Carte D’Or, Champagne Brut – Drappier (75cl) Urville, France
Grape: 80% Pinot Noir 15% Chardonnay 5% Pinot Meunier
Closure: Cork and cage
Producer: For one of Champagne’s most forward-thinking producers, Drappier has
no shortage of historic roots. An eighth-generation family business, the
house was founded in 1808, and occupies magnificent twelfth-century
cellars built by Cistercian monks. Having spearheaded the revival of Pinot
Noir in the region, in the 1930s, Drappier continued to innovate. Rosé in
a clear bottle was introduced in 1968; extremely low levels of sulphur are
used, and there is even a no-added-sulphur cuvée made; the liqueur
d’expédition is matured for over fifteen years in oak and demi-johns; and
Drappier is the only house to ferment every format, from half-bottles up
to the gigantic 30-litre Melchisédech, in the bottle in which it is sold.
Vineyard: Over half of Drappier’s production comes from the family’s own vineyards
near their base in Urville. Viticulture is close to organic, with horse-drawn
ploughing, cover crops and natural fertiliser used.
Winery: Only the juice from the first pressing – the cuvée – was used, and
was transferred to tank by gravity. After a natural settling, the alcoholic
fermentation took place over two weeks at a low temperature, followed
by complete, natural malolactic fermentation. Five percent of the blend
was aged for a year in barrel to give extra depth. Minimal sulphur was
used during the production.
Taste: A Pinot Noir-based champagne of style and finesse, Carte d’Or offers
delicate aromas of white peach, quince and a touch of spice. The dry,
elegant palate shows an impressive degree of concentration, along with
fine bubbles and a long, crisp finish.
Press: ”Lightly chalky, with a firm backbone of acidity framing flavors of ripe
apple, biscuit, candied lemon zest and ground ginger. Shows fine texture
and good length.” – 90 points, Wine Spectator, November 2012
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