Grower Champagne Club – September 2010

2005 Doyard, Oeil de Perdrix, Collection de l’An I
Maurice Doyard began making Champagne on his 28-acre family estate back in the 1920s. Today his grandson Yannick is in charge of Champagne Doyard, in the Côtes des Blancs region. He has holdings in six different villages, five of which are grands cru and one, Vertus, a top premier cru (hence the mere premier cru designation). Yannick farms biodynamically, maintains very low yields, and even then, selects only the best grapes for his wines, selling off up to half of his fruit. What’s left is pure, beguiling elegance. This vintage Champagne is a seductive blend of 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay, with just a hint of color to make it officially a Rosé. They made only 5000 bottles, and it is $71.50.

The name Oeil de Perdrix dates back to the Middle Ages, when producers in the Champagne region were trying to create a fuller-bodied white wine using red grapes (Pinot Noir, of course), but only managed to achieve a pale-colored wine that resembled the pinkish “eye of the partridge,” (techniques have greatly improved since then). This Champagne was introduced to us recently by one of our wine reps. Both he and his wife are long-time wine professionals and huge grower Champagne-aficionados and this is the Champagne with which they chose to toast their recent wedding anniversary. Need we say more?