A Grower Champagne

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in: Drinking

For me, holidays and sparkling wine go together. There is nothing more celebratory than welcoming guests with a glass of bubbly, like this crisp, pure, stunningly elegant non-vintage Pierre Péters Cuvée de Réserve Brut Champagne.

When I tasted it at Hong Kong‘s Cuisine Cuisine restaurant a couple of weeks ago, it perked up three unusual salty, savory and slightly sweet appetizers, and I was reminded that Champagne goes well with just about everything. It’s a blanc de blancs, meaning it’s made only from Chardonnay.

The Pierre Péters is a grower Champagne, the newly hot category also known as “farmer fizz.” While the region’s famous big brands buy most of their grapes from all over the region and make hundreds of thousands of bottles, grower Champagnes come from individual small growers who use only grapes from their own vineyards. Pierre Péters makes only 14,000 cases.

A family estate in the Côte des Blancs area, it has been making Champagne for nearly 100 years from its vineyards in four grand cru villages, all on the chalky limestone soil that’s perfect for Chardonnay. This is their delicious entry-level cuvée, a blend of vintages from the exceptional, flowery 2008 (60 percent), and reserve wines going back to 1988, which give it depth and character. It’s a wine with a strong mineral component, which is why I’ve found it’s best along with something to nibble on.

I’m going to highlight sparkling wines in my Wine of the Week picks over the next couple of weeks, and I’m starting with the expensive stuff. If you can’t indulge over the holidays, when can you? And this wine is worth the price.


Zester Daily contributor Elin McCoy is a wine and spirits columnist and author of “The Emperor of Wine: The Rise of Robert M. Parker, Jr. and the Reign of American Taste.”

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