Why is this Wine so Yummy?
André Clouet Grande Reserve Brut
Clouet is a Pinot specialist and this is a seriously good Blanc de Noir (White of Black). Incredible fruit intensity, rich full style with plenty of personality. Heaps going on. Bubbles that you can take beyond an aperitif, it’ll happily sit alongside a decent plate of nosh.
Bouzy and Ambonnay are the epicentre of pinot noir in Champagne, and the Clouet family is the privileged custodian of eight hectares of estate vines in the best middle slopes of both villages. These are rich and concentrated expressions of pinot noir, wines of deep complexity, multi faceted interest and engaging character, yet with remarkable restraint and sense of control. Recent tastings confirm my impression that this small and relatively unknown grower ranks high among Champagne’s finest practitioners of pinot noir – and expresses one of the best value of all.
I just can’t get enough of it — especially at this price. The Andre Clouet grande reserve brut is a delicious wine made from 100 per cent pinot noir with all the richness and definition that variety offers. There’s plenty of fine bead, red fruits mingled with citrus, and earthy, warm spice (think star anise and cinnamon), zesty and dry on the finish. It builds on the palate and is quite voluptuous, almost full-bodied for champagne, and, while a richer aperitif, this is much, much better with food. JANE FAULKNER, The Age Epicure
André Clouet Silver Brut Nature
The depth of fruit flows full length of your tongue finding it’s way through juicy mineral acid of great length. The incredible purity of the wine is striking. As it warms a little the expression of Pinot comes through and you realise just how necessary the acid is in order to tame the rich fruit.
Jean-Francois Clouet’s zero-dosage ideal is realised with magnificent clarity here. Such is the concentration and richness of his pinot noir that it has absolutely no need for any sweetness. The bouquet is delightfully fresh, lifted, pure and expressive, with lemon zest, yellow mirabelle plums and red apple fruits. The palate follows impeccably, showcasing the concentration of Bouzy with exceptional purity and focus. Its barrel work blends impeccably contributing nuances of nougat, brioche and honey. Succulent yellow summer fruits pull seamlessly into a crunchy finish of red apple and lemon zest, concluding long and refined, with refreshingly taut acidity and soft, chalky minerality. Classic Bouzy of the finest order. TYSON STELZER, The Champagne Guide 2014-2015
André Clouet Rosé Brut
A Rosé with great poise, well balanced, with a great depth and length of fruit delicious Pinot fruit. No need to rely on excessive sugar to make up for poor fruit here! The texture and spice from the addition of a small percentage of red wine to colour the Rosé is just right adding intrigue and cleansing your palate. Rosé as it should be!
100% Bouzy and Ambonnay Pinot Noir, Jean-Francois’ ‘Clouet No 3’ was inspired by Coco Chanel, the number introduced for the first time this year to denote the style, recognising that the colour is different each year. Elegance and freshness are his goals for rose, avoiding what he describes as the ‘full, rustic and heavy” styles of the past.
More on Champagne
Having worked in Champagne, seen behind the closed doors I know a fair few of the tricks of the trade. It’s refreshing when you come across someone like Jean-Francois Clouet who will openly discuss the tricks and is willing to stand by his wines. I explore the exceptional and ugly in the Wine Bites Mag article “Vintage 1998 Champagne Devaux, Bur-sur-Seine and Les Gras et Haas, Chouilly in the Côte des Blancs”
It’s fair to say Jean-Francois Clouet was born in a bath of Pinot, suckled on Blanc de Noir, and, grew up pour it on his cornflakes! His family was making wine a decade before Möet et Chandon’s Dom Perignon. Not long ago Bollinger rang to “enquire” read complain about Clouet’s labels ripping off their designs. After a quick look, it turned out to be the other way around by decades!
Where in Champagne are Clouet’s Vineyards
Based in Bouzy with vineyards in both Bouzy and Ambonnay. The villages rest to the south of Reims and north of Épernay. Clouet is a Pinot master! Bouzy is home to many of the best Pinot growing sites in Champagne.
The map below shows the main sub-regions of Champagne
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From left to right Champagne vineyards by Soil Type, Aspect and Dominant Varietal
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