An unusual play of salinity and orchard fruit when we first opened the wine but we just couldn’t quite put our finger on it. After a few minutes in the glass, the wine came out of its tight, awkward shell and opened up to reveal bright citrus, green pear fruit and some almond-meal notes. The spark of minerality came through, finishing with a soft, almost pillowy or creamy texture showing the use of perpetual solera aged reserve wines. A very pristine example of Blanc de Blancs from this producer.
The vines here are about 45 years of age and still ploughed by horse. The yield is low and Adrien has been introducing some herbal preparations, common amongst biodynamic practices. It has been fermented entirely in stainless steel with a tiny 2 g/l dosage which adds to that initial citrus-chalk impression. It has gone through malolactic fermentation and has only spent about 17 months on lees. Perhaps in the future, this could be a bit longer.
Based in the village of Flavigny (west of Avize). The fruit is sourced from Premier Cru vineyard - Cuis. The base vintage for this is 70% 2015 with 30% Perpetual reserve from 1986.
"Dhondt-Grellet's NV Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Les Terres Fines Premier Cru is powerful, intense and richly flavoured, with plenty of old-vine Chardonnay character. There is a real vinosity in the glass that is hugely appealing. Over time, the wine fills out its broad frame nicely. Although the Les Terres Fines is at times a bit burly, it is certainly not lacking in personality. This is a decidedly masculine expression of Cuis Chardonnay. Lemon confit, wild flowers, almonds and brioche infuse the deeply satisfying finish. The low dosage style works nicely here."
- Antonio Galloni, Vinous 2016