As Pinot Noir lovers, we expected to like this grower Champagne. We didn’t anticipate wanting to buy a case after the first sip! Simply put, Moutard Grande Cuvée fits our taste, something Howie Rubin of Bauer Wine & Spirits knows well.
Through the years, many of our Sparkling Resolution wines have come from his suggestions. For August we asked him to select this month’s sparkler and he came up with a new favorite that made us go back for more.
Our constant search for, and love of, grower Champagnes doesn’t surprise Rubin who compares the increased interest in this category of winemakers to the locavore farm-to-table movement. “People want to know where their food and libation come from,” he explains, “and consuming small grower champagne satisfies that curiosity.”
Look at this way, “Which would you rather consume,” says Rubin, “a big, juicy, ripe tomato right off the farm, or one of those colorless and flavorless tomatoes that shows up in your salad ... in January?”
Similarly, “When deciding between a small grower champagne or a mass produced version of the same style of wine,” Rubin says the choice is obvious. “Champagnes that are bottled by growers will usually be from a specific village and will be their top choice of grapes, which obviously they won’t sell to the big houses.”
The Moutard Grand Cuvee Brut Champagne pedigree includes 100% Pinot Noir grown in clay-limestone soils. The hand harvested grapes undergo a gentle pressing and are vinified in stainless steel tanks. Moutard proudly describes its production as a blend of several of the best vintages.
The winemaker points to a, “refined, rich nose which evokes notes of butter, almond and brioche. Lively, elegant and balanced palate with good mouthfill.”
Distributor Polaner Selections touts, “A rich and mineral-driven Blanc de Noirs at an exceptional value.”
“Bright and fresh, with a honey-laced finish.”
“... 100% Pinot Noir is laced with sweet tobacco, flowers, mint, dried herbs and red stone fruits.”
“ … the Grande Cuvée from Moutard … showed its 100 percent pinot noir character in its rich, full-bodied texture and ripe fruit flavors.”
Howie Rubin (Bauer Wines)
“... aromas of fresh baked bread and wild strawberries … bright apple and quince flavors.”
We think what this wine doesn’t give up on the nose, it makes up on the palate. Perhaps Howie Rubin summed it up best, “Great champagnes are characterized by a long, persistent finish, and that’s where the Moutard shines. Compare it to one of the big names in champagne and you will see the difference.”
Here’s to August! And, here’s to Grower Champagnes!
We purchased our bottle of Champagne Moutard Brut Grande Cuvée at Bauer Wine & Spirits (price: $39.99).
Howie Rubin on: The Growing Interest in Grower Champagne [PDF Full Text]
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Words: Penny & Ed Cherubino
Photography: © 2015 Penny & Ed Cherubino