Champagne Brut, ‘Tradition’, Gaston-Chiquet
cépage 40% Pinot Meunier, 35% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir
assemblage 70% 2012-10% 2011-20%2009
info/source Hautvillers 1er Cru, Dizy 1er Cru, Mareuil-sur-Aÿ 1er Cru,
26 year-old vines on average
élevage Stainless Steel
sur latte 45 months
Vallee de la Marne
Nicolas was the only producer who made sure I didn’t have to sell a 2011-based NV. He moved some allocations around so that we had the 2010-based wine for an extra year, and now we’re leapfrogging to the 2012. Look for disgorgements starting with 5/2016 (and moving forward, of course).
In essence this wine combines the pumpernickel-sweetness of Meunier with a walnutty richness typical of this part of the Marne, and what makes it most wonderful is that it’s both extremely articulate and openly friendly. It is class defined and enacted. If you think such qualities are “mainstream”, shame on you. Such qualities are rare, my friend, and you do not have the privilege to take them for granted.
It’s 40% PM, 35% CH and 20% PN. There’s 30% reserve wine, which includes some 2011, which one does—alas—notice. Otherwise the wine is saltier than usual, with somewhat more power and length.
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Press & Reviews
Fresh and lively, with a leesy hint of bread dough mixing with candied berry, quince paste, lemon zest, wax and fleur de sel. Fine-grained, with a lip-smacking, juicy finish. Disgorged April 2011. Drink now through 2018. –AN
(45% pinot meunier, 35% chardonnay and 20% pinot noir; 80% from 2007 and 20% from 2006; disgorged 04/04/11): Pale yellow. Aromas of ripe pear, peach and honey, with a subtle strawberry nuance in the background. The palate offers very good intensity, with fresh orchard fruit and spicecake flavors picking up weight with air. Closes on a vibrant, stony note, with very good clarity and length.
restrained nose speaks of brioche, green apple, pear and a hint of lemon rind. In much the same fashion as the Rosé the
supporting mousse is relatively soft though quite fine and is in keeping with the understated, cool and pure finish that offers
excellent complexity on the agreeably dry but not austere finish where the yeast component is quite pronounced. This is
lovely and to my taste is drinking perfectly now.
This version of Chiquet’s non-vintage brut, based on 2006, is composed of 40 percent chardonnay, 40 percent meunier and 20 percent pinot noir, and about 20 percent of it is reserve wine, made up of the previous year’s blend of Tradition. The lemon and stone-fruit aromas feel taut and energetic, backed by hints of redcurrant and raspberry. While this expresses the broad-shouldered build typical of the Grande Vallée, it’s also marked by racy acidity, giving it excellent balance and length. The clear, silky flavors on the palate are indicative of the direction that this estate is moving in—while Chiquet’s wines have always had a lot of character, I feel that in recent years they have also been increasing in finesse, making them even more compelling. Last tasted: 4/10
Chiquet's NV Brut Tradition is drop-dead gorgeous. Apple, green pear, sweet spices, mint and anise lift out of the glass in this perfumed, strikingly beautiful Champagne. Clean, focused and perfumed, the Tradition is absolutely fabulous, not to mention one of the very best Champagnes in its price range readers will come across. The Brut Tradition is 40% Pinot Meunier, 35% Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Noir, based on 2009 plus dollops of 2008 and 2007, all done in steel. This bottle was disgorged in February 2013.