Growers Champagnes (aka Farmer Fizz) are finally becoming, dare I say more popular and available, and this year Megan and I purchased one to enjoy on our quiet New Years Eve. With that said, what exactly are growers Champagnes? Growers Champagnes are Champagnes that are made by the grower themselves, pretty self explanatory huh. Are you asking yourself, but isn’t that how most Champagnes are made? Well to start with, the major Champagne makers (Moet& Chandon and Veuve Clicquot are a couple) which account for 80% of the Champagne produced, only own about 12% of the vineyards. These mass produced, highly marketed Champagnes are transformed into sparklers that barely resemble the terroir from which they once came. By extreme contrast, growers who produce their own Champagne (recolant-manipulants) have the ability to buy only 5% additional grapes to supplement their crop. This allows for the Champagne to be much more hand crafted and express the nuances of the land where they were grown as well as the style and finesse of the winemaker/grower. For more info click HERE!
For New Years Eve we decided to have the Pierre Peters “Cuvee de Reserve” Brut NV. We picked it up from our friends at the Barrel Thief who in addition to it, had a great selection of growers Champagnes.Pierre Peters is from the Cote de Blancs more specifically le Mensil Sur Oger in the Southern part of Champagne. This Champagne is a Blanc de Blanc meaning that it is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes. The grapes are grown on approximately 43 acres (17.5 Hectares) of soil that is has mostly a chalky make up as does most of the Cote de Blancs which is where the name comes from meaning literally “white slopes.”
My Tasting Notes
Nose – Yeast, sourdough bread, if you have ever crushed grapes in a bladder press during harvest, there is a particular smell that the crushed grapes emanate when you are removing them from the press and this came through on the nose of this wine – very cool
Taste – very nutty, bright green apple, stone
Mouthfeel – Teeny tiny pin pricks on the tongue, after swishing it around in my mouth it turned into a frothy foam, with nice prickles down my throat after I swallowed
Finish – med to long in length, left me feeling very refreshed
At $44 dollars this is by far the best Champagne I have tasted, the best sparkler being the ‘96 Gloria Ferrer Cuvee. Since the Gloria Ferrer was truly the best sparkling wine that I have had before it was really all I had to compare it to because the Pierre Peters truly blew the other Champagnes I had had prior out of the water. Luscious yet tight, commanding the attention of my entire palate, I have never had that experience with another Champagne.
For more information on Growers Champagne check out the following link to Terry Theise Imports or head over the Barrel Thief and ask them about to tell you more about Growers Champagne.
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