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BKWine Pick: Champagne Eric Rodez, Ambonnay

>> Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ambonnay is a Grand Cru village in Champagne known for its excellent pinot noirs. Eric Rodez owns 8 hectares that he manages according to the biodynamic principles. One of the most important elements to make a quality champagne is the base wine (the still wine before the second fermentation), says Eric. In his blends he often uses wines that have been aged for a few years on small oak barrels and often from five different vintages. Sometimes even 10 or 12 different wines goes into his blend for a champagne. He keeps the dosage to a minimum. The champagnes are elegant with a very nice minerality. Try for example Cuvée des Crayères with 20% of the wine in the blend having been aged in oak and with 6 grams of dosage. It is 50% pinot noir and 50% chardonnay. Lots of fruit and with already some maturity, hints of flower and a nice creamy mousse (17.90 euro from the winery). His Cuvée Blanc de Blanc is also very delicious. It comes from vineyards with very poor soil that give a powerful wine. Half has been fermented and aged in small oak barrels and 40% has done the malolactic fermentation. Fresh acidity and a long, full-bodied taste with citrus and peach aromas (20 euro).

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