Posts Tagged ‘Champagne’
Based in Mareuil-le-Port, Dehours & Fils was founded in 1930 by Ludovic Dehours, who eventually handed the reins to his son Robert. Financial partners took over following Robert’s early death. The estate returned to family control in 1996 and is now run by Robert’s son, Jérôme. Around 14 hectares of vines produce some 80,000 bottles in an average year. Pinot Meunier features prominently in many of the wines.
Champagne, Brut, Grande Réserve, Dehours & Fils ($57.00, private import, 6 bottles/case)
The house’s flagship bottling. 100% Pinot Meunier in this batch though the wine usually has some Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blended in. Made with the addition of reserve wine from a solera dating back to 1998, which constitutes about 10% of the final blend. Residual sugar: 6 g/l. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste.
Fine persistent bead. Complex nose with scents of “green,” “lit match,” “herbes de Provence” and dried apple. Clean, fresh, minerally and not fruit forward. Brilliant, incisive acidity. Considerable depth and length for a wine at this price point. An aperitif champagne par excellence. (Buy again? Gladly.)
Champagne 2009, Rosé, Brut, Cuvée Œil de Perdrix, Dehours & Fils ($74.00, private import, 6 bottles/case)
Mostly Pinot Meunier with a dollop of old-vine Chardonnay that was fermented in barriques. Matured four years. 12% ABV. 1,825 bottles made. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste.
Faint beigey pink with salmon glints. Fine bead but not much foam. Umami-ish nose of Dutch rusk and red berries. Sleek, elegant, savoury, balanced and dry, with a long minerally finish. “The un-rosé rosé” noted one taster. Pretty fabulous. (Buy again? Def.)
Champagne 2007, Extra Brut, Maisoncelle, Dehours & Fils ($91.00, private import, 6 bottles/case)
100% Pinot Noir from the Maisoncelle lieu-dit; the vines were planted in the early 1970s. Fermented and matured in barrels. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste.
Pale gold with darker gold glints. Complex and savoury: pork ramen, apple, peach, gooseberry… Finely balanced between ripe fruit, complex minerality and sleek acidity. Rich, deep and perfectly proportioned. Long and delicious. Du grand as they say around here. (Buy again? Yes.)
MWG November 10, 2016, tasting: flight 5 of 9
Champagne 2007, Blanc de Blancs, Diebolt-Vallois ($78.00, private import, 6 bottles/case)
100% Chardonnay from older vines in Cuis (60%), Chouilly and Épernay and young vines in Cramant, where the house is based. The grapes from each parcel were vinified separately and only the first-pressed juice was used. Fermented in temperature-controlled tanks. Underwent malolactic fermentation. Dosage: 6 to 8 g/l. 12.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste.
Straw-coloured with gold glints, a fine bead and not much foam. Intriguing, savoury nose of candied apple, sage-like herbs, brioche and a floral note. So elegant and balanced on the palate, the ripe fruit (pear, apple, lemon and maybe lime) nicely restrained and mineral-laced, the acidity soft yet sustained. The long finish is marked by a faint pithy bitterness, a touch of honey and an elusive quality that another taster likened to “mineral water.” My first encounter this house; I look forward to the next. (Buy again? Yes.)
MWG November 10, 2016, tasting: flight 4 of 9
Champagne, Brut, Réserve, Legouge-Copin ($59.00, private import, 6 bottles/case)
Chardonnay (usually from more than one vintage) and Pinot Noir (usually from more than one vintage). 12% ABV. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste.
Pale gold with sunshine yellow glints, little foam and a fine bead. Faintly oxidized nose of lanolin, oatmeal, lemon, chalk and bread. In the mouth, it’s rich yet dry, with tiny bubbles, racy acidity and good minerality. Finishes clean and long. In short, a fleet and appetizing wine. The bottle opened on New Year’s eve was even more singular and impressive and made a fine accompaniment to New Brunswick sturgeon caviar and crème fraîche-smeared blinis. (Buy again? Definitely.)
Champagne 2006, Brut, Blancs et Noirs, Legouge-Copin ($61.00, private import, 6 bottles/case)
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste.
Pale straw with light gold glints. Lots of foam. The umami-rich nose brings candied apple, nougat and brioche to mind. Rich, round, smooth, fluid and elegant on the palate, notable for its lifting effervescence, soft-glow acidity and “seaweed” overtone. The long finish brings a faint bitter note. The bottle opened on New Year’s eve seemed classic if a little more conventional than the Brut Réserve. (Buy again? Yes, though the Brut Réserve is more my style.)
MWG November 10, 2016, tasting: flight 3 of 9
Crémant d’Alsace, Brut, Rosé, Domaine Pfister ($39.00, private import, 6 bottles/case)
100% Pinot Noir. No technical information is to be found about this traditional method sparkler, which is absent from the producer’s website and little mentioned on the Web. 12.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste.
Pale coppery pink with a very fine bead. Leesy nose of red berries, faint orange peel and “a hint of sweet prosciutto” (per another taster). In the mouth, it’s very dry and glowingly acidic. The subtle fruit allows the mineral underlay to come clearly through. The bitter-edged finish is nicely sustained. Serious without being severe and standing up to comparison with its more prestigious flightmate. Probably excellent with food. (Buy again? Yes.)
Champagne, Brut, Rosé, Prestige, Pierson-Cuvelier ($53.00, private import, 6 bottles/case)
100% Pinot Noir. The colour for this traditional method sparkler comes from maceration on the skins; no other technical information is to be found. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: Mon Caviste.
