Eric Rodez Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne Grand Cru
750 ml, Ambonnay, Montaigne de Reims
Brut champagne produced exclusively from several different harvests of Chardonnay. In fact, this cuvée normally sees 5 or 6 different vintages in order to ensure the same delicacy between years. Very flowery and delicate, and much more sensual than champagnes made with strictly high percentages of Pinot Noir.
"Offering up aromas of smoky green orchard fruit, hazelnuts and waxy citrus that are delicately framed by their time in barrel, the latest rendition of Rodez's NV Brut Blanc de Blancs is a medium to full-bodied, broad and fleshy wine with a bright spine of acidity, a frothy mousse and a long, vinous and subtly oak-inflected finish. Unsurprisingly, its Ambonnay origins and Rodez's style mark it just as much as its cépage.
Eric Rodez presides over this biodynamically farmed six-hectare estate in Ambonnay, fermenting most of his wines in barrel and employing a large percentage of reserve wines. These are broad, vinous wines—often gently framed by their exposure to oak—that never lack character or amplitude." Robert Parker 92 Points
Eric Rodez is not only a highly regarded Champagne producer in Ambonnay, the renowned grand cru village in the Montagne de Reims; he is so dedicated to the village that he was also the mayor (2008-2014). With his wife Martine (and now his son, Mickaël) he runs this eponymous domaine.
The Rodez family has been producing their own Champagne for generations, not simply selling their grapes to large houses. Records show that Jean-Baptiste produced in 1757, Marie-Louis in 1786, Louis in 1819, Eugene in 1850, Camille in 1877, Pol in 1905 and Jean in 1931. Each generation has added several small parcels of vineyards, giving them additional material with which to blend. Eric's son Mickaël patiently waited his turn in line and then became the domaine’s vineyard manager, as the 9th generation of the family! His son Pol-Auguste will perhaps soon be the 10th.
In addition to working with the family vineyards, Eric also worked at Krug for several years. It was there (where they are known for blending many different parcels and vintages) that he really developed his passion for blending. While many Champagnes are mostly from one year with perhaps a small amount of the previous vintage or two blended in, Rodez relies heavily on reserve wines and often blends anywhere from 5-10 different vintages in his final cuvées.