This house, slowly built by Bernard de Nonancourt from modest beginnings after World War Two, has won an enviable reputation for its consistent wines, blended with great intelligence by one of the Champagne region’s most outstanding Chefs de Caves, Alain Terrier.
The Brut non-vintage (which sells 7 million bottles a year) is simple, and like most big-name brands offers less good value than most leading growers’ Champagnes - though this is perhaps unsurprising, given the fact that the domain holdings are only 90 ha or so. The non-vintage Brut Rose by contrast, is the model of this style which all others try to emulate: soft, crowd-pleasing, teasing, charming, though a few thrills short of exquisite. The more expensive Champagnes are good, and none more so than the Grand Siecle series, in principle a three vintage blend (La Cuveé) - since the mid-1980s also available as a vintage wine. Grand Siecle La Cuveé is the ballerina among Prestige cuveés: full of energy, poise, and enchantment, and given such slow and unhurried ageing, that the aromas are always ready to lead your nose to a dance (rival Prestige cuveés are often released too early, when still mute.) Andrew Jefford – The New France