Alexandre Penet Brut Nature (Bouzy Grand Cru)
Price for The Champagne Society members: $64 (regular price $75)
Maison Penet is a historic Champagne house located in the village of Verzy in Montagne de Reims. Fifth generation winemaker Alexandre Penet holds 15 acres of vines located across the Grand Cru villages of Verzy and Verzenay known for its Pinot Noir. His selections are a perfect introduction to the world of low dosage Champagnes.
From an early age, Alexandre assisted his grandfather Emile and then his father Christian in the art of making champagne. Yet as a young man, Alexandre decided to make his own way in the world, first as an engineer, and then eventually earning an MBA from the University of Chicago Business School. But the siren song of Champagne called him back to the family estate where he, along with his wife Martine, have created a range of distinctive, top quality Champagnes produced to exacting standards. Wines that combine character, freshness and low dosage.
Indeed, Alexandre is a believer in both limiting dosage and not allowing malolactic fermentation so as the expression of terroir can be fully realized. The August 2018 Selection for The Champagne Society is not only low dosage it is in fact zero dosage or Brut Nature. The wine is a blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay that includes over 30% of reserve wines and a minimum of four years aging on lees. It is this extended aging that Alexandre believes is the key to balancing the high acid of Champagne‘s northern climes.
This philosophy is reflected in a glass. While the wine is clearly zero dosage there is a rich and silky quality to the fruit that helps to balance out its bracing acidity and offer appeal to both the hardcore and casual Champagne drinker. The wine shows intense aromas of red fruits and nuts and an appealing touch of spices. The palate is rich, silky and balanced, with a remarkably long finish.