Monday, December 30, 2013

Pierre Peters Champagne Brut NV Blanc De Blancs


My husband and I love Pierre Peters Brut NV Blanc De Blanc Champagne. I try to keep a few bottles in our home at any given time to cover our own spontaneous Champagne needs, we opened some on Thanksgiving and Christmas and there is more waiting for the New Year celebration. We also gave a few bottles as gifts this holiday season.

One thing that I like about this sparkling wine is that there is the sense that you are getting something a bit more special for your money than you might be getting with the big brands from Champagne at the same price point. This wine was made by an independent grape grower who used at least 95% of his own estate grown grapes in the production of this wine leading to the nickname "Grower Champagne". While this is not unusual in the world of wine, it is somewhat unusual in the world of Champagne production where less than a quarter of the independent growers do so.

The vineyards are located in the Grand Cru commune of Le Mesnil sur Oger in the Cote des Blancs sub region of Champagne. The Cote des Blancs is planted almost exclusively to Chardonnay and the grapes tend to be more expensive than the other sub regions. The Le Mesnil area is a more prestigious area within this sub region. In theory, this more defined area will produce grapes that will create a wine that is more terroir specific than the typical multi-regional blends. In particular, the belemnite chalky soil of Le Mesnil that was formed in the tertiary period should help the grapes to maintain their acidity and add a chalky mineral-like component to the wine. 

In the glass, the Pierre Peters Champagne Brut NV Blanc De Blancs is a pale straw color and it has a steady stream of pinpoint bubbles creating a lacy mousse at the rim. It has aromas of fresh pear and lemon tart. Upon tasting, the creamy texture is the first thing that you think about and then the zippy acidity. It has refreshing citrus flavors, a light toasted note and a minerality throughout the lengthy finish.

Always outstanding, highly recommended.

One of the things that I have liked about this brand is that the disgorgement date information has always been provided on the label on the back of bottle. The tasting note above was written specifically from a bottle that was disgorged in December of 2012. Disgorgement is the process of removing the lees or yeast sediment from the Champagne bottle before the final corking is completed. A Champagne producer may do this several times a year as the wine is needed for shipment to the market. I like knowing this date as it helps me to organize and rotate my non vintage bottles in my cellar fridge at home. I was interested to see that within the last case that we purchased, there were a couple of disgorgement dates and there were some bottles without that information included. I am hoping that the label without this information is not the direction that Pierre Peters Champagne is headed.