and red fruits evolve to morello cherry, wild strawberry and violet while breathing in the glass. A touch of lemon denotes the discrete presence of Chardonnay. With age, aromas tend towards dark fruits like dark cherry, fig and blackberry. The palate reveals red fruit captured at full freshness. The finish is bright and long.

Pale in colour yet with a distinctive hue. This Cuvee has finesse and purity but is very fine and fresh. With subtle cherries, strawberries and nice overall acidity.

£45.65

Champagne Jacquart Blanc de Blanc 2012 (1x75cl)

The varied origins of their Chardonnays are one of the key components of the Jacquart signature. This very singular 100% Chardonnay cuvée is the fruit of a blend of a variety of nuances, selected with lavish care and attention. Crafted from one single variety, Chardonnay, and only the noblest of grapes, which find their pure and unreserved expression in a vintage of absolute exception. The 2009 vintage will be remembered for its excellent conditions and superb balance.

This champagne is made using the area's traditional methods but it also spends 5 - 6 years maturing on its lees giving the champagne its unique character.

A seductive nose, full of finesse, with the fragrance of acacia flowers, rose petals and lime blossom. A few minutes airing allows notes of preserved lemon, almond milk, fresh hazelnut, brioche and pear compote to develop. Fresh and supple with beautifully creamy, soft effervescence, this is a mouth-filling champagne with a chalky minerality and pronounced aromas of Mirabel plums and herbs such as coriander and anise. The finish is lingering, concentrated, full, sensual and mouthwateringly saline.

£44.90

Champagne Marc Hebrart, Selection Brut 1er Cru (Vieilles Vignes) NV (1x75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2018 edition review of Value Champagne (see blue link below).

Champagne Marc Hebrart, Selection Brut 1er Cru (Vieilles Vignes) NV - December 2018 Decanter review

Marc Hébrart and his wife started making Champagne in 1963, adding to the land little by little due to the high price of land in Champagne. In 1983, their son Jean-Paul started his own small production. In 1997, the parents and sons of Champagne Hebrart merged together, making Jean-Paul the director of the company. Their land now covers 15.5 hectares, over 68 plots spread across the two banks of the river Marne. On the right bank (Côtes des Blancs), Hébrart Grand Cru terroirs of Avize, Oiry and Chouilly are producing fine, ripe and mineral Chardonnays. On the left bank (Vallée de la Marne and Montagne de Reims), Aÿ, Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Bisseuil and Avenay-Val-d'Or are Premier Cru villages producing juicy and structured Pinot Noirs. This diversity and owned supply allows Jean-Paul to create very precise cuvées, controlling the grape quality from growing to winemaking. In the vineyard, natural methods are used rather than insecticides. In 2014 Hébrart was quoted as being among the 100 Best Wine Producers in the World by Wine & Spirits Magazine.

The Cuvée Selection is a selection that orignates from the best vineyards belonging to Hébrart and which have benefitted from age. The Chardonnay grapes come from the Grand Cru terroirs of Avize, Oiry and Chouilly, on the right bank, or Côtes des Blancs. These Hébrart plots produce fine, ripe and mineral juice. The Pinot Noir part of this blend comes from the left bank, in the Vallée de la Marne above Mareuil-sur-Ay. Here the old vines grow on steep south facing slopes and the resulting grapes are concentrated and rich, due to the old vines and the clay layers of the soil. Mareuil-sur-Ay is a Premier Cru village (scored 99% in the echelle des crus) and is considered to be one of the very finest of Champagne's Premier Cru villages. Marc Hébrart practices sustainable viticulture. He keeps chemical treatments to a strict minimum on the vines, which have an average age of 36 years.

Pinot Noir 70%, Chardonnay 30%.

Each parcel is gently pressed and vinified separately to preserve their individual characteristics. This wine is made from the coeur de cuvée, the heart of the freerun juice. Fermentation takes place in small tanks. The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation. Dégorgement is carried out approximately six months prior to release. Lees ageing is for a minimum of three years, ie that seen by many vintage Champagnes.

