|Dégorgé le 04 janvier 2013 | Terry Theise says the fruit of Mareuil Pinot Noir is unlike any he knows in Champagne: “firmer and less malty than Aÿ, altogether less chunky than Bouzy, not unlike Verzy but richer, far more comme il faut than the savage power of Verzenay, less softly perfumey than Ambonnay, less smoky than Cumières. Indeed if it were Burgundy, Mareuil could well be Morey-St.-Denis.” Which might be why I love this so –and for its swooning scent of rye dough and bright Mirabelle plum which speaks of the fruity pumpernickel of the Vallée de la Marne within Champagne –even though it doesn’t have any Pinot Meunier –chalky, tangy with apple skin tannins and a chirping texture and fragrantly flavored finish, this is LOVELY!
Wine review Nicholas Livingston, September 2013
With all its red fruit and cherries, this is immediately lovable for being bright, focused and pert. The juicy acidity is reminiscent of freshly pressed apples in that they’re brand spanking new like raw cider before any oxidation sets in –the best way for them to be in such a non vintage. Disgorged in 12/09, this is comprised of 60% 2007, 20% 2006, and 20% 2005. 81% Pinot Noir from Mareuil (neighboring none other than the Clos de Goisses), Avenay, and Bisseuil, the balancing 19% is Chardonnay also from Mareuil. Though a silkier wine than the previous year Terry Theise explains how the 2007 makes it tauter, and that “the signature fragrance is there, and again there’s a stealthy richness on the midpalate: with five minutes in the glass it really exhales. Let’s call it a spicy version of this sumptuous yet articulate wine.” Articulate is really the bon mot here because this Champagne’s eloquence seems so readily intelligible that at first glance this no doubt seems a straight shootin’ sensible Champagne as one might expect from Vallee de la Marne but then a wry romantic takes over as it starts to read as a gifted poet speaks –like Wallace Stevens in that many would never have guessed this Connecticut business man America’s finest poet in his day. Upon reflecting on Stevens’ gifted choice for words and flowing cadence in daily speech one might have known but these charms can go unnoticed to those who forget to look up and take notice. Descriptive poetry is so much a part of this that it’s almost as though it lives and breathes the iambic pentameter. A glass of this has an innate and effortless ability to project the voice of this wine from the muse of its hills of the Vallee de la Marne, of chalk and limestone. Hand selected grapes, gently pressed, fermented in petite cuvee, and allowed to convert their malic to lactic acids, are all along crafted by hand down to the remuage of riddling each and every bottle manually. No wonder this is a wine of mineral depth and pride of place. Only small grower Champagne can do Brut Non Vintage like this in an way that hit even the high notes, while making it seem so easy, and keeping it from being too serious. Nice an easy does it.
Wine review by Nicholas Livingston, February 2011
91 Rating – Allen Meadow’s Burghound
“(Disgorged January, 2008 – 80% pinot noir with 70% from ’05 and 30% ’04 and 20% chardonnay, all from ’05 fruit). An expressive nose that is beginning to display the initial vestiges of age with a mildly oxidative and yeasty nose that delivers fine complexity that carries over to the fresh, zesty and utterly delicious flavors that are supported by firm but not aggressive effervescence and a slightly toasty finish. This is lovely and quite vinous. It is perhaps not quite as elegant as the best here but I quite like the style.” Wine review by Burghound, October 2009
90 Rating – International Wine Cellar
“78% pinot noir and 22% chardonnay; disgorged April 17, 2009) Pale yellow with tiny bubbles. Intensely perfumed aromas of lemon, red berries, fresh sage, green cardamom and smoky minerals. Tightly wound, focused and very pure, offering lively blood orange, redcurrant and orchard fruit flavors and good stony lift. Surprisingly concentrated for a light-bodied wine, finishing with tangy florality and cling.” Wine review by Stephen Tanzer, December 2009
90 Rating – Wine Advocate
“The NV Brut Premier Cru Cuvee de Reserve is a brilliant, focused wine laced with considerable nuance, complexity and poise. Flowers, white peaches and minerals define the pointed, vibrant finish. The Cuvee de Reserve is 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay, both from Mareuil-sur-Ay, 60% 2007, 20% 2006 and 20% 2005, bottled with 8 grams of dosage. This is L118, disgorged March 12, 2010. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2014. I was very impressed by what I tasted from Hebrart this year. From top to bottom this is a fabulous set of wines.” Wine review by the Wine Advocate, January 2011
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Cheers - Bloomington