Pinot Noir Exploration
Bottles individually purchased: £440
Pinot Noir is the most widely planted grape variety in the whole of Champagne. It can be found in both the farthest northern reaches, 30 miles North of Reims, as well as the southern area bordering Chablis, known as the Aube. The main area for production though, is in the very heart of Champagne, the Montagne de Reims, home to legendary Grand Cru villages such as Bouzy, Verzy and Verzenay.
In this case, we travel from the Montagne de Reims all the way down to the Aube in order to capture the wonderful rich and opulent styles this noble grape is renowned for and showcase what it’s capable of with a selection of non-vintage, vintage and limited edition cuvées.
We start with a brand new producer, who has blown us away with his big and beautiful oak vinified cuvées. This, his pure Pinot Noir, is bursting with fruit but is also so well structured and layered. An exciting debut wine and what a way to kick off this case!
Staying in the Montagne de Reims we head to the Grand Cru village of Louvois and another fantastic single vineyard cuvée. It's a superb example of Montagne de Reims Pinot Noir, displaying wonderful depth of fruit but with beautiful balance, finesse and salinity.
Moving further east we reach the brilliant Grand Cru village of Aŷ. This wine is one of our standout bottles from the past 12 months; concentrated on the nose, full of blackcurrant alongside some amazing toastiness. The wine really delivers on the palate – complex, juicy, with rich texture and a lovely buttery element.
Staying in the Marne valley we come to this wonderfully approachable wine from a great young winemaker in Avenay Val d'Or. The first thing you notice is the colour – light pink, almost Provençal rosé – but the palate that follows doesn't disappoint, with lovely weight, texture and balance of fruit.
We couldn't offer a collection of Pinot Noir without including something from the Aube and this is a great example from the region. Vinous, toasty with plenty of black fruit and a proper engaging mid to late.
Finishing with a flourish, we head back to the Montagne de Reims and this exclusive and limited edition cuvée from Didier Herbert. 100% oak vinified and aged on cork it's generous and round, with lovely notes of blueberry and blackcurrant, great salinity and a touch of toffee. Concentrated and rich, complex and layered – it's one to cherish!