A New Piedmontese Sparkler and a Classic Blanc De Blancs
Had these two last night. They don't really belong in a post together for any reason other than that they were drunk together and I didn't take copious notes on either.
The Wine Society are currently doing the Henriot for £32.50 per bottle if you buy six, which makes it a knockout. It is £60 in Fortnum and Mason - the madness of Champagne pricing! If someone asked me, "What does Blanc De Blancs taste like", this would stand a good chance of being the bottle I'd pull out of the cellar. There's nothing unusual or especially idiosyncratic about it - it's just perfectly-made, with a lovely equilibrium between fruit and toasty complexity (and a beautiful mousse).
Champagne Henriot Blanc De Blancs NV
The majority of the Chardonnay here comes from the Côte Des Blancs, including Le Mesnil-Sur-Oger and Avize. At least 40% Reserve wines, with a minimum of 4 years on lees. This is classic stuff; the fruit is contained but expressive, with gently creamy yellow stone fruits, ripe candied lemon and yellow grapefruit. There's lightly toasted brazil nut and just a touch of oyster shell adding some interest, and some sweet honeysuckle still hinting at the wine's youth. Lightness and finesse on the palate, with a brilliant mousse and some savoury toasted nut adding just the right amount of intensity of flavour. This will develop really well over 5 years, maybe longer. 92/100
Enrico Serafino Alta Langa 'Zero' 2011
I can't find the exact blend for this vintage, but it is Pinot Nero and Chardonnay. Zero Dosage. This would be a good food wine, bright in flavour with spiced apple, quince and pear frangipane all bound up in fluffy lemon meringue. There are some basil and white pepper notes adding some lovely complexity. Nicely toasty, vinous palate with a little more chewy grip than you would expect from Champagne. Despite the lack of dosage, the fruit sweetness really carries the mid-palate and the wine feels balanced. Works really well. 88/100