2016 Champagne Claude Cazals, La Chapelle du Clos, Blanc de Blancs, Grand Cru, Oger, Brut
About this WINE
Champagne Claude Cazals
Catalan cooper Ernest Cazals moved to Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and founded Champagne Cazals in 1897. Today, Cazals is run by fourth generation Delphine Cazals, the first woman in her family to take over the reins.
This relatively unknown estate historically sold grapes to the Grand Marques for their prestige cuvées. However, Delphine bravely changed the direction of production. Now, Cazals produce their own, terroir-driven wines from nine hectares of Côte des Blancs vineyards, centred around the famous Grand Cru Chardonnay capital of Oger.
Their trophy vineyard, Clos Cazals, is the only walled Clos in Oger and is the envy of many across Champagne. This vineyard is farmed sustainably and contains many mature vines. Cazals produces two wines; the Chapelle du Clos from the younger vines, and the Vielles Vignes from the oldest section of the vineyard. These artisanal wines offer a glimpse into this treasured terroir, which is yet to find its value in the market.
Blanc de Blancs
In Champagne, the term Blanc de Blancs designates Champagnes made only from Chardonnay grapes. The vineyards located between Cramant and Mesnil-sur-Oger in Cote de Blancs yield the best examples of the style.
A classic Blanc de Blancs is restrained and elegant when young, yet with ageing it develops a mouth-coating brioche richness that overlays an intense expression of fruitiness. Blanc de Blancs are endowed with longer ageing potential than a typical Blanc de Noirs.
Recommended Producers: Salon, Billecart Salmon, Jacques Selosse, Dom Ruinart, Krug, Le Mesnil Grand Cru, Guy Larmandier
Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world. It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.
Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.
It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.
Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.
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Although Chapelle du Clos is pitched as the “second wine” of Champagne Cazals, it is an altogether different expression of its unique terroir to their “tête de cuvée”. Crafted from 50-year-old vines which were grown on raw chalk, this wine is a pure expression of Oger. The palate is rich in spring meadow flower aromas, and flavours of golden apple tartlets, pithy lemon and cool, chalky fruit. It’s truly compelling. Drink now – 2035.
Davy Żyw, Wine Buyer, Berry Bros. & Rudd (Sep 2022)
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