Du Mont Hauban Brut Sélection NV
Following my complaint about the Scottish summer, which I made only last week, I have to report that the weather hasn't improved one iota. In fact, this has to be the wettest, greyest, coldest, most miserable and windy June I can recall. Last week's treat of a mature Banyuls chased away the cold for a little while, but perhaps this week it is time for something to lift the spirits.
The poppies don't seem to mind the wet weather, but perhaps their spirits were also lifted by this bottle of Du Mont-Hauban Brut Sélection, a co-operative based in Monthelon just three miles south of Epernay which caters for the needs of over 30 growers based in the village, who together tend nearly 100 hectares of vines. They bottle Champagnes under their own label, but also sell fruit on to grandes marques such as Laurent-Perrier and Moët & Chandon. This particular bottle is just one of a number of Champagnes imported by Henry Speer of Champers Ltd which I sampled recently, and although all were of good quality this one hit the mark with its pure elegance and bright, vibrant, well delineated style. Remarkably, this pale wine is a blend of 60% Chardonnay and a considerable 40% Pinot Meunier, Champagne's underdog grape. It has an exuberant but moderately sized bead. The nose is fresh and clean, with a mineral edge, and is very bright and well defined. Fresh, lemony and crisp at first on the palate, then showing more well defined stony, nettly characteristics. This is an incisive wine, endowed with a beautifully fresh frame of acidity which is balanced out by a broad, mouth-filling palate. This is an absolute pleasure to drink, and would make delightful drinking for summer celebrations in the garden, should the weather ever allow it. In the meantime, I am happy to drink it indoors! 17/20 (25/6/07)