I popped over to Champagne in the summer to attend the launch of Bollinger's Galerie 1829 and La Rserve. A full write-up on this life-changing visit can be found on my website, to coincide with the publication of this piece.
I travelled out a day early to squeeze in another visit Ayala, the incredible, boutique Champagne house, owned by Bollinger, and situated in the same village, A, as its parent company. I enjoyed a phenomenal tour and tasting with winemaker Caroline Latrive and her tiny team.
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I am of the mind that Ayala is making some of the most individual and fascinating wines in the region and this newly released, 100% chardonnay wine, made from Grand Cru fruit sourced from the villages of Chouilly and Mesnil-sur-Oger, is a tour de force. With a relatively low dosage and six years spent on lees, it is an ultra-fine wine with serious depth and richness cut by searingly refreshing acidity.
The 2008 Ayala Blanc de Blancs will no doubt whet your palate for the release of the 2006 Cuve Perle d'Ayala (about £95) in the New Year. I venture that this will be Ayala's most vaunted release todate, underlining the fact that the incredible renaissance of this historic Champagne house is all but complete.
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year (MatthewJukes.com).
Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.
Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.
He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website, www.matthewjukes.com.
Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’. He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner.
Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy. His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.
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