Love Wine Challenge: Part 1
The team here at Love Wine thought it would be a good idea if we set ourselves a challenge...
The challenge is actually rather simple; each month a member of the team (so that's Chris, Kevin, Will and myself (Alex)) will buy a wine that we haven't tried before and do an honest review.
The catch? We have to pay for it ourselves and then review it in a professional manner AND in Layman's terms, suggest pairing it with a recipe, topped off with a pretty picture.
For the month of each review, the chosen wine will be on a 15% discount so you can come in a give it a go if you like the sound of it.
What do you get out of it? Apart from the initial discount, if you buy any of the wines that we review, you will automatically be placed into a draw. The winner of this draw will receive each of the reviewed wines for free!
So let's get into it!
Duval-Leroy Femme Champagne 2000
Duval-Leroy is a family run business, dedicated to making Champagne since 1859. Following in the footsteps of Carol, Duval's "Lady of Champagne, her three sons Julien, Charles and Louis have taken the reign to perpetuate the house spirit.
This Femme 2000 vintage is a reflection of the close cooperation between Carol Duval-Leroy and Sandrine Logette-Jardin, her head winemaker. It is a blend of 95% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Noir with 6 grams per litre dosage.
But what is in the bottle?
Pale lemon-gold in colour as it eloquently falls into a bottom of the flute glass, the head quickly rising to the lip.
The aromas have a low intensity but with ripe green apple, melon and lemon zest on the nose, this only adds to the delicacy of this juice. Toasted brioche, vanilla, cherry and orange peel beckon you in for the first sip.
There is also a nuttiness, like that of hazelnuts, which reminded me of fino sherry.
On the palate, refreshingly high acidity with medium body create an awfully well balanced dry wine with delicate mousse (the bubbles, darling). The Chardonnay brings with it grapefruit, lemon curd and honeysuckle, a truly elegant blend but one of power also; the Pinot Noir creates longevity for the 2000 vintage and adding body. Toast and almonds are present on the ever lingering finish.
What does this mean in Layman's terms? Well, whilst the Champagne has delicate flavours, the age on the wine brings with it greater complexity and depth. The fruit on wine has started to subside to more secondary and tertiary flavours, giving the perception that it is less fresh than other Non-Vintage Champagnes that you may find on the shelves. Whilst this is expected from a vintage Champagne, especially one that is nearly 19 years old, you shouldn't expect it to be as light and easy drinking as you NV fizz. It requires the drinker to do a bit of reading (or listening) to fully appreciate this wine.
If you are looking for something light and fresh, this may not be the one; but if you are looking for something special that requires a bit education then this is on the money!
This bottle was a bit of a guilty pleasure; I have always wanted to try an aged vintage Champagne. However, I had recently read an online review of the Dom Perignon 2006 where the Sommelier had it paired with... wait for it... fried chicken. Not oysters, not caviar or frois gras. Fried chicken.
That had me almost shouting 'SACRILEGE' at my screen. However, it made sense...
The high acidity from the Champagne cuts through the light, oily batter. The Chardonnay heavy blend pairs well with chicken with ripe green and yellow fruit. The residual sugar in the wine creates a pleasurable experience. The delicacy of the Champagne leaves your palate refreshed and ready for more.
So that's what I did - on a quite Thursday evening I enjoyed fried chicken and premium Champagne. I dare you to give it a try.
So there it is, the first honest review. Throughout the month of March (and the first week of April), Femme Champagne will be on a 15% discount and you will automatically be entered into our draw!