Alfred Gratien Brut NV
A very traditional Champagne producer where all wines are fermented in small oak barrels and reserves stored in large oak foudres. Malolactic fermentation is avoided, which usually imparts greater longevity, and in their deep cellars which are very cold, where temps only reach 9 degres allows slow and gracefull characters to evolve.
Alfred Gratien also use a surprisingly high percentage of Pinot Meunier in its blending process to achieve rounded flavours, forward and bright characters to balance out taught minerality and malic acid drive. Bright Lemons and citrus abound and fresh nuances of nougat, brioche and spice. not overly weighty and cumbersome which is again a hallmark of thehouse style & character. Flavours although derived from oak use and time in cellar prior to release, it is with careful blending Alfred Gratien are able to maintain chalky minerality and crispness in the house desired style.
Oz Clarke in his ""New Encyclopedia of French Wines"" summed up-""If I have to own up to having a favourite Champagne, I must admit it'll have to be Alfred Gratien.....the reason I love Gratien is because in the modern world of Champagne where many companies are more concerned about their international brand image than they are about the quality of their wines, Gratien declares that its image is the quality of the wine and nothing else""