COMTES DE CHAMPAGNE GRANDS CRUS – BLANC DE BLANCS: 2007 VINTAGE LAUNCH

The 2007 viticultural year was an exceptional year in terms of both the vines and the final wine. After a mild winter, and with the unusually warm temperatures, growth started early and many people were anticipating a harvest by mid-August. However, during May against all expectations, the vineyards in Champagne suffered awful weather. These conditions interfered with the vines’flowering period, resulting in great diversity across the region and full bloom only being achieved between the 24th of May and 1st of June. The grapes matured a little slower as a result of a mostly cold and gloomy summer. Thankfully at the end of August came the return of the sun and with it hope, as the fruit began to mature perfectly. Harvesting did not start until the 30th of August and was carried out under a cold, dry wind. This resulted in a healthy, good quality crop. The Chardonnay grapes were delicate and clear, and their citrus and white fruit aromas showed great potential.

Being the most perfect expression of the House style, a Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is rare. Until its peak, it is subject to a great deal of care and attention and the rigorous criteria governing its production means that it cannot be created in large volumes. The Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is composed exclusively of Chardonnay grown in the five villages of the Côte des Blancs, which are classified as Grands Crus: Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger. Only first press wine (the ‘cuvée’) is used to give it an absolute guarantee of quality. 5% of the wines which help to create the Comtes de Champagne are matured for 4 months in fresh oak barrels (one-third of which are renewed each year) to boost the intrinsic qualities of the final blend and its hint of a toasted flavour. The celebrated bottles only see daylight after a long and drawn-out maturing period 18 metres underground lasting 8 to 10 years.

This great 2007 vintage lives up to all expectations as soon as you open the bottle. It is a moment to treasure. That typical Chardonnay colour is there in all its sparkling, golden glory with shimmers of green coating the constant stream of fine, delicate bubbles. It has a fine and delicate nose which combines white blossom and a certain minerality with general overtones of Anjou light pear and golden raisins. Subtle hints of aniseed and smoky flavours follow this suggestion of fruit. The taste is vibrant, with a combination of lemon and saltiness. This is immediately followed by a sensation of complex, yet mellow freshness creating the perfect balance between ripeness and a full-rounded flavour. It is rounded off by a long-lasting, crisp finish with hints of salted butter. This elegant wine lives up to its reputation with its freshness, strength, minerality and mellow fruitiness. Its freshness encapsulates a cer tain moment in time and promises interesting cellaring potential.

Perfect for a truly special celebration, this Champagne would also go very well with a starter based on seafood, shellfish or fish.