As summer advances, we are trying to get the most out of long daylight hours and enjoy parties and dinners during those longer afternoons and evenings. Summertime offers more opportunities to spend time together and share food and wine, and if the wine is champagne, even better! In our search for fine, new bubbles, we went back to two producers we have previously visited, who come from two different schools of winemaking yet produce almost similar styles of Champagne.
André Clouet makes a brut nature with zero sugar in the dosage, but with a classic interpretation, while Barrat-Masson produces an extra-brut with a minimal dosage brings up a spectrum of flavors and aromas more esoteric.
We hope these two champagne expressions stimulate your palate and imagination, and we guarantee that they will provide your guests a pleasant experience at your next gathering.
À vôtre santé!
La famille PlumpJack
About Clouet winery:
Jean-François Clouet, who was born and raised in Bouzy and still lives in the 18th century village house built by his ancestors. As his family was the official printer to Louis XV’s Royal Court at Versailles, Jean-Francois takes great pride in his lineage and has transferred this pride to the art of crafting the best champagne, an art started by his family in 1741.
The domaine has 8ha (20 acres) of Grand Cru vineyards situated in the coveted middle slopes of Ambonnay and Bouzy.
About the wine:
Vinification: The Silver Label Brut Nature NV is entirely Pinot Noir (Blanc de Noir) from Bouzy’s chalky and clay soil, with a blend of wines mostly from the 2014 vintage (65%) then 2013 (10%), 2012 (20%) and back to 2010 (5%).
Aging: While this cuvee has no sugar, it was aged in ex-Sauternes barrels for 48 months on the lees, longer than the standard cuvee for additional richness.
Residual sugar: 0 g/l
Tasting notes: Pale golden yellow. Brioche, candied ginger and dried pear at the first olfactory impact. The palate gets a crisp fruitiness that turns into a refreshing salinity. The lingering finale is clean and elegant.
Champagne Barrat-Masson is the project of Aurélie Barrat and Loïc Masson, a wife and husband team who farm seven hectares of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in on the slopes of the Sézannais in Champagne’s Côte de Sézanne region.
In 2005, Loïc took over the family farm in Bethon, and promptly began to replace conventional herbicides with organic treatments and vineyard practices. Supported by Aurélie, a trained oenologist, Loïc has fully committed his vineyards to organic winegrowing by 2009. Presently, the wines of Barrat-Masson are certified organic by Ecocert.
About the wine:
Vinification: 35% Pinot Noir, 65% Chardonnay. Mostly from 2014 harvest with a small percentage from 2013. Hand harvested, each parcel is pressed separately and fractionally using traditional Coquard press. Fermentation occurs at low temperature (16C) in stainless steel tank & oak barrels. Partial malolactic fermentation was completed.
Ageing: Still wines age a minimum of 9 months on fine lees after primary fermentation is completed. Then the bottles spend a minimum of 24 months sur lattes, laid down on the rack on the lees. Minimum 3 months in bottle before release after being disgorged.
Residual sugar: 2 g/l
Tasting notes: Continuous fine perlage in the glass; light straw with green reflections in color. Moss, wet stone, white peaches and loquats are some of the impressions detected by the nose. A hint of green hazelnut and lemon mint adds for light and exhilarating briny finish.