Champagne Extra-Brut, A. Margaine
cépage 100% Chardonnay
assemblage 80% 2014, 20% 2013 village/vyd All from 4 plots of old vine Chardonnay parcels in Villers-Marmary 1er Cru: ‘Croix de Fer,’ ‘Champs d’Enfer,’ ‘Essaires,’ ‘Broccots’
élevage 25% in used oak, the rest in stainless steel
sur latte 30 months
Montagne de Reims
The best ever iteration of this wine, it’s a not-to-be-missed item. It also shows how dry Champagne ought to be— in other words, effing balanced. 80% 2013, 20% 2012, it’s the same wine last last year but with longer tirage—disg. 10/2016; seriously refined and tasty; is cool and brisk, acres of chalk-dust and starchy basmati; it has a cool temperament but there’s just too much sheer flavor for it to feel aloof or diffident. It’s very white—chalk, flowers, jasmine, soy milk. Fantastic detail and class.
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Press & Reviews
The NV Extra-Brut is a tightly wound wine layered with expressive white fruit, Mirabelle plums, jasmine, mint and flowers. The wine’s minerality comes to the forefront on the mid-palate and finish, with hints of slate and crushed rock that add considerable focus. This release is 100% 2006 Chardonnay from Champs d’Enfer, a parcel planted in 1921 that is also Margaine’s oldest vineyard in Villers-Marmery. Dosage is 4.5 grams per liter. Margaine describes 2006 as an excellent vintage. Natural alcohols came in around 10.4% and acidities were in the 6.5% range. Disgorged July 10, 2011. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2016.
Arnaud Margaine is looking for freshness in all of his wines. To that end, the malos are often blocked, although that is a decision Margaine makes for each vintage in its entirety, which means the proportion of non-malo wine in the NV cuvees is strictly a matter of vintage blend. These fine, hand-made artisan Champagnes deserve serious attention.
A sleek style, with racy acidity and flavors of crunchy white peach, persimmon, toasted brioche and lemon curd. Chalk and smoke notes hint at an underlying minerality and linger on the finish. Disgorged January 2013. Drink now through 2020. –AN
(all chardonnay, 85% from 2007 and the rest from 2006; disgorged in May, 2013 after four years on its lees): Light yellow. Smoky pear and nectarine aromas are brightened by chalky minerals and deepened by hints of toasty lees and iodine. Supple orchard fruit and melon flavors coat the palate, picking up bitter lemon zest and honey qualities on the back end. Turns firmer with air, finishing with good lift and smoky persistence.
The NV Cuvée Extra-Brut is a gorgeous wine of pure breadth and volume. Pears, apricots, white flowers and spices all blossom in the glass in a Champagne that impresses for its texture and creaminess. The NV Cuvée Extra-Brut is 100% Chardonnay, 85% 2007 and 15% 2006 that spent 48 months on its lees prior to being disgorged in May 2013.