Perman Wine Selections Friday Feature – 11/12/10

Champagne Value of the Year!

It’s that time again – I am pleased to announce my selection for the Champagne value of the year!

With many celebrations coming up including the holidays, various parties, and even New Year’s Eve, this is the time of the year where we drink lots of Champagne!

The Champagne region of France produces the best sparkling wines in the world – there is no debate!

Each year, I search high and low for what I feel is the finest value in Champagne, and bring you my selection on this newsletter. Value has nothing to do with the lowest price – you will find lower priced Champagnes. It has everything to do with quality and that term “QPR” or quality to price ratio to the layperson.

As is the case a lot of times, great things come in small quantities, and this year is no exception. I am the only retail store or restaurant for that matter that has secured an allocation of what promises to be simply known around Chicago as Perman’s Champagne Value of the Year!

THIS CHAMPAGNE IS DUE TO ARRIVE WITHIN TWO WEEKS TO THE STORE. So secure yours today – you can thank me later!




The most exciting part about Champagne today is what is going on at the small grower level. It is difficult to talk about terroir if you are large house sourcing grapes from various villages throughout the large region. Yet it is easy to talk terroir when you deal with a producer like Marie-Noëlle Ledru, who only owns six hectares of vineyards, five of which are in her home village of Ambonnay, and one in Bouzy.

To those unfamiliar with some of the verbiage surrounding Champagne – its various villages have been given vineyard designates of Grand Cru (the top), Premier Cru, and then simply “other.” This classification of the vineyards was originally put in place to help set pricing for the négociants that purchased fruit or juice. Today, it gives the consumer a reference point to where the grapes come from and a general sense of their quality.

I bring this up because it is important to note that Marie-Noëlle Ledru owns vineyards only in Grand Cru rated villages. She does sell to négociants like Pol Roger and Deutz, and then bottles half of her production under her name.

This is a very small domaine, with some 30,000 bottles being produced annually. Kind of different than Moët et Chandon’s 26,000,000 bottles produced annually right?

Marie-Noëlle Ledru works as naturally as possible in the vineyard. She does quite a bit of the work herself. In the winery, the fermentation is done in stainless steel and enameled steel tanks. Malolactic fermentation is allowed resulting in a slightly broader style.

This exceptional non-vintage Brut Champagne is a blend of 85% Pinot Noir and 15% Chardonnay. There is about 8 grams per liter of dosage added.

The result is impressive! Gorgeous nose, with hints at orchard fruits like apple and pear, as well as black cherry. The palate is rich, while at the same time, vibrant and balanced. It has that Pinot-like red berry component while at the same time finishing with citrus and mineral notes. Very good length, excellent complexity and above all it is highly addictive!

This is an excellent value, and will stand up against many vintage Champagnes that I taste that cost $20 more. You’re going to want to stock up on this one!

I will only be receiving fifteen cases of this, and it will arrive within the next couple weeks. A great gift to yourself, a client, friend or family member.


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