We have been advocates for small, estate-grown Champagne for two decades here at K&L, and I am a huge believer that wine produced on a human scale tastes better. When the owner of the property works the vines, makes the wines and drives the forklift, it takes the Champagne to another level of quality. Patrick Arnould is one of the best examples of this type of vigneron. His house, Champagne Michel Arnould, is our top Direct Import producer of dry, powerful Pinot-based Champagnes. Patrick is the fifth generation of Champagne Michel Arnould. They own 27 acres in the village of Verzenay, a quite sizable holding in this high-rent area. It is planted to 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay, and they have a high proportion of old vines. Located on the Mountain of Reims, Verzenay is one of the most exciting and unique terroirs in all of Champagne; the furthest north of all of the Grand Crus, it faces north, away from the sun, and still manages to produce some of the most powerful Pinot Noir in the region. Some of the locals say that a mysterious warm air current is the explanation for this ripening anomaly; others will say that it is impossible to explain, like the flight of the bumblebee. I love the distinct, hazelnut quality that this special village stamps on its wines, and I feel very lucky to have convinced Mr. Patrick Arnould to sell us some of his great wines. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)
By: Gary Westby
K&L Staff Member
This ambitious all barrel-fermented Champagne is only available in tiny quantities—we received less than 10 cases and we are his US importer! If you are looking for a powerful, ultra-rare bottle, you have found it! Look for vanilla and hazelnut as well as brioche on the nose, and incisive, dry minerality on the back end.
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