André Clouet Brut Grande Réserve NV
You won’t regret overlooking the big Champagne brands and taking a punt on this grower. There’s mineral freshness and energising effervescence as you’d expect, but also the weight and richness of great Champagne sourced from 100% Grand Cru, Pinot Noir sites. Expect a little toastiness as well as red apples and candied fruit. This Grand Réserve has a generous 4 years aging on lees and provides exceptional value.
In no way are you substituting prestige and quality by drinking from smaller Champagne houses like André Clouet (they only have 8 hectares). The family had been producing in Bouzy and Ambonnay, where Pinot Noir is king, since the 1700s. Prior to that their history was in printing for the French monarchy, and their beautiful labels are a tribute to that. Hands-on management of their small vineyards ensures the focus is on continued and improving quality, and not quantity.