RodezBlancn.v. Eric Rodez, Blanc de Blancs, Grand Cru Brut Champagne, Ambonnay, France.
There isn’t many people more passionate about terroir and quality than Eric Rodez and it shows in his fantastic Champagne, and better for us is the fact that these wonderful cubes are delightfully affordable and without pretense or brand envy, these wines are in the same league as Krug and Vilmart. Eric practices mostly bidynamic principals in the vineyard and in some cases he goes further, even to the point of treating vines with essential oils, or as Charles Neal his importer puts it, he treats his vines with aromatherapy if needed! In the cellar, his two years working at Champagne Krug gave him his core beliefs, though he is influenced also by his time in both Alsace and Burgundy, he uses a combination of tank and wood, uses barrel aging and uses lots of very old reserve wines in the blended non vintage cuvees. Rodez has only 15 acres in Grand Cru Ambonnay, mostly Chardonnay and a touch of Pinot Noir, and this gorgeous 100% Chardonnay Blanc de Blancs comes from between 15 and 20 separate lots, from different plots in his vineyard, this enhances the complexity, with the base vintages being 32% from 1999, 19% from 2008, 24% from 2007, 16% from 2006 and 3% from 2004, all aged 53 months Sur Lie, with 18% aged in cement/enamel lined tanks and 82% aged in small Barrel. Most of his wine goes through malo, though you still find energy and finesse in these luxurious Champagnes, I adore these offerings from Eric Rodez, especially this one. The nose is amazingly deep with layers of brioche, hazelnut, lemon pie and fig leading to a full bodied palate that shines and sparkles with apple, white berry, citrus, exotic tropical fruits, textural creme brûlée, baking spices, wet stones and mineral tones along with a glorious beading from the fine mousse. This is seductive, richly flavored and vibrant bubbly, absolutely world class and eye-poppingly sexy! Drink this stunning non vintage Blanc de Blancs Rodez over the next decade, best from 2016 to 2021, I know I will. (Disgorged Oct. 2014- 4 gram dosage)
($55 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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