Brut Premier Cru
VALENTINE’S DAY IS JUST A MONTH AWAY!
What does the whole wide world of fine wine find in an isolated, chalky soiled, cold Northeastern corner of rural France to worship, and fight over for centuries? Champagne! The Queen of Bubbles, the original, the one and only. That’s why when in the hands of a boutique, family-owned house and touched by the magic of femininity, you find highly rated $70+ cuvées like this, from prized, Premier & Grand Cru vineyards. So, what should one do when they see such a rare luxury consumable artform at HALF OFF? AND shipping included on 3 or more? Go nuts till you can’t no more!
A fine bead elevates from a glossy golden streak, enhanced by a platinum hue. Refined and floral on the perfumed nose, with jasmine, Meyer lemon, apricot, marzipan, and brioche. A delightful texture greets the palate, Chardonnay reaching forth with juicy lime and grapefruit and Pinot filling in with suggestions of raspberry. Substantial definition and length with mouthwatering acidity, cut, and finesse on the seamless finish. This definitive Champagne is highly flexible for a variety of seafood, from the obvious caviar to crustaceans.
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate recently reports that; “The newest disgorgements from Duval-Leroy include several truly wonderful Champagnes. This 150+-year-old, still family-owned house in Vertus is becoming a dramatically good producer with highly delicate and finessed cuvées in a lovely stimulatingly dry and perfectly round style. The prices are still moderate, so there is no reason not to check out the new Duval-Leroy.” Over and beyond that major endorsement, Tom Stevenson, author of the definitive reference “World Encyclopedia of Champagne & Sparkling Wine” calls this particular cuvée “an underrated Champagne if ever there was one!” In full agreement, we must sadly add that it’ll be a short run dear Operatives, as this beauty is highly limited.
Here’s what the wine press has to say:
95 Points – James Suckling - “A powerful prestige cuvée with a dense palate, formed by fine bubbles. It’s very dry and phenolic with some tannin that makes it crunchy and intense. Dried apple, peach, and pear. Needs a few years to soften but already delicious.”
18.5/20 Points – World of Fine Wine - “ A more delicate green hue than the Duval-Leroy Brut, with pale gold lights. Refreshing, crunchy redcurrant and raspberry fruit from the minority Pinot Noir, which is currently dominating and intermingling with the crisp citrus Chardonnay fruit. Make no mistake, there is great minerality here and a very, very fine mousse indeed. An underrated Champagne if ever there was one!”
Here’s what the wine press has to say on Duval-Leroy:
The Spirit of Independence – Wine Spectator - “Family and tradition still anchor this flourishing Champagne house. In 1991, Jean-Charles Duval-Leroy was dying from cancer. His wife, Carol, pledged to him that she would maintain his family’s Champagne house for their three sons. “It’s very difficult to stay independent,” says Carol Duval-Leroy. “Just a few in Champagne now are family-owned.” Despite many offers over the years to sell the business, Duval-Leroy has upheld her promise, preserving the company for their children and building it into a successful mid-sized négociant… The name is a nod to Duval-Leroy’s role as head of the company, as well as to its chef de cave of 21 years, Sandrine Logette-Jardin, who believes that she and Duval-Leroy have put their stamp on the house. “The same feminine touch [is found] in the whole line,” she says. “It’s very streamlined and mineral-driven.”
Yet it’s not only a feminine touch that Logette-Jardin has imparted to Duval-Leroy’s Champagnes; she’s also crafted wines that highlight a firm, racy backbone of acidity and are uniformly low in dosage, usually 6 grams per liter of residual sugar or lower (the brut category of Champagne allows a dosage of up to 15 grams per liter). “My logic for the dosage is to preserve the purity of the wine, not to mask it with sugar,” Logette-Jardin says. This firm edge, however, doesn’t make the wines too austere. This is in part because Logette-Jardin employs malolactic fermentation, often 100 percent, for every wine. “Malo is systematically done at Duval-Leroy,” she explains, adding that it promotes a rounder, fuller mouthfeel in the wines… Duval-Leroy points out that her house is still a little fish in a big pond. “Ninety percent of the market is taken by the big ones, so we take the little pieces of bread.” But that doesn’t mean that she’ll stop trying for a bigger slice. “If we want to improve [familiarity of] the brand, we know we have to be the best and make the best.”
What the Winery Says
- Carol Duval-Leroy
- 70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir
- Côte des Blancs, Montagne de Reims, Vallée de la Marne
- 100% sustainably or organically farmed Premier & Grand Cru
- 3 years on the fine lees
- October 2016