As a Champagne house, Ayala is a relatively small one even though it is now owned by the Bollinger family. However, from the time the house was first started by Edmund de Ayala in the mid 1800s, it has been known for producing Champagnes on the drier side. Consequently, this was the first zero dosage Champagne I tasted. It is an easy starting point for anyone who wants to explore this style.
‘Brut Nature’ and ‘zero dosage’ have the same meaning. As a result, these wines have no sweetening component added after being disgorged. To make this style of Champagne, the winemaker has to ensure the grapes they use are ripe and high quality. This delivers enough fruit weight and complexity so the wines show balance without the sugar. Without a doubt, this is something this Champagne house has made into an artform.
(Please click here to read more about zero dosage Champagne).
It may be no surprise, but this blend has the same blend as the Champagne Ayala Brut Majeur. That is 40% each of chardonnay and pinot noir with the rest being pinot meunier. Where it is differs is an extra year on lees, the dead yeast cells. This extended time on lees introduces more complexity to the wines and rounding out the palate. The result is that the lack of sugar is not as noticeable.
There is plenty of zesty citrus and apple fruit, yet it is the floral profile that I find very pretty in the Ayala wines. It has an elegant structure rather than fleshy and round. And fresh! This is perhaps not the wine for you if you are after the more flamboyant style of fizz. To me, it strikes the right note of lively conversation. There is always something going on.
Quickie review « An irresistible and elegant Champagne that often goes under the radar. »
Country of Origin: Champagne AOC, France
Tasting Date: June 2019
Price: €38 | £28 | US$52++ | AU$62
Needs food: no
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