Champagne Henriet-Bazin Rosé
Villers-Marmery, Montagne de Reims, Champagne, NV
Henriet-Bazin is truly a grower gem in Champagne that somehow remains under the radar. One of the rare few small family operations in the area that have been independently making wine since the 19th century. Their approach is slow, patient, meticulous and simply old school. The estate is in the one village in Montagne de Reims that is almost entirely planted to Chardonnay because, geographically speaking, there is a small vein of limestone chalk (similar to the soils of Côte des Blancs) where for miles in every direction is a sea of Pinot Noir. So although Henriet-Bazin works more with Pinot, their wines are special because they also have world class Chardonnay to blend into their cuvees as well. See? Gem.
Ripeness and structure in pink bubbles are not always in perfect harmony… usually ripeness wins out because, well, that is what is expected. Not here, however, as the texture on this wine goes well beyond your average rosé. Blackcurrants and black pepper, licorice and citrus peel, brioche and blood oranges. The high percentage of fifty year old (!!) solera reserve wine really adds a ton of layers that create an ever evolving profile.
50% Chardonnay / 50% Pinot Noir, all from Verzy and Verzenay Grand Cru villages. 20% still Pinot Noir wine added. Base wine is 70% from 2013 + 30% reserve wine added is a solera including wines from 1968 to 2012 (!!) 7 grams dosage. Less 1000 cs made.
Ripeness and structure in perfect harmony. The texture on this wine goes well beyond your average rosé.Blackcurrants and black pepper, licorice and citrus peel, brioche and blood oranges. 70% solera reserve wine really adds a ton of layers that create an ever evolving profile.
Pierre Gimonnet & Fils ‘Rosé de Blancs’
Cuis, Côte des Blancs, Champagne, France NV
Didier Gimonnet heads this iconic house who has been growing fruit in the Côte des Blancs since 1750 and in 1935 his grandfather, Pierre, first bottled his own wine. Grand Cru sites, healthy older vines have much to do with their success, but it’s the distinctive style and insane quality that easily makes them top 3 in my book. Gimonnet is also the gold standard in expressing site/village specific wines and they have so many different small batch bottlings that it’s both difficult and delightful to try and keep up. It may be a bit odd to showcase a Rosé from such a Blanc de Blancs icon as they work almost entirely with Chardonnay (only about 2% of total vines are Pinot.) In fact I know a number of Gimonnet fans who don’t even know this wine exists – our delicious secret.
The name ‘Rosé de Blancs’ is perfect as there is so much to this wine that screams Chardonnay; steely nerve, chalky minerality, meyer lemon zest. But that soft touch of red juice blended in just gives the proper hint of tart plums and pluot. I’ll go one step further for you Scandinavian cuisine nerds out there – Cloudberries! Both tart and somehow creamy at the same time, such a unique flavor here that suites the dichotomy of flavors of this great wine.
92% Chardonnay, 8% Pinot Noir 2016 base with reserves from 2010-2015 – 92% Côte des Blancs / 22% Cramant Granud Cru / 27% Chouilly Grand Cru / 11% Oger Grand Cru / 32% Cuis 1er Cru / 8% Bouzy Grand Cru Rouge. Stainless ferment. 2 years on the lees.
Steely nerve, chalky minerality, Meyer lemon zest. The soft touch of red juice blended in just gives the proper hint of tart plums and pluot. Both tart and somehow creamy at the same time, such a unique flavor here that suits the dichotomy of flavors of this great wine.