Fun fact about me: my birthday was ages ago. The OH bought this as a gift way back in the year, on the promise from the wine-shop-person that this would definitely be ‘an interesting one’. It did not disappoint.
While the brand promises a more gastro-intuitive kind of wine, the results themselves are intriguing and, if not unexpected, then a really appetising antidote to the super-sweet prosecco currently doing the rounds in every bar, club, restaurant and wedding just now.
I found out some more about the company behind this fascinating, moreish, beautifully packaged bottling: Champagne Lallier is a grand cru domaine near Epernay in France – a 15 hectare vineyard right in the heart of the Champagne region that’s 100% internally owned, with contributions from partner vineyards. There’s one cellar master, Francis Tribaut, who’s also the manager of the estate. Lallier’s branding is beautiful, classy and totally on point – I’d be sold on the box alone, independent of tasting notes.
Fun fact about champagne, which I assumed would have updated in the modern world but didn’t because hi, France: all champagne is made via the traditional method. The methode traditionelle is labour intensive and expensive, but allows very fine-tuning of the winemaking process, from grape selection, through to blending, the addition of the tirage for the secondary fermentation.
Malo-lactic fermentation (MLF), is the conversion of malic acid (tart, apple-y flavours) into lactic acid (softer, creamier flavours) post-fermentation which generates those beautiful ‘buttery’ notes you get in champagne particularly. Leaving the wine on its lees (the dead yeast cells) for a period of time creates and incorporates the bready, yeasty flavours that make a wine so much more interesting that your average fizz.
I loved this champagne.
Name: Champagne Lallier R.012 Brut (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, 62:38)
Vineyard/Country: Lallier, Champagne
Vintage: 2012, disgorged in January 2016
Price (mls): upper £20s – you can find it via lots of independent wine shops
Colour / Intensity: beautiful pale gold
Nose: Fresh, fresh, fresh bread, baked apples, sourdough, freshly pressed apples (use of the word ‘fresh’ here is not hyperbolic, I promise.) I also got hints of a distillery washback – that esther-y, fruity note that’s so specific to a distillery that I can’t really describe it if you’ve not done a tour.
Taste: Dry, with high alcohol and an “aggressive” mousse (just picture an aggressive moose for me right now. Done it? Good.) Those marmite-y, rich bread-crusty flavours really come through, there’s so little sweetness that if you were expecting to knock back a cocktail-esque glass of wedding fizz you’d get a surprise. The sweetness is all on the nose, and it just smells like my dream kitchen in autumn.
Good for: When you’re tired of any old bubbles and you’re feeling grown up. Treat yourself, it’ll be worth it, I promise.