An elegant, precise and mineral Champagne; hints of pear and plum are underpinned by a salty backbone and a touch of jasmine on the finish.

£31.10

Champagne Taittinger Brut Vintage 2013 (1x75cl)

Awarded a Platinum medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

Taittinger remains one of the few Champagne Houses to remain owned and actively managed by the family named on the label. Its origins date back to 1734 when the original house was founded by Jacques Fourneaux. The Taittinger link was established in 1931 when Pierre Taittinger, the founder of today's company acquired the House. Pierre had spent much time in the Champagne region when serving in the 1st world war as a young cavalry officer. Stationed at the Château de la Marquetterie, he fell in love with this remarkable property and its vineyards and eventually purchased the company.Today, the Reims-based House is headed up by Pierre's grandson, Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, his son, Clovis and daughter, Vitalie, both of whom are actively involved in the day to day running of this thriving family Champagne House.

Taittinger's home is situated above miles of chalk tunnels and cellars. These 4th-Century UNESCO listed cellars once belonged to the Benedictine monks of the abbey of St Nicaise and are perfect for the slow ageing process required for great Champagne. The hallmark of the Taittinger Champagnes is the high percentage of Chardonnay used in their winemaking which can be anything from 40% in the Brut Réserve Non Vintage to 100% in the prestigious Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs. This Chardonnay dominance provides for a style of elegance, delicacy and finesse which is recognised worldwide and has earned the House many accolades and awards over the years. Today it is served in over 140 countries worldwide and made recent history by becoming the first Champagne house to purchase land in England to ultimately produce a premium English Sparkling Wine. 

Taittinger produces a Vintage Champagne only when the harvest has been of exceptional quality. Made from first press wines the wine is only released after several years of cellar ageing, allowing the aromas to mature slowly and the length and complexity of the wine to develop. Winemaking The Taittinger Brut Vintage comprises only wines from the first press with a blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir. The Grands Crus make up a significant proportion at 70% while the other selected villages are all classified as Premiers Crus. A 5-year long ageing period in the cellars unlocks its full potential.

The year 2013 stands out for a winter where temperatures fell below the ten-year average with periods of snow and freezing. Spring persisted with cool temperatures and was marked by heavy rainfall. Flowering began in July. An extremely sunny and particularly hot summer helped the vines to offset any delay. Harvest began on October 1st for the Chardonnays. Maturity at harvest was very satisfying. The Chardonnays combined notes of white flowers with citrus. They were powerful, structured and well-rounded with excellent length.The Pinots Noirs were complex, using floral aromas with white, yellow and red fruit.

Residual sugar: 9g/litre.

A vivacious, fresh nose offers aromas of hawthorn, grapefruit and pear. The palate is crisp and wonderfully precise. Marked by citrus fruit, it offers an excellent balance of structure and finesse. The complex finish is elegant and long.

£45.95

Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Blancs NV (1x75cl)

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2018 edition producer profile of Charles Heidsieck (see blue link below)...

Charles Heidsieck Blanc De Blancs NV - Sept 2018 Decanter review

Charles Heidsieck is one of the most admired Champagne houses thanks to the unrivalled and consistently high quality of its wines. Founded in 1851 by the man who would become known as ‘Champagne Charlie’, this family-owned house is the smallest of the Grandes Marques. Their size, and commitment to excellence, has been underpinned by a winemaking team that between them have been named 'Sparkling Winemaker of the Year' at the International Wine Challenge 15 times.

Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Blancs combines several of the best Chardonnay crus from three Champagne sub regions. It is made from a majority of crus from the Côte des Blancs (Oger, Vertus), completed by the Montagne de Reims (Villers-Marmery, Trépail, Vaudemange) and the very special cru of Montgueux in the northern part of the Aube, near Troyes.

After the first fermentation, the wines were racked to separate the lees and then underwent malolactic fermentation to soften the natural acidity and to enrich their texture. This 100% Chardonnay blend comprises 25% reserve wines with an average age of five years. All the reserve wines were aged in stainless steel vats on their fine lees. In order to achieve depth and complexity required by the house style, the Blanc de Blancs was aged for four years in Charles Heidsieck’s chalk cellars (The Crayeres), much longer than the legal requirement of 15 months.

Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Blancs is a pale, crystalline gold colour. The nose is characterised by aromas of mature Chardonnay; white peach, candied citrus with notes of lime, honeysuckle and fresh hazelnuts giving way to subtle hints of tangerine and lemon. On the palate, the Blanc de Blancs bears all the hallmarks of a Charles Heidsieck Champagne: boldness, generosity and elegance. Embracing yet light, it displays appealing mineral, slightly salty, iodine notes, and has a silky, creamy texture – unexpected from a Chardonnay – that leaves a lasting impression.

£58.75

Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millenaires 2004 (1x 75cl)

Awarded a Platinum & Best in Show medal and 98 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

Awarded 96 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2018 edition producer profile of Charles Heidsieck (see blue link below)...

Charles Heidsieck Blanc Des Millenaires 2004 - Sept 2018 Decanter review

Charles Heidsieck is one of the most admired Champagne houses thanks to the unrivalled and consistently high quality of its wines. Founded in 1851 by the man who would become known as ‘Champagne Charlie’, this family-owned house is the smallest of the Grandes Marques. Their size, and commitment to excellence, has been underpinned by a winemaking team that between them have been named 'Sparkling Winemaker of the Year' at the International Wine Challenge 15 times.

Only Chardonnay is used in the blend of this exceptionally textured cuvée. The grapes are grown on vineyards found with five major Crus from the Côte des Blancs, meticulously chosen for their ability to evolve as well as for their ability to express their full richness once fully mature: Oger for its unctuousness and structure, Mesnil-sur-Oger for balance, Avize for its minerality, Cramant for its complexity and Vertus for its freshness and floral notes.

2004 was an exceptional vintage for quality and quantity. Wines from this vintage are structured, well-balanced and have exceeded all expectations.

In the 19th century, convinced that they would be an ideal place to age wine, Charles Heidsieck decided to purchase chalk cellars dating back to Gallo-Roman times, located in the historic heart of Reims. This audacious decision turned out to be a stroke of genius since these cellars proved to be a peaceful haven where the humidity and 10°C temperature remain constant. An extraordinary ageing period of almost 11 years, gives this 100% Chardonnay cuvée an unparallelled complexity and texture.

On the nose, the Blanc des Millénaires 2004 opens with elegant notes of lemon, apple blossoms, salted butter and almonds along with a toasted, buttery nuance of crème anglaise. The palate is full of fresh citrus flavours giving the wine a taut crispness. Still youthful and taut with an elegant mousse.

£150.15

Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve half bottle (1x37.5cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2018 edition producer profile of Charles Heidsieck (see blue link below)...

Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve - Sept 2018 Decanter review

Charles Heidsieck is one of the most admired Champagne houses thanks to the unrivalled and consistently high quality of its wines. The current range is one of the most awarded collections of wines in the world. The intricacies of the champagnes' complex make-up have been perfected over the years by one of the most celebrated winemaking teams in Champagne - between three winemakers they have been awarded 'Sparkling Winemaker of the Year' at the International Wine Challenge fifteen times. This winemaking legacy, paired with the house's flamboyant history since its foundation in 1851 by the man who would become known as 'Champagne Charlie', makes it a unique offering from Champagne: a house with great, hand-crafted wines, heritage and proven quality.

Charles Heidsieck have built exceptional relationships with the most experienced growers across the Champagne region, and can draw on a rich palette of crus. Precise selection of grapes takes place from 60 specific sites. Vineyards which are integral to producing grapes which build the house style are Oger for Chardonnay for its texture, floral notes and ageing ability, Ambonnay for Pinot Noir for its power, vinosity and fruit, and Verneuil for Pinot Meunier for its acidity, body and aromatics.

