André Clouet Grande Réserve Brut NV

This champagne received some pretty favourable local reviews, and at the modest (for Champagne) price of $50, I thought I would give it a try.  My impressions were somewhat mixed.

Made from 100% pinot noir, its aromatics are exotically intense, with overt strawberries and flowers, and a touch of brioche; its palate similar.  Its bead remained long in the glass, and its mousse was reasonably fine too.  These are nice things to be saying.  So what’s my doubt then?  I think it’s this: perhaps it is just a little too obviously fruit driven for a Champagne, seemingly more wine than Champagne.   There was also a bitter flavour that ran across the back of my tongue, particularly with the first glass, although I think it did get better after this, and indeed, drank very well the next day (but that won’t comfort most Champagne drinkers, I suspect).  I think this is a wine that will polarise – some will love it, some won’t – perhaps a bit like Jacquesson.  Yet despite my prediction of polarity, I am somewhere in between – I will happily drink it, but probably won’t be buying much of it.  84-85 points (good to very good)

Abv: 12%
Price: $50
Website: André Clouet
Tasted: June 2012

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