Why is this Wine so Yummy?
Bouzy and Ambonnay are the epicentres 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.
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!