On the nose, the Grande Réserve has bright aromas of white peach, citrus fruits and a delicate floral note. The palate is generous with complex flavours of white fruits, tangerine and grilled hazlenuts which are superbly balanced by a vein of acidity which lifts the saline finish. An opulent wine, which calls for food such as risotto or rich fish dishes.
Base wines from Le Mesnil-Sur-Oger, Oger, Cramant and Avize make up 75-80% of the blend for the Grande Réserve, with the remaining 20-25% made up of reserve wines from Rodolphe’s ‘perpetual reserve’. After carefully monitoring the maturity in the vineyards, whole bunches of grapes were harvested by hand and transported to the winery. The grapes were gently pressed using a pneumatic press that enables a steady flow, while naturally filtering as much solid matter as possible from the must. All base wines were fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, where they remained on lees (with regular tastings) until the assemblage. Rodolphe’s ‘perpetual reserve’, which dates back to the 1990s is based on the 1988, 1990, 1993 and 1996 harvests. These reserve wines are stored in a combination of large foudres, concrete, stainless steel and cement vats, which give real diversity to the perpetual reserve. The Grande Réserve was aged for a minimum of 36 months on lees before release and received a dosage of 5 g/l.
Pierre Péters, one of Champagne’s most renowned growers, produces exclusively Blanc de Blancs champagnes, which are generally rated as being among the finest produced in the region. The domaine is based in Le Mesnil-Sur-Oger, in the heart of the Côte des Blancs, and was one of the first growers to start selling their own champagnes in 1919. Sixth-generation grower, Rodolphe Péters took over the running of the family estate from his father, François in 2008, having been involved in the assemblage since 2000. He initiated the house’s ‘perpetual reserve’ of reserve wines in the late 1990s. A graduate in oenology and business, Roldolphe believes that “a good winemaker must listen to his raw materials”, practising minimal intervention both the winery and the vineyards.