When visiting Duménil I was unfamiliar with the house except for the fact that they had recently become members of the 'Special Club'. Although their debut 'Club' release was a few years away I was floored by the overall quality of every cuvée. They are one of the most impressive producers I have come across and I urge everyone to try their range. It becomes obvious why they were invited to become a member of the Club!
Grande Reserve Premier Cru NV ‘Grande Reserve’ is a very apt name as the base wine is from 2010 but contains 50% reserve wines from an ongoing solera system. These reserves give complexity and depth which sets it apart from other Brut NVs. Only the first pressing is used and it is an equal blend of all three varieties. Lifted white floral and fruit notes, with hints of freshly baked bread and brioche following through on the palate. The body and fruitiness of the Pinots combine with the finesse and precision of the Chardonnay, all sourced from Premier Crus in the Montagne de Reims.
Rose Vieilles Vignes Premier Cru NV This is a unique Rosé Champagne combining fruitiness and elegance using an equal blend of all three varieties. The colour is achieved by the addition of 7% red wine from old Meunier vines planted in 1956, aged in oak. Only the first pressing is used with the base wine coming from 2011 and the addition of 50% reserve wines. These reserves allow the wine to achieve its very high quality consistently every year. The average age of the wines is a commendable 30 years and all from Premier Crus.
Brut Vintage 2007 The 2007 vintage is a blend of 60% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier. It exhibits a pale, white gold colour and lifted, fresh, white floral notes with some toasty, crème brûlée and ginger edges. The palate comes as quite a surprise; remarkable freshness which is countered by a layered complexity, texture and mouthfeel.
'Les Pescherines' Vieilles Vignes Brut NV A remarkable expression of place. Whereas most champagnes are blends of multiple vineyards and villages this prestige cuvee is sourced from one outstanding vineyard in the premier cru of Chigny-les-Roses. Planted back in 1969 'Les Pecherines' with it's unique aspect, elevation and sub-soil is the jewel in Dumenil's crown. Due to the old, low-yielding vines the fruit produced exudes incredible aromatic richness on the nose overlaying a structured, complex palate. Due to the underlying seam of pure chalk the blend is predominantly Chardonnay (80%) with 20% Pinot Noir giving backbone and depth. On the nose exotic fruits, toast, vanilla bean and brioche notes which follow on to a full generous palate with refreshing mineral acidity on the finish.
Amour de Cuvee Blanc de Noirs NV This is a 50/50 blend of Premier Cru Pinots from the Montagne de Reims. Possessing a pale golden colour, the nose reveals red berries, dried fruit and grilled almonds. Elegant and fine, the flavours build on the palate. Lovely red fruit characters, with a marvellous balance between succulence and lively, fresh acidity. The silky texture builds with a long, spicy finish. Amour de Cuvée is a Champagne with flesh, and it will certainly cast its spells on you...
Special Club 2012 The Dumenil Special Club 2012 is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay sourced from Chigny-les-Rose, Rilly la Montagne, and Ludes - all Premier Cru villages in the Montagne des Reims. Rigorous selection takes place to ensure that each individual component is the finest expression available, and worthy of being a 'Special Club' release. 2012 was a low yielding vintrage but of exceptional quality in the Montagne des Reims. Still very youthful, showing white floral and brioche notes on the nose. The palate is very fine, there is an underlying power from the Pinot overlayed by the elegance and finesse of the Chardonnay component. Quite refined and linear and hints at how well the wine will evolve for many years to come.
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