About this WINE
Champagne Pierre Peters
The loquacious and extremely likeable Rodolphe Péters of Champagne Pierre Péters is one of the most highly respected champagne growers in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, where 12 of his 17 hectares are located.
The style of Le Mesnil Champagnes, differing markedly from more gentle siblings from villages such as Cramant, focuses on mineral power and capacity to age. Péters is the master of this art; a full malolactic fermentation and moderately high fermentation temperatures serve to tame the steely acidity of the wines, but in no way diminishes their inherent power and potential to develop over the medium to long term.
The non-vintage bottlings always incorporate a significant proportion- up to 40% - of reserve wine assembled over decades by saving back a portion of each year's blend and adding it to a solera.
Rosé wines are produced by leaving the juice of red grapes to macerate on their skins for a brief time to extract pigments (natural colourings). However, Rosé Champagne is notable in that it is produced by the addition of a small percentage of red wine – usually Pinot Noir from the village of Bouzy – during blending.
Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.
Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.
Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.
The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.
Antonio Galloni - 31/10/2012