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Professional Ratings: 92 Wine Spectator, 90 Wine Enthusiast, 90 International Wine Cellar, 90 Wine & Spirits, 90 Decanter
Region: Champagne, France
Varietal: Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine
Alcohol By Volume: 12%
Item no. 113698
#77 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2011
Pale gold in color with a fine mousse, the wine is aromatic on the nose. On the palate, it is well balanced and shows great finesse and complexity.
Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the best grand- and premier crus bring vinosity and delicacy together in a very harmoniously balanced blend. The complement of Pinot Meunier adds a charming touch of fruitiness and liveliness.
Delicious as an aperitif, Brut Majeur is also the perfect wine to serve throughout a meal. It will pair perfectly with sea food, scallops, lobster, crab, fresh or grilled fish, fish terrines, salmon or beef carpaccio, as well as with sushi and Asian cuisine.
There's a firm, chalky edge to this minerally Champagne, and mouthwatering flavors of candied lemon peel, green apple, crystallized honey and biscuit. This has an elegant texture and an overall sense of style. Drink now through 2020.
Ayala, based in Aÿ in the heart of Champagne, has been transformed since Bollinger bought it in 2005 and this nonvintage proves it. This is a balanced blend of 40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier. The result is crisp while not too dry, and therefore drinkable as an apéritif. Apple and bright citrus combine with green plums to give a fruity wine that is also structured. The cellarmaster continues to reduce the dosage (sugar) so there is a crisp, tight aftertaste.
Light yellow. Aromas of fresh citrus fruits, chamomile and smoky minerals, with a subtle hint of white pepper. Fleshy and smooth on entry, then tighter in the middle, offering juicy blood orange and buttered toast flavors and a touch of bitter cherry pit. Closes on a spicy note, with good mineral cut and lingering spiciness. Pretty tight for an entry-level Champagne; I wouldn't be surprised if this one rewarded some cellaring.
Luscious ripeness lends this wine a quince-like flavor, feeling round and generous against the chalky briskness of Champagne. For all its fruitiness, this is dry, firm and grounded, a clean aperitif or a first-course wine for a rabbit terrine.
Broad, expressive nose - lots of yeastiness on display, plus spice, floral and some toffee and caramel notes. The palate is clean and precise, showing elegant fruit characters and some burnt biscuit flavors too. Classic Champagne style, very conventional but decent complexity.