Monday, July 25, 2011

Drappier champagne Brut Nature

We had a really interesting bottle of champagne at the weekend - a magnum of Drappier's Brut Nature, a 100% Pinot Noir which is made without any dosage or sulphur additions. Actually I say interesting but it was curiously disappointing on the first couple of sips, tasting lean and slightly short. Then as air got to the wine it opened up magnificently becoming rich, toasty and almost fruity (quince mainly, I thought, though their tasting notes say pêche de vigne). It went really well with some mushroom crostini.

I remember visiting Drappier about 6 or 7 years ago in the village of Urville down in the Aube and being really impressed by how forward-thinking they were. At the time Michel Drappier had just designed a decanter for champagne which seemed very radical - I suspect the Brut Nature would have benefited from decanting, on reflection.

Now he's one of a handful of producers that are making their champagnes with zero dosage and very low doses of sulphur. We visited a couple of others a month ago en route to Alsace - Bérèche and Larmandier-Bernier who I must get round to writing up.


  1. Fiona, many thanks to you for advocating DECANTING wines, even fizz! Consumers are often reluctant, but you are absolutely right. And restaurants should encourage the habit, but I can see the logistic problem for them.
    With the notable exception of very old wines, approaching their end-term, most will benefit from the operation. The only problem is: how long do we need to open the bottle prior to enjoying it ?

  2. You've just reminded me that I only have one bottle of Larmandier-Bernier left in my cellar. Noooooo! Oh well,all things come to an end I suppose and indeed, good things come to those who wait. I shall save it for Christmas! Brilliant wine. Thanks for the blog Fiona.

  3. Depends on the wine, as you know, Luc. What this champagne needed was merely a bit of air so straight into a decanter then straight into the glass.

    You'll have to stock up on some more natural fizz, Louis. There's more and more of it about.

  4. Straight ? I thought Champagne was the drink of gay Paris !