Yes, tonight we did yet another tasting of Grower Champagnes. Just so we are clear….Recoltant Manipulant Champagnes are NOT necessarily better because they are small, or farm their own grapes or make their own wine. In the finest cases it is an issue more about artisanal & hand crafted. On this night we tasted several.
J. Lasalle Brut “Preference”
from Chigny-les-Roses…60% Pinot Meunier, 20% each Pinot Noir & Chardonnay, all Premier Cru.
Although I am not a huge fan of Pinot Meunier, (& in this case it actually muted the ethereal-ness I love about Champagne somewhat), this wine is nonetheless sheer, very pretty & lovely with tiny bubbles.
Camiles Saves “Carte Blanches”
This cuvee is 75% Grand Cru Pinot Noir (Bouzy, Ambonnay & Tour-sur-Marne) & 25% Premier Cru Chardonnay (Tauxieres). For my palate, Camilles Saves can be hit or miss. On this night, however, it was a very popular choice for many of the tasters. It undoubtedly showed breed & class coupled with a fine bead & a long finish.
Coquilletes Blanc de Noirs “Les Clefs”
100% Grand Cru Pinot Noir from Ay. This Grand Cru Grower Champagne showed breed, depth & character & was another popular choice by the tasters.
Varnier Fanniere Brut Zero “Grand Cru”
100% Chardonnay from Avize with NO dosage added. It is a wine about the purity & transparency of their Grand Cru terroir.