How can one not take notice of the blond in the room? The blond to which I am referring is this stunning 100% chardonnay (see champagne flutes below) from the Cote de Blancs, our third stop through the regions of Champagne.
The Cote de Blancs lies south of the Champagne capital of Epernay, and stretches southwards 20+km. Here, Chardonnay reigns supreme, where it is planted to predominantly east facing vineyard sites. Over the centuries, each grand cru village in the Cote de Blancs has also established a reputation or characteristic “style”. More specifically: Cramant for it’s heightened chardonnay aromatics and bouquet, Avize for it’s focus and delicacy, Oger for both it’s fine bouquet and raciness, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger for its superior finesse and intensity, and Vertus (premier cru) for its inherent fruitiness and rondeur. In its youth, a Blanc de Blancs can sometimes seem a bit austere or one dimensional. Fresh citrus, lemon curd, or biscuit are pretty common descriptors. However with several years of ageing, wonderfully complex nuances can develop like toasted bread, grilled hazelnuts, dried flowers or salty-savory notes.
Important villages located north to south:
Important Grower -Producers located in the Cote des Blancs:
Salon (really a Grande Marque house)
Delamotte (owned by Salon)
Wine: Pierre Moncuit-Delos
Composition: 100% Chardonnay
Style: Blanc de Blancs
Sub-Region: Cotes de Blancs
Geology/Soil: Topsoil: Lignite, sandy-loam, clay. Subsoil: Predominantly Belemnite chalk, with some Micraster at lower edges of the slopes. The chalk here is less dense than in the Montagne de Reims.
US Retail: $40
Food: Fresh oysters, caviar, gougeres, hamachi crudo, grilled cheese sandwiches!
Hands down one of the coolest marques/logos in Champagne. The bold black font and somber gray make me think this is a serious wine. But then those wings makes me think light, lithe, and ethereal! This Cote de Blancs from Pierre Moncuit is made from 100% Chardonnay, all from Grand Cru vineyard sites. I think that it is one of the best grower-producer values from the Cote de Blancs. True, this bottling is young and a bit more primary (vinifcation and ageing in stainless steel only) and less characterful than what I am certain it will become in 5+ years. However, at the end of a busy day, a glass of elegant, bright and racy is just what I need. Along with a white cheddar cheese puff or two..