Amy Reiley’s Eat Something Sexy featured Champagne Ayala Brut Majeur and Rosé Majeur, as well as Champagne Bollinger Special Cuvée in a roundup of top non-vintage champagnes to pop open this Valentine’s Day.
Before delving into the wines, Reiley offers background on sparkling wines specifically from Champagne and why they warrant a premium price tag. Even so, she explains how it is more than possible to enjoy an absolutely sublime Champagne experience without breaking the bank.
Reiley highly recommends Ayala as a House to discover. Brut Majeur “offers finesse and elegance yet it has bright acidity and ripe fruit flavors that still make it feel festive. This is a lovely wine for any occasion but I think it will hit a home run on date night.”
She said that Ayala’s Rosé Majeur is “charmingly pink,” and is just as remarkably elegant as the Brut, but with the freshness of ripe berries as well. “An underlying chalky note gives it an earthiness, a sense of place. It is the sort of wine to sweep you up in its romance, if only until the bottle is drained.”
Last but not least, she says Bollinger Special Cuvée “is one of those Champagnes that just makes everyone feel special. It is the wine James Bond drank. And any guy who wants to feel like an international man of mystery or any woman who wants to make a man feel like a sexy secret agent will love pouring this.” Continuing, Beyond the ties to intrigue and mystery, the wine is incredibly elegant. It offers yeasty, brioche notes and the most remarkably tiny, vibrant stream of bubbles. This is sexy wine.”
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Brut Majeur is the epitome of a non-vintage brut from a great, historic House and is the finest ambassador for the House’s freshness and elegance. A blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, coupled with extended aging in Ayala’s cellars and a low dosage, make this wine suitable for any occasion.
Rosé Majeur is the perfect embodiment of the originality and finesse of the House’s wines. Made predominantly from Chardonnay, it is crafted with the addition of a small proportion of still Pinot Noir from the best crus of the Montagne de Reims. A low dosage enables it to express the House style, both feminine and generous, with great elegance.
From vineyard to bottling, Special Cuvée sees such an extraordinary level of care and attention, it is difficult to place within the non-vintage or, really, any Champagne category. It is a Champagne that stands apart. Within one bottle, all the complexity of flavour, texture and pleasure that Champagne can offer. Special Cuvée is truly a journey of devotion from Bollinger.
Bollinger is one of the rare Grande Marques that’s still family owned. Known for its rich, elegant and polished style of Champagne, their outstanding wines are the result of rigorous attention to detail and incredibly labor-intensive practices that few houses are willing to undertake. Underscoring its excellence, Bollinger has remained British secret agent James Bond's Champagne of choice since 1973.
Ayala is one of the most exciting stories in Champagne today, almost the definition of a boutique Champagne producer. Independently owned, a small, young and dynamic team handles every step of production from grape reception to labeling in their jewel of a facility with incredible precision, crafting Chardonnay-focused wines that deliver immense pleasure, freshness, and elegance.