Champagne, France
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“What even 10 years ago was barely a fringe style is now the height of Champagne fashion,” writes the New York Times, referring to Brut Nature Champagne. For those, ahem, a few steps behind the times Brut Nature means zero dosage (doh-SAHJ). In other words, this Champagne is as dry as they come.

“Without any dosage, it is bone dry, relying on the ripeness of the fruit for its rich, mineral and lemon-zest character,” writes the Wine Enthusiast, along with a 90-point score. “Clear and elegant, with very delicate and precise sweet cherry, ripe apple, melon and lovely chalk flavors on the aromatic nose, this Brut is round, intense and fruity-elegant on the palate,” says the Wine Advocate, with a second 90-point rating. And from the Wine Spectator, which gave this boutique bubbly 91-points: “Chopped almond and spice notes underscore the flavors of raspberry pâte de fruit, oyster shell, lemon zest and biscuit in this fresh sparkler, with a lacy texture.”

With no makeup or fancy outfits to cover any flaw or lack of ripeness to the estate-grown fruit, this unadulterated, naked bubbly is a tremendously delineated, citrus-strewn Champagne with intense energetic presence. Drink it with oysters for a memorable New Year’s Eve or all year long with most anything from the sea. 62% Pinot Noir and 38% Chardonnay, all from estate-owned vineyards.

Four reasons we love it:

Residents of Aÿ for more than five generations, the Lallier family has deep roots in the heart of the Champagne region. The Lallier label, however, was not established until 1996 when James Lallier purchased a winery then owned by René Brun.

Champagne Lallier owns vineyards and tiny plots dotted between the Marne Valley, Aÿ and the Côtes des Blancs (including 8 hectares of vines planted in Grand Cru vineyards), and 100% of this house’s Champagnes are from estate-owned vineyards.

Encompassing most of Champagne’s top subregions, the RO12 is made with domaine-grown fruit from Avize, Cramant, Oger, Aÿ, Verzenay, Bousy and Ambonnay.

As a nod toward Champagne production in the olde days, all Lallier’s bubblies are bottled with cork and clamp during the second fermentation, as was customary in the old days. And all ageing of wines occurs in Lallier’s 18th-century chalk cellars.


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