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Jose Dhondt Blanc de Blancs Brut

Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
  • RP92
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The NV Brut Blanc de Blancs flows with the essence of lemon, white flowers, almonds and pears. It is a bright, focused wine backed up with considerable plushness and generosity in its fruit. The Blanc de Blancs should drink beautifully for a number of years.
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Jose Dhondt

Jose Dhondt

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Jose Dhondt, Champagne, France
It was wasn’t until 1974 that Jose Dhondt, a longtime grower, produced his first cuvee. Jose makes three wines, a NV Rose, a NV Blanc de Blancs and another he calls "Mes Vieille Vignes," which, while always made from grapes of a single year, is only vintage dated when Jose decides it’s been an especially good year in the vineyard. Whether the "Mes Vieille Vignes" cuvee is vintage dated or not, it is astoundingly good Champagne, with a richness and persistence that is truly unparalleled.

The Dhondt family's 6 hectares are split over several parcels, equally divided between the Cote des Blancs and the Sezannes regions. The vines average 25 years of age, though grapes for his "Vieilles Vignes" cuvee come from 56 year old vines on a tiny parcel on a slope of Oger that was planted by Jose’s grandfather. Dhondt avoids chemicals as much as possible, practicing what the French call "culture raisonnee." He keeps yields low with a severe debudding and sorts grapes mercilessly before they go into the press. Pressing is done in a traditional vertical wood press and only one "retrousse" is allowed. Vinification is in small temperature controlled stainless steel vats with individual lots kept separate.

Champagne

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Associated with luxury, celebration, and romance, the region, Champagne, is home to the world’s most prized sparkling wine. In order to bear the label, ‘Champagne’, a sparkling wine must originate from this northeastern region of France—called Champagne—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 and chalky soil defines much of the region, which lend a mineral component to its wines. Champagne’s cold, continental climate promotes ample acidity in its grapes but weather differences from year to year can create significant variation between vintages. While vintage Champagnes are produced in exceptional years, non-vintage cuvées are produced annually from a blend of several years in order to produce Champagnes that maintain a consistent house style.

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 as individual varietal Champagnes, depending on the final style of wine desired. Chardonnay, the only white variety, contributes freshness, elegance, 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 ones comprised of only red grapes are called ‘blanc de noirs.’

Champagne & Sparkling

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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.

LSB203232_0 Item# 203232