Two shades darker than the Pfister with bigger bubbles and lots of foam. Outgoing nose of brioche and raspberry. Rounder, fruitier (red berries, pomegranate) and less dry than the crémant with zingy acidity and a pronounced mineral component. Enjoyable enough but a little overshadowed by the other sparkling rosés in the tasting. (Buy again? Maybe.)
MWG November 10, 2016, tasting: flight 2 of 9
Champagne 2005, Premier Cru, Vertus, Pascal Doquet ($82.25, 13142551)
A new addition to the SAQ’s Doquet lineup. 100% Chardonnay from organically farmed vines from vineyards in Vertus (rich, deep clay over chalk). Fermented with indigenous yeasts. Bottled unfiltered in April 2006. Aged 125 months on lattes. Dosage (with rectified grape must): 4.5 g/l. Disgorged in September 2016. Reducing sugar: 5.5 g/l. 12.5% ABV. Quebec agent: oenopole.
Straw coloured with electrum and bronze glints, tiny bubbles and persistent foam. Complex nose of fresh and fallen apples, miso ramen, lees, lemon and a corporal note. So elegant in the mouth. Acid bright on entry and quite substantial. There’s real depth and great poise. Long on flavour (minerals, apple tart, lemon) and feel. Drinking beautifully though still quite young. (Buy again? Gladly.)
Champagne 2005, Grand Cru, Extra Brut, Le Mesnil sur Oger, Pascal Doquet ($98.00, 11787291)
100% Chardonnay from organically farmed old vines from vineyards in Le Mesnil sur Oger (poor clay over chalk). Fermented with indigenous yeasts, 45% in oak fûts and 55% in stainless steel tanks. Underwent malolactic fermentation. Bottled unfiltered in April 2006. Aged 96 months on lattes. Dosage (with rectified grape must): 4.5 g/l. Disgorged in April 2015. Reducing sugar: 5.3 g/l. 12.5% ABV. Quebec agent: oenopole.
The colour of drying hay with white gold glints. Layered, savoury nose of oyster crackers, shrimp shells, lemon, apple, lees, flint and chalk. Rich yet very dry and not exuberantly fruity. Softer effervescence and chalkier minerals than the Vertus. Chewing reveals layers of flavour, depth and complexity. As elegant as it is delicious, this soft-spoken, finely balanced wine has class in spades. If you’re going to drop a C-note on a sparkler, it’s a definite contender. (Buy again? Yes.)
Champagne, Grand Cru, Blanc de Blancs, Diapason, Pascal Doquet ($73.25, 12946063)
100% Chardonnay from organically farmed old vines in vineyards in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger (poor clay over chalk). A blend of wines from the 2006 (84%) and 2005 (16%) vintages. Vinified in a enamelled stainless steel tanks (80%) and small, neutral oak barrels (20%). Fermented with indigenous yeasts. Aged 96 months on lattes. Dosage (with rectified grape must): 4.5 g/l. Disgorged in April 2015. Reducing sugar: 5.4 g/l. 12.5% ABV. Quebec agent: oenopole.
A shade golder than the other wines in the tasting. Engaging nose of lees, yeast and subdued white fruit faintly overtoned with white spice and powdered ginger. Dry yet richer than its predecessors. The soft bubbles, sleek acidity and ideal extract confer a beguiling texture. Chalky minerals and subtle, slightly browning fruit last well into the slow-fade finish with its lingering lemon and flint notes. Balanced and complete. Suggesting resonance and harmony, the cuvée name is most appropriate. (Buy again? Yes.)
Champagne, Brut, Blanc de Blancs, Horizon, Pascal Doquet ($55.00, 11528046)
100% Chardonnay from organically farmed vines rooted in old chalk and grey marl clay in vineyards in Bassuet and Bassu. A blend of wines from the 2011 and 2010 vintages (two-thirds and one-third respectively). Fermented with indigenous yeasts in enamelled stainless steel tanks. Matured on the lees for four to five months. Bottled unfiltered. Aged 30 months on lattes (the bottles are stacked on their sides with thin strips of wood – think laths – laid between them to stabilize the stacks and minimize damage in the event a bottle explodes). Dosage was with rectified concentrated must. Disgorged in September 2015. Reducing sugar: 7.0 g/l. 12.5% ABV. Also available in magnums ($119.00/1.5 L, 11787304). Quebec agent: oenopole.
Pale straw with green and gold glints, a very fine bead and not much foam. Appealing nose of cookie dough, chalk, faint lemon and a hint of honey. Clean and dry in the mouth, the flavours tending to apple and pear. Acidity and extract are in ideal proportion. There’s fair depth and complexity and a marked mineral component, especially on the long, dry finish. (Buy again? Sure.)
Champagne, Premier Cru, Blanc de Blancs, Brut Nature, Arpège, Pascal Doquet ($64.25, 12024253)
100% Chardonnay from organically farmed vines in vineyards in Vertus (deep clay over chalk), Villeneuve (clayey topsoil over chalk) and Mont-Aimé (sand and chalk). A blend of wines from the 2010 and 2011 vintages (62% and 38% respectively). Fermented and matured on the lees in tanks for four to five months with occasional stirring. Transferred to oak barrels (45%) and stainless steel tanks (55%) for an additional 11 months before bottling. Aged 30 months on lattes. Undosed. Disgorged in February 2016. Reducing sugar: 1.5 g/l. 12.5% ABV. Quebec agent: oenopole.
Similar in appearance to the Horizon, though with a slightly greener cast. Complex, evolving nose: citrusy, malic and leesy gaining straw/hay, seashell and preserved lemon notes as the wine breaths. Less fruity and more minerally than its flightmate. Bone dry from start to finish. Sustained but not sharp acidity. Long, rainwatery finish with lingering chalk, flint, lemon and seashells. Lovely. (Buy again? Yes.)