Ayala is looking very good and offers some genuine depth and complexity for this entry-level pinot-dominant blend, driving impressive concentration into a savory and defined style. On the palate, this offers up dried-red-cherry fruits, gentle spices and smooth, zesty bite. It finishes with precise, nutty tannin.
The NV Brut Majeur comes from an estate just beside Bollinger and is a 40/40 split of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with the balance Pinot Meunier. Aged 30 months on lees with 7 grams of dosage, it has a crisp, focused, even chiseled style to go with lovely notes of citrus, lemon curd, and white flowers. Drink this vibrant beauty over the coming 5-6 years.
Light yellow. Lively, sharply focused lemon and green apple aromas pick up deeper melon and peach qualities with air. Spicy and precise on the palate, offering juicy citrus fruit and honeysuckle flavors and a touch of candied fig. Powerful yet lively, finishing with strong punch and building mineral and floral qualities. This suave Champagne has the heft to handle rich foods and the tension to work by itself. (JR)
The bottling of non-vintage Ayala Brut Majeur that is currently in the market is comprised of a blend of forty percent each of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and twenty percent Pinot Meunier. It spent three years aging sur latte and was finished off with a dosage of seven grams per liter. The bouquet is excellent, wafting from the glass in a complex blend of apple, white peach, a touch of patissière, lovely soil tones, a hint of menthol and a topnote of white flowers. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and still quite youthfully brisk, with a fine core, elegant mousse, fine focus and grip and a long, nascently complex and zesty finish. This is a lovely bottle, but still a bit primary and more complexity will emerge with another year or two in the bottle. It should age quite well, as it is impeccably balanced. Fine juice. (Drink between 2016-2030)
Ayala's NV Brut Majeur is a solid entry-level wine. Dried pear, hazelnut, spice and licorice notes open up in a pretty, toasted NV Champagne to drink now and over the next few years. The Pinot comes through loud and clear in the wine's breadth and overall texture. (AG)
*Editors' Choice* Ayala, based in Aÿ in the heart of Champagne, has been transformed since Bollinger bought it in 2005 and this nonvintage proves it. This is a balanced blend of 40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier. The result is crisp while not too dry, and therefore drinkable as an apéritif. Apple and bright citrus combine with green plums to give a fruity wine that is also structured. The cellarmaster continues to reduce the dosage (sugar) so there is a crisp, tight aftertaste. (RV)
Smoke and forest floor notes lead the way here, with the chalky texture carrying subtle flavors of grilled nut, lemon meringue and dried currant. Balanced, offering smoke details on the fresh finish. (AN, Web—2015)
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