A complex, elegant, concentrated and mineral wine that brings up surprises and new sensations at every sip.
It is actually not easy to put it into words as every sensation it provides seems to dissipate instantly, to leave place to new aromas and flavors in an entirely new experience a few seconds after.
It IS like a Brasilian carnival parade.
Concentration and weight meet minerality and elegance.
The spontaneity of the red and white fruit notes from the Pinot Noir (60%) meet the stiffness and depth of the Chardonnay (40%) in a successful marriage.
Champagne Barbier-Louvet is located in the heart of Champagne vineyards, just 15 km from Epernay and 20 km south of Reims. Their farm is located on a southern slope of Montagne de Reims, and all their champagne is made from grapes grown on their own properties, putting them in the category of "grower-producer." The property is old, and Barbier-Louvet's lineage is long. In fact, they're just about on their sixth generation of business. They were also the first 99% graded grower established in the area, making their vineyards Premier Cru.
It doesn't necessarily apply to today's market of buying grapes, but this is important to know to understand the labeling of Grand Cru and Premier Cru in Champagne. First, as far back as the 9th century, some villages had already been singled out for the quality of their wines. These villages were Bouzy and Verzenay of the Montagne de Reims and Aÿ and Epernay of the Marne Valley. Also, at this time wines from Champagne were made into still wines. The bubbles as we know it now came much later in the 19th century, after some notable achievements perfecting riddling, stronger bottling, cork technology and ameliorating the Method Champenois or Method Traditional.
As I mentioned in the last Champagne post, growers and houses have had long relationships. Those relationships haven't always been positive, and often had periods of tension between people in the vineyards and the grand houses operating as for-profit businesses, you know the story: buy low sell high, any means necessary. Then, phylloxera hit. Then, there were riots (1910-1911). To avoid another round of rioting, the Échelles des Crus was established as a committee to rate and value individual vineyards in Champagne on a scale of 1-100. The vineyards rated 100% received 100% of the price per grape, and thus were known as Grand Cru. The vineyards rated 90%-99% were deemed Premier Cru Vineyards and gained 90%-99% of the cost per grape. And so on.
- Year: Blended wine 60% from 2014
- Appélation: Champagne Grand Cru
- Grape Variety & Blend: Assembly of 60 % of Pinot Noir and 40 % of Chardonnay as a first juice (the cuvée). An assembly of 40 % of reserve wines.
- Soil & Sub-Soil: Limy
- Situation & Exposure: N/A
- Vine density per hectare: 9700 Kg/Ha (2016)
- Average age of vines: 30 - 35 years
- Vignification: N/A
- Maturing: 18 month minimum in cellar
- Ageing: 2 - 3 years
- Tasting Notes: A pale yellow robe. A rather fruity aroma. Quite round, the fruity taste remains very pleasant in mouth. This champagne will be served with the aperitif, cocktails; as well as with starters, white meats and fishes.