Well Worth Seeking Out!
This Blanc de Noirs is made from 100% Pinot Noir and is indeed a white wine from dark-skinned grapes. It was bottled in 2014. The 2013 harvest provided 57% of the fruit while reserve wine kept in oak casks accounted for 26%. The date of disgorgement was May 2018.
The Fleury family have here since 1895. They raise their vines, biodynamically since 1989, on the Côtes des Bar in the southern extreme of Champagne. Indeed, they are pioneers of organic in the area.
The latest World Wine Atlas tells me that Côtes des Bar “grows friendly Pinot Noir in a pastoral landscape quite different from that further north…. Ambitious young growers proliferate here.”
Back to the wine itself and bubbles proliferate here, racing to the top in non stop streams. It has a deep yellow colour, intense flavours and aromas, including the typical ‘biscuity” notes. The wine has terrific depth from initial sip to the lingering finalé. Dry and delicious. Unusually intense, impeccably crafted, from the edge of the area, this is Very Highly Recommended and well worth seeking out!
Check out the Mary Pawle website here for other champagnes by Fleury. RRP €49.00
Exquisite Collection Cremant du Jura (AOP) Chardonnay, Aldi
Sometimes the budget may be stretched or you may be in a hurry to get your hands on a sparkling wine for an unexpected celebration. Pop into Aldi and get this excellent Brut (dry).
I was very impressed with it. This sparkling Chardonnay, made using close to the same methods they use in making champagne, was perfect for my unexpected little celebration. It is not lacking in complexity, has light fruit flavours, a hint of biscuit (that you find in champagnes), and a fine finish. Good price too in the mid teens. Very Highly Recommended.
There are quite a few Crémants in France and many are excellent. And for something a little extra why not mix a little of Chambord (a blackberry and raspberry liquor from the Loire) to make a “Kir Royal.” Other Crémants come from Alsace, Burgundy, Limoux, Loire, Savoie, Bordeaux, Die (Rhone), and Limoux.
Saint Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux (AOP) brut (Languedoc-Roussillon, France), 12.5%,
Did you now that champagne is not the oldest sparkling wine produced in France? That honour is claimed by Blanquette de Limoux which is also produced by the Methode Traditionnelle where it is naturally fermented in the bottle. It was first created by the Benedictine monks of the Abbey of Saint Hilaire over 450 years ago. Written records survive from 1531. The abbey is 25 miles south of Carcassonne.
The main grape in the blend above is the Mauzac which is called Blanquette locally. This accounts for ninety per cent of the mix with Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay also used (up to a maximum of ten per cent). White fruits (peaches, apples) feature in the aromas. The palate is fresh and fruity, rather intense in flavour with no shortage of fine bubbles, persistently on the up. This is real bubbles. Think non-vintage champagne at a fraction of the price! Very Highly Recommended.
I got this in Karwig's before they closed in May 2019 so I'm not sure where you can buy in ireland now. But I noted that Mary Pawle has one by Bernard Delmas, details here