NV Francis Orban Extra Brut, Champagne, France (750ml)

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Léopold Orban was one of the first récoltant-manipulants (a producer who sources fruit exclusively from their own vineyards) in the small village of Leuvrigny in the 1920s. Léopold’s great grandson, François, took over as proprietor in 1999 at the young age of 19, tending 18 acres of 30–40-year-old vineyards in and around the villages of Leuvrigny and Sainte-Gemme. Located in the heart of the Marne Valley, the domaine focuses on Pinot Meunier which comprises 90% of its vineyard holdings—ideal considering that the sandy, clay-rich soils of the region suit the grape very well. Often considered merely a blending grape in other regions of Champagne, Pinot Meunier has pride of place in the Marne Valley and can offer wines of impressive depth, character and finesse.

This 100% Pinot Meunier Extra Brut is a stunning example of the lesser-known Champagne varietal. The grapes were hand-harvested and directly pressed. The must was fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled, stainless-steel tanks. Blended with 50% reserve wine, it was aged for three years in bottle with a dosage of 3g/L.

This Champagne has a pale rose, gold hue and persistent perlage. The nose shows inviting aromas of red apple and lemon. The palate shows flavors of ripe apple, lemon flesh, apricot pit and a hint of brioche. Fresh, crisp and lively, with mouthwatering acidity and remarkable texture all the way through.

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