n.v. R. Pouillon & Fils, Cuvee de Reserve Brut Champagne, France.
The beautiful and creamy moussed Reserve Brut by Champagne R. Pouillon & Fils is a luxurious comforting bubbly to celebrate life and smile through these stressful times, it is wines like this that keeps attitudes adjusted and fears in check allowing relaxed smiles as well as moments of tranquility and gratitude to shine through. The recent disgorgement, from the winter of 2017, of R. Pouillon Reserve Brut is a blend of 60% of wine from the 2015 vintage and 40% of a Reserve base from a solar tank that dates back to the ’90s which gives the Champagne a sense of complexity from the maturity of the older wines, but a fresh feel and with the richness of the year showing making for a sparkler that offers an array of flavors and depth including opulent baked apple, lemon and golden fig fruits along with hazelnut, brioche and mineral tones as well as a burst of acidity and that lavish and elegant mousse of creamy though lively small bubbles. The Pouillon family’s holdings, as the winery highlights, are in Aÿ, Mareuil-sur-Aÿ and Avenay Val d’Or in the Grande Vallée, Epernay and Festigny along the Marne River, and Tauxières-Mutry, just to the north in the Montagne de Reims, with the majority of the vines being Pinot Noir, along with small parcels of Chardonnay and Meunier.

This inviting Cuvee de Reserve Champagne was crafted using 65% Pinot Noir, 15% Chardonnay and 20% Meunier with the grapes grown in the Vallée de la Marne and Mareuil-sur-Aÿ area, part of Champagne with a stellar reputation for quality, especially Pinot Noir, which gives these wines their wonderful structure. According to Pouillon’s importer Schatzi Wines, the Pouillon family has been growing grapes in the region for over a century, but it wasn’t until 1947 when Fabrice’s grandfather, Roger Pouillon, decided to produce wine from his holdings along with the help of his wife, Bernedette, and his uncle, Louis Baulant, a well-known winemaker and consultant in the region, with Fabrice Puillon now leading the family’s small estate and cellars. Fabrice has converted this grower producer house to organic farming and tightened up the cellars with all gravity flows and special enameled fermenters, he ages his base wines in a combination of stainless steel and mostly older or neutral oak including large demi-muids as well as small barriques with everything allowed to go through malo-lactic fermentation which adds to the regal mouth feel. As the grapes are picked with loads of vibrancy the wines retain high-toned aromatics, natural acidity and energy, as this Reserve Brut shows, making its balance impeccable and a solid grower fizz offering to enjoy over the next 5 to 10 years.
($60 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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