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We're pleased to offer a new collection of champagnes at the lowest price in the country from a superstar of Ambonnay, Eric Rodez.

Ambonnay is the most important village on the Montagne de Reims, boasting champagne's finest Pinot Noir vineyards. Eric Rodez has 9 hectares of Pinot Noir planted along the south and southeastern-facing slopes of the cru. 7 hectares of Chardonnay are grown on the lighter soils facing east and southeast. The Pinot Noir gives full-bodied structure and a dense fruitiness, while the Chardonnay is more lively, nervous and floral—providing delicacy and a “feminine” counterpart to the Pinot. 
Eric works the vineyards in a traditional way, alongside his son Mickaël, just as their gand parents and great-grandparents once worked the soils before them. They have always hesitated to use the word 'organic', because they are not certified. But as a grower, Eric (and now Mickaël) never uses pesticides, fertilizers or synthetic sprays. They have worked biodynamically for several years and in 2012 received the Haute Valeur Environnmentale (HVE) certificate given to farmers who achieve organic farming but also biodiversity and water management on their farms.​

About 70% of Rodez Champagne is fermented and aged in oak. Malolactic fermentation is generally blocked to retain acidity.

In addition to working with the family vineyards, Eric also worked at Krug for several years. It was there (where they are known for blending many different parcels and vintages) that he really developed his passion for blending. While many Champagnes are mostly from one year with perhaps a small amount of the previous vintage or two blended in, Rodez relies heavily on reserve wines and often blends anywhere from 5-10 different vintages in his final cuvées. 

Eric Rodez Brut Blanc de Noirs NV (pre-arrival)
$59 per bottle
Brut champagne made only from Pinot Noir. From a terroir that express power and length. Only 30% went through malolactic fermentation. As with blanc de blancs, this blanc de noirs is made from 5 to 6 vintages vinified 70% in small barrels.

91 WA: Disgorged in April 2020 with four grams per liter dosage, the latest release of Rodez' NV Brut Blanc de Noirs is already quite expressive, offering up aromas of mirabelle plum, raspberries, toasted almonds, honeycomb and white flowers. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and gourmand, with ripe but racy acids and an enveloping core of fruit that's complemented by a pillowy mousse, it's extroverted but precise. What's more, it will be even better with a year or two on cork.

Eric Rodez Brut Cuvee des des Grands Vintages NV (pre-arrival)
$79 per bottle
This could be called Rodez’ take on Krug’s Grand Cuvée and is created from the best grapes (from various parcels—average age of the vines is 33 years old) in the best years. For example, a recent version was: 30% from 2004, 21% from 2002, 18% from 2000, 13% from 1999, 9% from 1998, 6% from 1996, and 2% from 1995. The wine is vinified 100% in used oak barrels and does not undergo malolactic fermentation. Dosage is 4 grams per liter (extra brut). 

93 pts VM: 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay, all barrel-fermented; 4 g/l dosage; made from fruit grown in Ambonnay and aged on its lees for eight years before disgorgement. Bright yellow-gold. An intriguingly perfumed nose evokes poached pear, orange zest, sweet butter and honey, along with a smoky quality and a chalky mineral overtone. Chewy, very deep citrus and orchard fruit flavors are complicated by suggestions of toasted brioche, white truffle and candied fig. Finishes very long and smoky, with resonating floral and mineral qualities. I'd serve this complex Champagne, which comprises wines from 15 different vintages dating back to 1995, with an indulgent, buttery poultry or shellfish dish.

Eric Rodez Brut Les Beurys 2014
$125 per bottle
Beginning in 2008, Rodez has created a collection of outstanding single-vineyard champagnes vinified exclusively in barrel without malolactic, choosing parcels from different areas of Ambonnay to demonstrate how the terroir changes across the slope. Les Beurys, for example, is an east-facing slope located on the eastern side of the village, near the forest that separates Ambonnay from Trépail. Here there is only about 35 centimeters of topsoil above the chalky bedrock, creating a lithe, elegant version of pinot noir.

This 100% Pinot Noir shows red fruits such as wild strawberry, blueberry or red currant while expressing fine touches of gray or white pepper spices with a remarkable finish on touches of oak wood enhanced by hints of vanilla.  It has a sensuality which comes from the terroir and is supported by a minerality that comes from the chalk present in the soils.

Eric Rodez Brut Les Beurys 2015 (pre-arrival)
$125 per bottle

Eric Rodez Brut Les Genettes 2015 (pre-arrival)
$125 per bottle
In contrast, Les Genettes, while not far away, lies on slightly deeper soil, and the slope turns slightly to the southeast, producing a darker, more structured wine.

The 2015 Brut Blanc de Noirs Les Genettes is showing very well, unfurling in the glass with scents of crisp yellow orchard fruit, honeycomb, mirabelle plums, beeswax and fresh pastry. Medium to full-bodied, deep and tightly wound, it’s racy and incisive, with a concentrated core of fruit and tangy acids. Derived from over 40-year-old vines in a south-facing Ambonnay lieu-dit, this comes warmly recommended and will be even better with a year or two on cork.

Eric Rodez Brut La Pierre aux Larrons 2013
$125 per bottle
Fermented in small barrels, this Chardonnay is exquisite combining a mineral force next to a round, supple texture. Malolactic fermentation was avoided allowing a vibrancy that will hold this sparkling wine in the cellars for years to come. Enjoy with caviar. This comes from a plot in Ambonnay called La Pierre aux Larrons.

Eric Rodez Coteaux Champenois Ambonnay Rouge Les Bouites 2017 (pre-arrival)
$135 per bottle

COURTIER | 510 926 6565
DIRECT |
 415 350 3127 (Michael)
michael.glasby@courtierwines.com
DIRECT | 503 602 0306 (Mark)
mark.royer@courtierwines.com
2266 Central Street #3A
Richmond, CA 94801
courtierwines.com

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