From: Champagne, France
Critical Acclaim: "Layered with notes of flint, chalk, brioche, sourdough, lemon peel, white grapefruit, spiced pear and subtle, smoky, reductive character. So much tension, too, with fine bubbles and a chiseled structure. Disgorged April 2022. Base 2015 vintage. Dosage 2.35g/L." –James Suckling, 94 points
"This release of the NV Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut is from the 2017 base vintage and has 7.6 grams per liter dosage. Pale straw in color, it offers fresh orchard fruits with green apple, ripe peach, and white flowers, and the palate is ripe but cleans up nicely with lime blossom and delicate salinity. It has clarity and focus and is a very charming and classic Champagne. Best after 2022." –Jeb Dunnuck, 92 points
"A lightly toasty version, with a satiny mousse and a subtle, smoky undertow layered with flavors of Asian pear, grapefruit sorbet, toast and oyster shell. Reveals hints of chamomile and lemon peel on the fresh finish." –Wine Spectator, 90 points
Taste: The initial creamy sip transitions into a robust mid-palate, leading to a refreshing, persistent finish. A dynamic aromatic profile emerges as the wine breathes, showcasing an enthralling dance of honeysuckle, citrus, and pear notes, all underpinned by vibrant energy. The texture, saline yet finely balanced by a non-aggressive high acidity, renders it both approachable in its youth and capable of elegant aging. Layered impressions of flint, chalk, brioche, sourdough, lemon peel, white grapefruit, and spiced pear contribute to a subtly smoky, reductive character, adding depth and intrigue to this splendid wine.
Pairing: The NV Champagne Legras & Haas Chouilly Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs' salty, spicy, and acidic profile makes it a remarkable pairing with fresh radishes, served with unsalted butter and fleur de sel. The radishes' spicy character harmonizes with the champagne's piquant quality, creating a balanced culinary symphony. The wine's versatility also allows for intriguing pairings with aged comté cheese, roasted chicken, and pâté en croute, showcasing its impressive adaptability as an authentic "food wine."
Roasted Radishes With Anchovies
Recipe from Bryan Hunt
Adapted by Melissa Clark
About. As one traverses the fabled Côte des Blancs region of Champagne, France, the Chouilly village commands a pastoral and profound presence. The most northern Grand Cru village in the Côte des Blancs, Chouilly is the birthplace and foundation of the acclaimed Champagne house, Legras & Haas. Steeped in tradition, the estate is a testament to generations of dedication to viticulture and vinification.
Established in 1991, Legras et Haas is a testament to the tenacity of François Legras, who was born in 1937 into a lineage with four centuries of grape-growing experience. François, born and raised in Chouilly, has never strayed from his roots, demonstrating a sincere commitment to honoring his family's viticultural heritage. Today, the estate is managed by his three children, Rémi, Olivier, and Jérôme Legras, who are passionate about crafting balanced, genuine wines. As a négociant-manipulant, the Legras & Haas house blends a combination of estate fruit and purchased grapes to produce their exceptional champagnes.
The family cultivates 18 hectares of vines in the extraordinary terroir of Chouilly, spread over 35 different parcels, yielding an array of Chardonnay styles. This diversity is reflected in the NV Champagne Legras & Haas Chouilly Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs. This wine reveals the captivating softness and strength inherent to the region. A 100% Chardonnay blend, the wine is a delicate expression of the nuanced terroir that marks the undulating hillsides and lowlands of Chouilly.
Chouilly benefits from primarily Eastern and Northern exposure, allowing for the growth of rich, robust Chardonnay grapes. The vinification process respects the essence of Chouilly, with the wine undergoing low-temperature fermentation in stainless steel tanks to retain the fruit's complexity. Aged on its lees for four to five years, significantly surpassing minimum aging requirements, the wine embodies the estate's meticulous attention to detail.
Upon tasting, the NV Champagne Legras & Haas Chouilly Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs unveils a lightly creamy first sip, segueing into a rich mid-palate and a fresh, persistent finish. The sensory experience deepens with time, revealing notes of honeysuckle, citrus, and pear, accentuated by vibrant energy. This is a wine that is soft, approachable, and easy-drinking when young, but it also possesses the capacity to age gracefully. The texture is saline, underpinned by high acidity that is not aggressive or piercing.
Critics' reviews underscore the wine's brilliance. James Suckling awarded it 94 points, noting its layered notes of flint, chalk, brioche, sourdough, citrus, spiced pear, and smoky, reductive character. Jeb Dunnuck echoes this sentiment, calling it "a very charming and classic Champagne," with a score of 92 points. The Wine Spectator adds to the accolades, praising its subtle, smoky undertow and fresh finish, reflected in its 90-point score.
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