Saturday, March 24, 2007

Moutard Cuvee de 6 Cepages 2000

Weve got a record of journalists in for the weekend. (Not sure if that is the correct collective noun, but I like the cut of its jib!). So they were being wined and dined in the Arkle tonight by Penta our (temporary) Marketing manager, and I decided to kick start them with this little beauty. Its a relatively small domaine, and one of the few that maintains vineyards growing the lesser known varieties of Champagne. Arbanne, Petit Meslier and Pinot Blanc are all still legally permitted grapes (although it is no longer permitted to plant them). Like the Aubry brothers, Francois Moutard believes that the grapes must have been planted and used for a reason. Tasting this champagne it is easy to see what they contribute. It has a more floral, rounded character with slight hints of honey and a crisper, sharper acidity which lends itself well to be used as an aperitif. I love this champagne because it has something different. When I taste one of the big brands there is a certain "blandness" for want of a better description, there is flavour and layers of elegance to the wines, but they just seem to miss that extra personality. Thats why I love the grower champagnes so much, to me they express what Champagne is all about, the terrior of the region, the complexities the different varieties bring to the mix, and the difficulties in what is essentially a borderline growing environment. I believe that when you are buying in the vast majority of your fruit, no matter how long standing the contracts you may have with the numerous growers may be, you dont have control of your principle ingredient and ultimately you cannot have control of your end product.

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