2012 in Champagne is all about the Pinot Noir. While it was a perfectly good vintage for Chardonnay, the Pinot was outstanding - Decanter magazine has it as the best Pinot Noir vintage since 1952. Sure, the crop was small and the Aube was beaten up by hail, but the long, warm autumn brought out some truly great Pinot fruit.
So any 2012 Blanc de Noirs is going to be starting from a good base, and at Philipponnat they are delighted with the quality of their Pinot. It comes from some pretty good sites, exclusively premier and grand cru plots on the Montagne de Reims, at Ay and Mareuil-sur-Ay.
The result is impressive. They have kept the dosage low, to extra brut levels, to allow delicacies of character to speak. They have avoided malolactic fermentation to preserve freshness. A portion of the Champagne has been aged in wood, the idea being to inoculate the baby wines against oxidation. This also brings structure and complexity, and together with extended aging on the lees in the bottle, the prospect of a long, distinguished life. /NT
Offered subject to remaining unsold; available June