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Champagne Eric Rodez Blanc de Noirs Ambonnay Brut Grand Cru NV Wine - Last Bottle

Champagne Eric Rodez Blanc de Noirs Ambonnay Brut Grand Cru NV

Eric Rodez was the longtime winemaker for KRUG before taking over his family’s domaine in Ambonnay in the early 1980s. Six hectares of organic and biodynamic vineyards are the family playground – making small amounts of stunningly complex Champagne!

$85
$135

Retail

37
Flavor Profile: Green apples, Bartlett pears, key limes, freshly cut grass, pickled myoga, yellow plums, tangerines, caramel, butterscotch, and sourdough baguettes
Farming Method: Biodynamic Practices
Score: 93

Why We Love It...

This wine was a treat, and I’ll happily share more about that later. I haven’t had nearly as many experiences as I would like to taste these fine Champagnes from Eric Rodez – their production is so very miniscule, and their reputation so very lofty – that opportunities have been limited, to say the least. His status as a longtime winemaker for the heralded Krug Champagne house is simply impossible to ignore, but his family’s long-held domaine, of six hectares centered around the Grand Cru village of Ambonnay, and their dedication to their craft goes all the way back to 1757 is perhaps even more impressive. We have a little less than 10 cases, though, so if you want some to call your own…don’t dally!

The Rodez family’s roots in the grassy hills of Ambonnay go all the way back to 1757, passed down over nine generations from father to son. The estate covers a pristine six hectares in this Grand Cru village – a spot that we’ve long argued serves as a central cog in the rise of the entire Grower Champagne movement. The Rodez family is certainly numbered among these fine producers – and without a doubt one of the most famous recoltant manipulants in all of Champagne. Eric’s stint at Krug brought prestige and notoriety to the family operation, but for most of the past decade, it is his son, Mickael who is carrying the torch to ever greater heights.

Like every great Champagne, the focus here begins in the vineyards. Longtime proponents of organic practices, the vineyards have been certified organic since 2012, with full biodynamic certification following a short time later in 2015. It was actually the challenging vintage of 1984 that sent the family looking for answers on how to improve the health of their vineyards – answers that would ultimately be found in the oftentimes harsh environment of Alsace. They shifted their farming practices to be more preventative than prescriptive as a result and over the decades this has made all the difference. 

This newest release of their heralded Blanc de Noirs is crafted from 100% pinot noir, compiled from a secretive medley of several of the vintages of the last decade (and maybe beyond!) Just as was the norm at Krug – the layerings of each vintage’s unique expression are the basis of the wine's complexity – and this is artfully done here. A rich and zesty bouquet with green apples, Bartlett pears, key limes, and fresh-cut grass greets you immediately from the glass – a clear nod to the majority of this wine being prevented from undergoing malolactic fermentation. And yet, the mouthfeel is creamy and tingly – loaded amply with more orchard fruits, pickled myoga (Japanese ginger) yellow plums, tangerines, and sourdough baguettes. A lingering caramel and butterscotch note are among the few hints at the overall weight and richness of this wine (and the 20% that did go through ml), but it is the intense and uplifting acidity that buttresses the whole of the wine spectacularly, giving an airy lightness and delicate sensation to a wine that is most certainly not that. It’s dichotomous, beguiling, and puzzling – but an absolute joy to sip nevertheless! Is it alchemy or magic, or both? I couldn’t say! It really is a wine to be discovered, and I fear I finished my glass long before I could meter out the full depth of all this wine has in store. I’ll be sure to revisit this again, perhaps frequently, and I strongly encourage you all to join me! 

Fizz Meter

Technical Details

Country: France
Region: Champagne
Appellation: Montagne de Reims
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Farming Method: Biodynamic Practices
Alcohol: 12.5%
Pair it with: Quail with black truffle jus

Champagne Eric Rodez Blanc de Noirs Ambonnay Brut Grand Cru NV

$85
$135

Retail

37

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