After the first fermentation, the wine is racked to separate the lees and then undergoes malolactic fermentation to soften the natural acidity. After blending, using 40% reserve wines which have an average age of 10 years, the cuvée is bottled and selected yeast added to begin the second fermentation. The bottles are placed in the cellars at a temperature of 10°C. In order to achieve the depth and complexity required by the house style, Charles Heidsieck age their Non-Vintage champagne for 5 years before disgorging, much longer than the legal requirement of 15 months.

The Brut Réserve NV is a radiant pale gold colour with fine, persistent bubbles. The nose is characterised by complex pastry aromas, with an opulent combination of ripe apricot, mango and greengages, dried fruits, pistachio and almond. The palate begins with a silky-smooth sensation, developing into ripe fleshy apricot, melon and enticing plum pastry notes and delicate spice. There is perfect balance of freshness and generosity.

£23.95

Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV (1x75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2018 edition producer profile of Charles Heidsieck (see blue link below)...

Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve - Sept 2018 Decanter review

Charles Heidsieck is one of the most admired Champagne houses thanks to the unrivalled and consistently high quality of its wines. The current range is one of the most awarded collections of wines in the world. The intricacies of the champagnes' complex make-up have been perfected over the years by one of the most celebrated winemaking teams in Champagne - between three winemakers they have been awarded 'Sparkling Winemaker of the Year' at the International Wine Challenge fifteen times. This winemaking legacy, paired with the house's flamboyant history since its foundation in 1851 by the man who would become known as 'Champagne Charlie', makes it a unique offering from Champagne: a house with great, hand-crafted wines, heritage and proven quality.

Charles Heidsieck have built exceptional relationships with the most experienced growers across the Champagne region, and can draw on a rich palette of crus. Precise selection of grapes takes place from 60 specific sites. Vineyards which are integral to producing grapes which build the house style are Oger for Chardonnay for its texture, floral notes and ageing ability, Ambonnay for Pinot Noir for its power, vinosity and fruit, and Verneuil for Pinot Meunier for its acidity, body and aromatics.

After the first fermentation, the wine is racked to separate the lees and then undergoes malolactic fermentation to soften the natural acidity. After blending, using 40% reserve wines which have an average age of 10 years, the cuvée is bottled and selected yeast added to begin the second fermentation. The bottles are placed in the cellars at a temperature of 10°C. In order to achieve the depth and complexity required by the house style, Charles Heidsieck age their Non-Vintage champagne for 5 years before disgorging, much longer than the legal requirement of 15 months.

The Brut Réserve NV is a radiant pale gold colour with fine, persistent bubbles. The nose is characterised by complex pastry aromas, with an opulent combination of ripe apricot, mango and greengages, dried fruits, pistachio and almond. The palate begins with a silky-smooth sensation, developing into ripe fleshy apricot, melon and enticing plum pastry notes and delicate spice. There is perfect balance of freshness and generosity.

£41.35

Cuvee Prestige Millesime, Champagne Gobillard 2012 (1x75cl)

Hard to believe today, perhaps, but the 1930s were a tough time in Champagne. Only the most famous names were enjoying success and prosperity, while smaller producers and growers suffered in relative poverty. All of which makes Gervais Gobillard’s decision to branch out on his own, buying two hectares of vines in Hautvillers in 1933, particularly courageous. This is the true heart of Champagne. Thierry lives about 10 metres from the grave of Dom Pérignon, and decades of hard work have secured 26 hectares of vines, much of it Premier Cru. Grapes from carefully selected growers are also sourced, yielding a range of Champagnes that accentuate brightness, minerality and elegance over power and richness.

The grapes for this cuvée are selected from old vines with low production, which have the the best exposure, located mid-slope on the chalk. The base wines from this first plot selection, more concentrated, will then undergo a blind taste test which is very rigorous before it is included in the cuvee that will become the flagship of this Champagne House. 

This champagne is a blend of 60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir.

This fine, vintage 'grower Champagne' is aged for at least four years before it is ready for release, the extended time on the lees creates complex tertiary aromas of dried fruits and hazelnuts that lead to an elegant palate of citrus blossom, greengage and honey. It is a connoisseur's wine, made with hand selected premier cru grapes, delivering the ultimate expression of premium Champagne, a style that will work perfectly as a distinguished food match or sophisticated aperitif.

