Grower Champagne Club – April 2015

Erik Rodez, Cuvée des Crayeres
Ambonnay is a renowned Grand Cru village in the Montagne de Reims. The Rodez family has been producing Champagne here for generations, adding to their vineyard holdings along the way. Fun fact: current winemaker Erik Rodez was mayor of Ambonnay from 2008 to 2014. He also worked for the large but respected Champagne house of Krug for a number of years and it was there that he developed his love of blending. Non-vintage Champagnes typically blend juice from the current year with a lesser amount from the previous year or two. But Erik tends to use a much higher percentage of reserve wine in his Champagnes, sometimes adding juice from five to ten different vintages into his final blend. He says, “It is a real pleasure to stand in front of a wide range of samples from a current year to which we’ll add numerous wines from previous years. It’s the creation of something new, like putting musical notes down on paper. And you’re never sure where the melody will go.” Well, the melody here is simply lovely. Nearly half of this cuvée comes from reserve wines, contributing wonderful texture and depth. About a quarter was vinified in small oak barrels, providing further nuance. The blend itself roughly reflects the make-up of their vineyard holdings, which is a little over half Pinot Noir and the rest Chardonnay. Rodez wines tend to be rich complex, and elegant and this one is certainly no exception. It is $53 and we’re delighted to introduce this producer to our club members.