Ayala is one of the most exciting stories in Champagne today, and the definition of a boutique Champagne producer. This historic house has been rivatilized by a small, young and dynamic team that handles every step of production, from grape reception to labeling, in their jewel of a facility. Ayala crafts Chardonnay-focused wines that deliver immense precision, elegance and pleasure.
The House has been long-known as the “sleeping beauty of Champagne” because of its prominence in the late 19th and first half of the 20th century, and its beautifully preserved Art Deco cellars dating to 1912. Ayala was one of the 18 founding members of the “Grandes Marques de Champagne” syndicate in 1882 and went through a golden age in the 1920s and 1930s, rising to prominence as one of the most exported Maisons in Champagne — the drink of choice in bohemian Paris and London. Ayala’s re-ascent after a long quiet period began when it was acquired by the Bollinger family in 2005. Today, it is important to note that both estates are run independently, with equally independent philosophies.
Last but not least, Ayala is led by the immensely talented Cellarmaster Caroline Latrive, one of very few female winemakers in Champagne today. To an extraordinary degree, she has pushed a small vineyard plot approach to winemaking, all in an effort to create more complex blends and to capture every bit of fresh aromatics as possible.
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Champagne Ayala’s No.7 is the second opus from the “The Ayala Collection”, a series of unique cuvée created to express the specificity of a vintage and a selection of exceptional crus through the lens of this boutique Maison. Produced in limited quantities and released only upon indication that the elements in this wine are integrated and evolved to a point of perfect harmony.
A treasure in the portfolio, Perle d’Ayala is produced only in exceptional years, according to practices that have remained faithful to the Champagne tradition. Composed of a majority of Chardonnay, this wine captures the essence of the Champagne terroir, in the purest respect of the style of the House.
Ayala’s Blanc de Blancs is 100% Chardonnay, produced in small quantities in exceptional years only and fully expresses the superb caliber of great Chardonnay from the best crus of the Côte des Blancs. After 6 years of aging in Ayala’s cellars, remarkable minerality and low dosage make this an outstanding wine that can accompany a variety of flavorful dishes, including poultry and fish, or be served on its own to celebrate a special occasion.
Brut Nature, cellar-aged for almost 4 years, demonstrates to perfection the high quality of grapes used by the House to craft its wines, and its remarkable expertise in vinification. Being non-dosage, its purity and precision make it an ideal partner for seafood, in particular raw fish and shellfish, or oysters.
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 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.
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 the finest Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes,
coupled with extended ageing in Ayala’s cellars and a low dosage make this wine suitable for any occasion.
N° 14 is the third opus from the “COLLECTION AYALA,” a set of cuvees produced in limited quantities, unveiled only as they approach their peak level of drinkability. This ephemeral cuvee is 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir — including Grand Cru Aÿ red wine.
- “Ayala specializes in dry Champagnes, and this is the house’s extreme example. It has just the right amount of bottle age to soften its intense acidity and develop some toastiness and fruit. It can be enjoyed now, but a few more months in bottle would make it even better.”
- “Peaches, dried raspberries, croissants, toasted hazelnuts, lemon curd and some honey on the nose. Medium-to full-bodied and round with bright acidity and fine bubbles. Flavorful, with ripe and honeyed character. Relatively dry. Chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier.”
- "Disgorged in November 2018, Ayala's 2013 Brut Blanc de Blancs offers up an elegant bouquet of lemon oil, English walnuts, crisp yellow apples, linden blossom and hints of praline to come with bottle age. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with racy acids, a delicate mousse and a fine-boned, elegant profile. Concluding with a long and nicely defined finish, this vibrant and intense wine is one of the finest wines Ayala has released for some time."
- "A new cuvée for Ayala that was disgorged in July 2019, the 2007 Brut No. 7 derives from fruit sourced in seven grands crus—Chouilly, Oger, Cramant, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Avize, Aÿ and Verzy—and saw tirage under cork. Offering up aromas of lemon oil, dried white flowers, walnuts and fresh bread, it's full-bodied, vinous and incisive, with a pillowy mousse, racy acids and a long, mineral finish."