£33.20

Deutz Brut Classic Champagne (1x75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2018 edition review of Value Champagne (see blue link below).

Deutz Brut Classic Champagne - December 2018 Decanter review

A founding member of Champagne’s prestigious Grandes Marques houses, Champagne Deutz of Aÿ, France, has been making distinctive champagnes marked by finesse, elegance and complexity since 1838. The house has upheld the traditions of fine Champagne making handed down through five generations.

Champagne Deutz owns 42 hectares of vineyards, which supply 20% of its grapes. The rest of the grapes are sourced from growers, many of whom have been working with Deutz for generations. Grapes are harvested from the Montagne de Reims, Côte des Blancs, and Vallée de la Marne, with over 80% of the grapes coming from vineyards that are rated Premier or Grand Cru. Harvest is usually around mid September and is done by hand, with pickers paid by the hour rather than the kilo, to ensure they do not compromise on the quality of the fruit that they harvest. Deutz farms all its vineyards according to the principals of la lutte raisonnée.

All the grapes in this blend were pressed and vinified at Deutz’s state of the art winery in Aÿ, with each individual parcel being vinified in its own separate tank. Using Coquard presses, only the free-run juice and first pressing was used for this wine. Following alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in stainless steel tanks, the vin clairs were tasted and blended in the Spring following the harvest, with the final assemblage happening in June. At Deutz anywhere between 25% and 40% of the blend will be reserve wines. The wine was then aged for a minimum of 3 years on the lees, and a further 6 months following dégorgement before release.

The Brut Classic represents the distinctive house style of elegance and finesse, which has made Deutz one of the most respected of all Champagne houses. The colour of the wine is an intense gold with fine effervescence that signifies long maturation on the lees. On the nose, the wine initially displays notes of hawthorn and white flowers, which are followed by aromas of toast, marzipan and ripe pears. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied and elegant with the freshness of Chardonnay and richness of Pinot Noir. Overall, the wine is well-rounded with a fruity finish. The Brut Classic is an ideal aperitif, served with simple canapés, smoked salmon, crab pâté or Sole a la Meunière.

£41.60

Devaux Cuvee Rosee NV (1x 75cl)

Devaux is a boutique Champagne brand located in Bar-sur-Seine in the southerly Aube region of Champagne, some 60km north of Burgundy. Thanks to this favourable southerly location, Devaux is a Pinot Noir and rosé specialist. The house was founded in 1846, and was family owned for generations. In 1987, in the absence of a family heir, ownership was passed to a united group of winegrower families, known today as the "Groupe Vinicole Champagne Devaux". Thanks to being owned by these growers, Devaux can boast total control over its grape supply which is a rarity in Champagne, a region where growers traditionally sell to the houses who control the brands.

Devaux are Pinot Noir and rosé specialists. The majority of their vineyards are located in the Aube. This location, on the slopes of the Côte des Bars, is important; it gives Pinot Noir a lovely richness on the nose and finish, yet retains the finesse. Some Chardonnay is included in the blend; this is also grown in the Côte des Bar, with a proportion from the fine chalky soils of the Côte des Blancs to give liveliness and elegance.

Fermented in stainless steel, the traditional method of rosé production is used, involving the addition of Pinot Noir still wine (14% of the total blend) prior to the second fermentation. The wine undergoes a slow second fermentation in bottle and extended ageing on its lees for 36 months (the legal minimum is 15 months). This gives a finer, more persistent mousse and greater potential for complexity. After disgorgement, the wine receives a Brut dosage of 9g/l. 15% of reserve wines are used in the blend.

73% Pinot Noir, 27% Chardonnay.

Devaux Cuvée Rosée is complex, with very fine bubbles, a creamy mouth-feel, flavours of raspberry, strawberries, some hazelnut notes and a long finish.

