It is often said that champagne is the greatest sparkling wine in the world but how often does it live up to the powerful perception that its brand name carries?
Brands tend to guide our buying decisions when it comes to champagne and the big names are so powerful that it can be tricky navigating unknown wines in the sea of lesser known wines from the world's best known sparkling region - Champagne.
Enter Lallier. This is a champagne house that over delivers on quality, under demands on price and is barely known at all in New Zealand but is available in three specialist wine stores, including here at Regional Wines in Wellington.
The Lallier champagne house was founded in 1906 and run initially by founder Réne Lallier whose grandson, Réne-James Lallier, followed in his footsteps, running the company until he sold it to his adviser, the winemaker Francis Tribaut., in 2004.
Champagne Lallier is based in Ay, one of 17 Champagne villages to be classified with top tier, Grand Cru, status in 1936.
The wines are made in two locations, in Maison D’Ay and in the new Cellier D’Oger, 10 kms outside of Ay on the Cotes des Blanc; a modern facility built in 2012.
Lallier Champagnes are made solely using the two most respected sparkling wine grapes, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Champagne Lallier Ay Brut R015 $49.99
This is one of our staff faves year round.
It's a blend of 61% Pinot Noir, 39% Chardonnay and 80% of the wine comes from grapes grown in 2015, hence the name R015. R stands for recolte, which is the French word for harvest and indicates the year that the majority of grapes in this wine come from. It also includes 20% of reserve wines, in this case a blend of wines aged on lees in bottle from 2008, 2009 and 2012. This long aging time adds freshness and complexity to the wine, delivering hugely on value and deliciousness. It is also drier than many champagnes with a dosage of 8 grams per litre.
A stunning wine
Champagne Lallier Blanc de Blancs Ay $59.99
This 100% Chardonnay is made from grand cru vineyards in Avize and Cramant et Oger. The wine spent 36 months on lees in bottle, gaining creamy complexity from the lees and retaining freshness. It has a low-ish dosage of 9 grams per litre. Full bodied, dry in taste with a long finish.
Pop in store to talk with our wine specialists Matt, Joelle and John or ask for any member of our passionate team at Regional Wines - we would love to show you the Lallier range of champagnes. Wines that over deliver every time.