- “A Chardonnay dominant cuvee (80 percent) that has rested on the lees for more than eight years.\ It delivers attractive, nutty complexity with an array of peach, lemon and lime aromas. The palate has attractive, pastry-like flavors with lime curd and a fleshy, smooth finish.”
More on Champagne Ayala
December 7, 2018 - Wine writer Courtney Schiessl highlighted her favorite non-vintage champagnes in her latest story for Forbes, titled "Holiday Gift Guide 2018: The Best Non-Vintage Champagnes." In the piece, she speaks about…
At the helm of Champagne Ayala is Hadrien Mouflard, who happens to be the youngest General Manager in all of Champagne.
Mouflard joined Ayala in 2012, with a goal to return the brand to its “golden age” when it was one of the best-known houses in the region.
When Bollinger bought the House in 2005 it was on the decline, selling about 400,000 bottles a year. In the last 10+ years, and under Mouflard's watch, he has helped it grow the House into one of the most exciting stories in Champagne today.
Critical to the growth of the House is its talent. Mouflard takes great pride in the dynamic, young team of 18 nimble people he's assembled to bring his vision for the House to life - embracing innovation, modern technology and excellence in winemaking.
Prior to his role at Ayala, Mouflard worked at Champagne Bollinger as Administrator.
Caroline Latrive is one of very few female cellar masters in Champagne, and has proven her place as a superb winemaker in the region.
She has been with Champagne Ayala since 2007, and assumed the title of Cellar Master from her predecessor in 2014.
Prior to her time at Ayala, she honed her skills at Champagne Bollinger (which purchased Ayala in 2005). Though Bollinger is known for its emphasis on Pinot Noir, she found herself focusing on Chardonnay fruit at the iconic House and was internally recommended for a role with Ayala soon after.
As an ambassador for the family-owned house, Latrive acts as the guardian of the House's style. She harmoniously produces fresh, elegant wines that are unbelievably balanced with Ayala's trademark low dosage. Possessing a particular affinity for Chardonnay, she ensures the grape is significantly present - never less than 40% - in all of Ayala's emblematic cuvées.
In addition to taking responsibility for Ayala's grape supply and estate vineyards, she is continually innovating with new techniques, technology and blends in keeping with Ayala's young, dynamic spirit.
Before her time working at Bollinger and Ayala, Latrive spent four years at Oeno Champagne. She studied at Reims University Champagne-Ardenne, then obtained a Masters degree in Oenology at the university.
May 28, 2020 - Champagne Ayala cellar-master Caroline Latrive gives a behind the scene look into the detailed process of making the house's flagship cuvee, Brut Majuer. Sourced from over 120 different stainless steel…
July 21, 2020 - Champagne Ayala cellar-master Caroline Latrive describes the unique Brut Nature, a cuvee with zero dosage that serves as a model of purity and precision. [embed]https://vimeo.com/415545555#t=36s[/embed] https://vimeo.com/440098385
July 21, 2020 - As a personal aficionado of Chardonnay, Champagne Ayala cellar-master Caroline Latrive, discusses the lovely Le Blanc de Blancs 2013. [embed]https://vimeo.com/415545555#t=36s[/embed] https://vimeo.com/manage/440098594/general
July 21, 2020 - Champagne Ayala cellar-master Caroline Latrive introduces the second opus in the "Collection Ayala" - No 7. Sourced from 7 Grand Crus from the Montagne de Reims and the Cote des…
July 21, 2020 - Champagne Ayala cellar-master Caroline Latrive takes us into the cellars of Ayala to introduce Perle d'Ayala 2006, which is sourced exclusively from Grand Cru vineyards. [embed]https://vimeo.com/415545555#t=36s[/embed] https://vimeo.com/440098914
July 21, 2020 - Champagne Ayala cellar-master Caroline Latrive gives a behind the scene look into the detailed process of making the house's gorgeous Rosé Majeur. [embed]https://vimeo.com/415545555#t=36s[/embed] https://vimeo.com/440099034