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Gaston Chiquet Blanc de Blancs d’Aÿ Grand Cru Brut NV [6/cs]

gaston chiquet blanc de blancs d’ay NV
France Champagne
Chardonnay
Type: Sparkling Wine
Vintage: Non-Vintage

“Gaston Chiquet is one of the larger of the artisan producers in Champagne, with a total 23 hectares under vine spread across 45 parcels in Hautvillers, Aÿ, and Mareuil-sur-Aÿ. While grower Champagnes have become all the rage in recent years, brothers Fernand and Gaston Chiquet were among the first, if not the first, growers to bottle and sell their own wines, something that was groundbreaking all the way back in 1919. Gaston Chiquet is unique for the relatively high percentage of Pinot Meunier in their vineyards (40%) as well as for their Blanc de Blancs grown in Aÿ, believed to be one of just two 100% Chardonnay Champagnes being made in this village famous for its Pinot Noir. Nicolas Chiquet favours malolactic fermentation for his wines and levels of dosage that tend towards the lower end of the spectrum. These are wines imbued with extraordinary personality and character.”

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Dec 2008

 

Chiquet’s Blanc de Blancs d’Aÿ is composed entirely of Chardonnay from Grand Cru vineyards around the village of Aÿ in the Valle de la Marne. The vines grow in mineral-rich clay, limestone, and chalk soils that retain the day’s heat through cool nights, promoting ripeness in the fruit and richness in the wine. This wine consistently highlights the unique character of the terroir rather than the qualities of a particular year, and is somewhat unusual as the product of a region best-known for Champagne dominated by Pinot Noir.

 

Grapes are always harvested by hand and vinified by vineyard parcel in small tanks. Following secondary fermentation, the wine aged on lees in bottle for three years prior to disgorging.

 

“The NV Blanc de Blancs d’Aÿ is a brilliant wine, and of the many highlights in this range from Chiquet. Although not labeled a vintage Champagne, this release is 100% 2014, a year that continues to impress as the wines start to enter the market. Bright and finely sculpted to its core, the Blanc de Blancs d’Aÿ sizzles with real tension. Lemon peel, mint, green apple, chalk and crushed rocks abound in a striking, laser-focused Champagne that hits all the right notes. Dosage is 8 grams per liter. Disgorged: June, 2018.”

94 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, Dec 2019

 

“A graceful Champagne, with a pleasantly round creaminess, finely balanced by the vivid acidity. The lacy mousse carries a delicate mesh of poached apricot, madeleine, ground ginger and chalk-tinged mineral. Disgorged May 2017. Drink now through 2022.”

92 points, Wine Spectator, Nov 2018

 

“Disgorged in July 2017, the NV Brut Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs d’Aÿ opens in the glass with a youthfully reserved nose featuring notes of lemon oil, crisp orchard fruit, chalky soil tones and hazelnuts. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, bright and racy, with a tangy spine of acidity, a delicate core of fruit and an elegant, pinpoint mousse. This needs a few years on cork to come into its own, as it’s quite tight-knit right now. 2020 – 2033.”

91+ points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, April 2019