The classic NV Brut is based on a blend of Chardonnay (50%), Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier fermented and aged in oak for six months, but there is no malolactic fermentation. The recent issue is based on the 2013 vintage and 40% reserve wines from a solera and opens with a clear yet pretty reductive bouquet. Fresh, clear and straight on the palate, this is a refreshing Champagne with a filigreed structure and a dry, stimulating finish. (SR)
As with all this producer's wines, the first fermentation iof this bottling was in wood, adding richness and smoothing out the fruit to give a warm, round character. The acidity is still tight and crisp, with citrus and apple flavors shot through with minerality. Drink now. (RV)
Light, bright gold. Sexy smoke- and mineral-laced aromas of ripe citrus and orchard fruits, plus with a suave floral overtone and a late hint of vanilla. Sappy and seamless on the palate, offering pliant orange and yellow apple flavors and a bracing jolt of chalky minerals. Closes with repeating smokiness and strong thrust, leaving a subtle honey note behind. (JR)
The new release of Alfred Gratien non-vintage Brut offers up lovely aromatic complexity already, wafting from the glass in a classy blend of apple, white peach, fresh-baked bread, a fine base of soil and a touch of upper register smokiness. On the palate the wine is crisp, full-bodied and nicely balanced, with a good core, frothy mousse, fine focus and grip and a long, youthful finish. I wish the house would relent and put a bit of technical detail on the back label of their bottlings, but there is not even a snippet of information on their website about the wine! In any case, it is quite tasty and a very good value. (Drink between 2018-2030)
Expressive notes of yellow peach, candied ginger, pastry and spice are seamlessly married to mouthwatering acidity a finely detailed bead in this bright, harmonious Champagne. Drink now through 2020. (AN)
Like all of Gratien’s wines, this is fermented and matured in barriques, which serves to enrich the texture and builds in mellow umami tones. It has the tart green-apple acidity of a wine that did not undergo malolactic fermentation, balancing the rich flavors of orange peel and slivered almonds. Sleek and delicious.
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