An ancient vine-growing family in Aÿ – apparently active since the early 1625 – that only started bottling wine under its own name when the house was formed in 1975.
Aÿ, Vallée de la Marne; 9ha estate vineyards; this wine comes exclusively from Aÿ.
The wines are idiosyncratic but highly seductive, from the “natural” edginess of the Esprit Nature all the way to the luscious, oak-laden indulgence of the cuvée formerly labelled as Fût de Chêne but now merely marked “MV.” Stainless steel isn’t part of the mix here, where fermentation and ageing take place in terracotta or sandstone eggs or else in small casks made from Argonne forest oak, grown in the vicinity of Aÿ, which Claude Giraud has been instrumental in revitalising. This wine is vinified and matured in 50 per cent new oak casks, with 1/3 of the blend from a perpetual reserve dating to 1990.
Overall, a ripe, high-extract style with cider apples, cola, coconut, vanilla biscuits and Jordan almonds. The nuttiness continues on the supple palate but is alleviated by a blast of acidity. Fruit is sapid with a cutting mineral edge; though the finish feels quite evolved, there is an appealing depth and salinity.
Try It With
Southeast Asian mixed rice dishes with peanuts, garlic and coconut.
Your friend who misses old school Bollinger.
The cork is held in place by an ominous-looking staple—use a spoon handle to gently loosen it before slipping it off.
Rich, oak-laden and spicy.