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Jean Laurent Brut Rose
Excellent with game or rich meats such as duck, it can stand up to richly sauced dishes.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Jean farms a total of 39 acres, split between Pinot Noir (30 acres) and Chardonnay (9 acres), with no Pinot Meunier. Though the Aube is unquestionably Pinot Noir territory and his flagship wine is the Blanc de Noirs, Jean has enjoyed spectacular success with his Blanc de Blancs, and is planting/purchasing more Chardonnay vines to meet demand.
The basic NV bruts (Blanc de Noirs, Blanc de Blancs and Rosé) are typically blended from three vintages, and aged a minimum of 3 years on the yeast. Vintage Champagnes are only produced in exceptional years and are generally released after 10 years of age. Jean also has a treasure cellar of older vintages and large format bottles that are disgorged and labeled to order. They are not inexpensive, but are an excellent option for those searching for a special jeroboam or the perfect anniversary bottle.
As a RM ("Recoltant Manipulant" - the French term for Grower's Champagne), Jean makes Champagnes exclusively from his own vineyards. Many consumers have begun to favor Grower's Champagne over the Grande Marques labels, which often offer high quality and a true house style, but little in the way of the expression of terroir, as the basic bruts are often blended from a wide range of Champagne districts. Jean Laurent is a prime example of how deeply traditional winemaking, estate-grown fruit, small batch vinification, and a fanatical devotion to quality can result in distinctive Champagnes of individuality and character.
Associated with luxury, celebration, and romance, Champagne is home to the world’s most prized sparkling wine. In order to be labeled ‘Champagne’ within the EU and many New World countries, a wine must originate in this northeastern region of France and adhere to strict quality standards. Made up of the three towns Reims, Épernay, and Aÿ, it was here that the traditional method of sparkling wine production was both invented and perfected, birthing a winemaking technique as well as a flavor profile that is now emulated worldwide. Well-drained limestone chalk soil defines much of the region, lending a mineral component to the wines. The climate here is marginal—ample acidity is a requirement for sparkling wine, so overripe grapes are to be avoided. Weather differences from year to year create significant variation between vintages, and in order to maintain a consistent house style, non-vintage cuvées are produced annually from a blend of several years.
With nearly negligible exceptions, three varieties are permitted for use in Champagne: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. These can be blended together or bottled varietally, depending on the final style of wine desired. Chardonnay, the only white variety, contributes freshness, delicacy, and elegance, as well as bright and lively acidity and notes of citrus, orchard fruit, and white flowers. Pinot Noir and its relative Pinot Meunier provide the backbone to many blends, adding structure, body, and supple red fruit flavors. Wines with a large proportion of Pinot Meunier will be ready to drink earlier, while Pinot Noir contributes to longevity. Whether it is white or rosé, most Champagne is made from a blend of red and white grapes—and uniquely, rosé is often produce by blending together red and white wine. A Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay will be labeled as ‘blanc de blancs,’ while one comprised of only red grapes are called ‘blanc de noirs.’
Equal parts festive and food-friendly, sparkling wine is beloved for its lively bubbles and appealing aesthetics. Though it is often thought of as something to be reserved for celebrations, sparkling wine can be enjoyed on any occasion—and might just make the regular ones feel a bit more special. Sparkling wine is made throughout the world, but can only be called “Champagne” if it comes from the Champagne region of France. Other regions have their own specialties, like Prosecco in Italy and Cava in Spain. Sweet or dry, white or rosé (or even red!), lightly fizzy or fully sparkling, there is a style of bubbly wine to suit every palate.
The bubbles in sparkling wine are formed when the base wine undergoes a secondary fermentation, trapping carbon dioxide inside the bottle or fermentation vessel. Champagne, Cava and many other sparkling wines (particularly in the New World) are made using the “traditional method,” in which the second fermentation takes place inside the bottle. With this method, dead yeast cells remain in contact with the wine during bottle aging, giving it a creamy mouthful and toasty flavors. For Prosecco, the carbonation process occurs in a stainless steel tank to preserve the fresh fruity and floral aromas preferred for this style of wine.