NV Andre Clouet Grande Reserve, Bouzy, Champagne, France (750 ml)

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André Clouet is a small yet exceptional grower-producer and a master of Pinot Noir, sourcing fruit exclusively from 20 acres of coveted mid-slope vineyards in the Grand Cru villages of Bouzy and Ambonnay. The Clouet family has been in the village of Bouzy since 1492. Centuries later, they became the official printmakers for the court of King Louis XV of France and the classically pretty labels that grace their Champagne bottles today pay homage to that important aesthetic history. Andre Clouet officially founded the Champagne house in 1741 and his descendant, Jean-Francois, who makes the wines today, believes it is this long history of farming the same vines for centuries that is the secret to the Clouet terroir. In addition to sourcing fruit from only top notch vineyards grown on mineral-rich chalk soils, the wines of André Clouet offer remarkable complexity with notably creamy textures due to Jean-François’ tradition of extended aging on the lees.

Made from 100% Grand Cru Estate Pinot Noir, this Réserve Brut was aged 6 years on the lees before final bottling (a considerable length considering this is a non-vintage release!) Not surprisingly, the nose offers a rich bouquet of toasted hazelnut, freshly baked brioche, honeysuckle and bruised yellow apricot while the concentrated palate hints at meyer lemon custard, ripe D'Anjou pear and fresh sugar cookie dough. The opulent and yeasty mouthfeel is cut with a vibrant and focused acidity, creating a beautiful duality to this incredibly delicious wine. The finish which goes on for a quite a long time shows subtle mineral tones alongside more of that sweet lemon pastry and savory hazelnut. We think this would be highly addictive served with warm, puff pastry-baked brie!

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