Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ayala Perle Champagne 2002 - A Comparison

This tasting was conducted to compare how the dosage level affects the taste in two otherwise identical Champagnes-from the same house, Ayala-Maison de Champagne, and from the same vintage. The Liqueur de Dosage, which is also known as Liqueur d'Expedition, is a mixture of cane sugar and still reserve wine that is added to the bottle after disgorgement which determines the final sweetness level. Legally, the drier Brut Nature style can only have from 0 to 3 grams of sugar per liter, while the Brut style has a wider range and must only remain under 12 grams of sugar per liter.

Ayala Perle Brut Nature Champagne 2002
Appearance: Clear, pale lemon color with good bubbles.
Nose: Clean, low intensity aromas of yeasty bread dough and lemon
Palate: Dry, light body, high acidity, medium alcohol; Yeasty autolytic flavors, lemon and apple. 
Finish: long
Quality: Very Good          Price: $150

Ayala Perle Brut Champagne 2002
Appearance: Clear, pale lemon color with good bubbles.
Nose: Clean, medium intensity aromas of brioche, pear and citrus
Palate: Dry, light+ body, high acidity, medium alcohol; Baked pear, brioche and mixed citrus. 
Finish: long
Quality: Very Good-Outstanding        Price: $150

The two wines appeared the same in the glass with identical bubbles. The Brut was much more aromatic than the more closed Brut Nature. While both wines' flavors mostly mirrored their aromas, the Brut had more pleasingly complex bakery notes while the Brut Nature was more linear. The Brut Nature gave the perception of being more acidic with a slightly longer length. The Brut had a rounder mouthfeel. Each was delicious in is own way.