It is a tranquil village nestled into the Montagne de Reims. What isn’t tranquil about Bouzy are its wines, some of the finest champagnes houses in France, champagne houses that aside from their fine vintages offer tastings and cellar tours. One of our favorite Bouzy champagnes is an extra dry from the family-owned house of Lucien Collard. One of the hallmarks of the house is its low sugar content another being its extensive use of the Pinot Noir grape variety characteristic to the Montagne de Reims. The other highlight of the champagnes of the house is the time the champagnes remain in the cellar: three years for the Extra Brut as opposed to the required 12 months and five years for the vintages champagnes as opposed to the required minimum of three years.
The Extra Brut offers a blend of 30% Chardonnay grapes and 70% Pinot Noir grapes and is marked by a unique freshness, fine bubbles and lasting flavor, spurred on by the Pinot Noir grapes. It is a perfect champagne to serve at receptions and for cocktail hour(s). Meanwhile the house’s vintage Grand Cru (the vintage champagnes are made with grapes of the same year), the Cuvée Millésime 2009 Grand Cru Bouzy is a blend of 20% Chardonnay and 80% Pinot Noir and is blessed with a very low sugar content. This is a structured champagne that can be sipped for cocktail time or served with powerful, sophisticated dishes like smoked salmon or gravlax and myriad marinated fish.
The house of Lucien Collard also produces a Brut Nature champagne to which zero sugar has been added and only contains the natural residual sugar. It is a trend that is becoming increasingly popular for all wines but actually dates back to the French Regency period in the 18th century. The family-owned house of Lucien Collard has been established in Bouzy since 1919. Visits to the domain are by appointment only,
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette
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Categories: Gourmet Fare