Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Review and Rating: *** Duval-Leroy Brut Champagne, NV, France

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Duval-Leroy Brut Champagne is made from chardonnay and pinot noir grapes by a century-and-a-half old, family-owned Champagne firm. This blend comes from twenty vineyards around the Montagne de Reims and Côte des Blancs areas in France. It is one of the more modestly priced champagne entries from Duval-Leroy.

In the glass, the non-vintage Duval-Leroy Brut Champagne shows a light honey color, with streams of aggressive bubbles. On the nose, there is a funky yeastiness - fairly intriguing overall.

The palate shows a clean middle, evenly balanced of weight and acids. Flavors are of off-dry pineapple, toast and slight cream. Very clean finish. Three stars out of five. Perhaps it was because of the non-vintage character, but the champagne, though extremely pleasing, simply did not seem distinctive or memorable. (Unlike the people who shared this champagne with me, who were both distinctive and memorable.)

Wine Spectator was wild about the Duval-Leroy Brut, giving 93 points, and saying, " "Big, full-bodied bubbly featuring graphite, toast, lemon and nut aromas and flavors. It's balanced, with an assertive finish. Will improve with a few months of cellaring. Drink now through 2009."

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