£38.10

Devaux D De Devaux La Cuvee NV (1x 75cl)

Awarded a Platinum medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

Devaux is a boutique Champagne brand located in Bar-sur-Seine in the southerly Aube region of Champagne, some 60km north of Burgundy. Thanks to this favourable southerly location, Devaux is a Pinot Noir and rosé specialist. The house was founded in 1846, and was family owned for generations. In 1987, in the absence of a family heir, ownership was passed to a united group of winegrower families, known today as the "Groupe Vinicole Champagne Devaux". Thanks to being owned by these growers, Devaux can boast total control over its grape supply which is a rarity in Champagne, a region where growers traditionally sell to the houses who control the brands.

The "D Collection" wines are Devaux's very best. The grapes come from highly select, sustainably farmed parcels across 50 hectares. The majority of the vineyards are situated in the Aube on Kimmeridgian limestone-clay soils. This continental location, on the slopes of the Côte des Bars, is important; it gives the Pinot Noir richness on the nose and a long finish, while retaining finesse. The Chardonnay in the blend is grown on the fine chalky soils of the Côte des Blancs, Vitry and Montgueux ("the Meursault of Champagne") to give liveliness and elegance.

90% of the base wines are fermented in stainless steel, with 10% fermented in 300 litre barrels. This is followed by partial malolactic fermentation. The blend comprises 40% reserve wines (50% for the magnum), a quarter of which are from two perpetual soleras: a Chardonnay solera and a Cuvée D solera that have been going since 1995 and 2002 respectively. The remaining reserve wines are aged in large oak casks. Following bottling, the liqueur de tirage is added and the wine has a slow second fermentation in bottle and extended ageing on its lees for over 60 months (the legal minimum is 15 months). This results in a wine with a finer, more persistent mousse and greater potential for complexity. After disgorgement, the wine receives a light Brut dosage of 7g/l.

60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay.

The Cuvée D is rich and intense, with lively acidity bringing balance, freshness and minerality. As James Halliday describes, "there is a plethora of spiced, dried and fresh fruits, balance and freshness provided by a surge of citrussy acidity on the finish. And aftertaste." The Pinot Noir gives body and length to the wine, while the Chardonnay adds elegance and finesse.

£39.25

Devaux D De Devaux Le Rose NV (1x 75cl)

Devaux is a boutique Champagne brand located in Bar-sur-Seine in the southerly Aube region of Champagne, some 60km north of Burgundy. Thanks to this favourable southerly location, Devaux is a Pinot Noir and rosé specialist. The house was founded in 1846, and was family owned for generations. In 1987, in the absence of a family heir, ownership was passed to a united group of winegrower families, known today as the "Groupe Vinicole Champagne Devaux". Thanks to being owned by these growers, Devaux can boast total control over its grape supply which is a rarity in Champagne, a region where growers traditionally sell to the houses who control the brands.

The Cuvee 'D' wines are Devaux's best wines; the grapes are the very best quality of Champagne, and so the growers are paid accordingly. Devaux are Rosé specialists. The majority of their vineyards are located in the Aube where Pinot Noir is the dominant variety. This location, on the slopes of the Côte des Bars, is important; it gives a lovely richness on the nose and a long finish. Uniquely, almost half of this blend is Chardonnay, giving a delicacy not usually found in most Rosés. The high quality of the fruit from these vineyards ensure that the final dosage is lower than many Rosés.

The fermentation and malolactic fermentation are in stainless steel. This Rosé is made traditionally, by the addition of Pinot Noir still wine (which forms 11% of the total). The liqueur de tirage is added and the wine undergoes a slow second fermentation in bottle and extended ageing on its lees for five years (the legal minimum is 15 months). This results in a wine with a finer, more persistent mousse and greater potential for complexity. After disgorgement, the wine receives a light Brut dosage of 8g/l.

This is the most delicate of the Devaux Rosé Champagnes with the greater percentage of Chardonnay contributing a firm, elegant freshness to the palate. Fresh red fruit aromas from the Pinot Noir combine with a hint of hazelnut complexity which was encouraged by extended ageing on the lees when in bottle.

£51.90
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