No, this is not a misunderstanding Eric’ Clapton’s famous song. Just me having fun. I continue my varietal degustation with this Champagne composed exclusively of Pinot Noir.
Wine: Fleury Pere et Fils “Carte Rouge”
Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Style: Blanc de Noirs
Geology/Soil: Topsoil: Gravelly limestone, granular limestone Subsoil: Kimmeridgian limestone, clay
Importer: Premier Wines
US Retail: $40
Food: Grilled tuna, sashimi, steak tartare, assorted charcuterie or smoked mackerel with kaffir cheese on grilled toast (what I am currently noshing on as I sip this wine and write this entry!)
And now we venture way down to the Aube for this 100% Pinot Noir from Fleury Pere et Fils. Yes it’s true, this most southerly Champagne region is in fact closer to Chablis than Reims, and for this reason is often overlooked by many Champagne drinkers and connoisseurs. In fact, in the late 1920’s, grape prices for this region were so dismally low that Robert Fleury decided to take charge of his destiny by bottling his own Champagne. In the 1970’s Jean-Pierre Fleury began utilizing more sustainable practices in the vineyard, which ultimately led to his converting the entire vineyard over to biodynamic viticulture in 1989.
Fleury is Demeter certified, meaning that the domaine meets the strictest criteria for the practice of biodynamic viticulture. Their approximately 15 hectares are located near the village of Couteron. The vineyards are planted overwhelmingly to Pinot Noir (a thin skinned varietal prone to rot and mildew, which can prove challenging when practicing organic/biodynamic viticulture).
For me, the Fleury “Carte Rouge” is one of my go to champagnes when I need an extremely versatile wine. Dry, yet with a significant undercurrent of dark cherry and grapey pinot fruit, it works so well with just about anything you dish up (see my food rec’s above). And although not a rose, the “Carte Rouge” exhibits just the slightest tinge of pink, which makes for a beautiful presentation in the glass. I have opened several magnums of this wine at birthday dinners (sushi for 8 peeps) with folks completely captivated by its color and approachability.
If anyone tries something else that works great, please let me know!