n.v. Mouzon-Leroux, L’atavique, Tradition, Grand Cru Extra Brut Champagne, Verzy, France.
This is an exciting new to me grower producer that does a biodynamic Extra Brut from estate vines, 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay from Verzy, it’s a thrilling and dry style Grand Cru bubbly. Interestingly it is from mostly 2012 vintage, about 65%, with the rest a blend of leesy reserve wine from 2009 to 2011 with very low dosage, hence the Extra Brut, and it was native yeast or natural fermented with the lots going through full Malo, so that very little sulfur had to be used and 25% of the total sees oak in the process. This Champagne is extremely brisk and vividly vibrant, but with complex layers and ever expanding depth on the palate with zingy citrus, orange blossom, apple, white cherry, fig and hazelnut leading the way with a steely core and lemon zest along with wet stones, before opening to brioche, a hint of smoke, chalky spice and quince. The mousse is remarkably fine and caressing allowing lovely texture and mouth feel in such a taught Champagne, it’s not a crowd pleaser really, but a jewel for the enthusiast, and also when looking for this beautiful sparkler don’t be confused, some retailers list it as a Brut and some even list it as a vintage 2012, it’s all the same cuvee, and the price is anywhere from $60 to $100, but in California the average price is a very fair $74. The Mouzon-Leroux cuvee L’atavique is a special Champagne for grower fizz fans, imported by The Source (California) is certainly a great effort to search out! Happy Bastille Day, Viva La France!
($74 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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