André Clouet, Grand Cru Brut Rosé, “No.3”

Champagne, France NV

Character
Fruit
Earth
Body
Acid
Alcohol
You know those moments where something “feels off” but you can’t place your finger on it? That was me last week, and after scanning our offers in 2017, it hit me: We forgot to offer André Clouet’s rosé last year! There is, however, a silver lining: Clouet's “No.3” rosé this time around has surpassed its predecessors. This is still the creamy, intense rosé you’ve come to cherish, but there is a strong presence of supple fruit and mineral verve that adds a new dimension.

Despite the tens of thousands of wines I’ve tasted in my life, this is one producer I never tire of seeing and, most importantly, drinking. When a sample arrives, it’s less about technical tasting and more about flat-out enjoying the Champagne because the quality of each new release is all but guaranteed. As always with Clouet offers, there’s both a buzz of excitement in the air and limited stock, so, to the lucky few who are able to get their hands on it: Enjoy! For those who miss out, I’ll do my best to offer the next release at the proper time!

The Clouet family first found the spotlight after becoming the official printers for the Royal Court at Versailles in the mid-18th century (hence the beauty of their wine labels). Their estate in Bouzy, which current owner Jean-François Clouet still calls home, dates back even further! Beneath this historic site lies their labyrinthine chalk cellar, which still contains partial false walls that hid precious bottles during Nazi invasion in World War II. With all this historic grandeur surrounding him, Jean-François respectfully draws from tradition and time-honored techniques while embracing modern technology. And, with only 20 acres of estate vines, he can make this philosophy a reality. 
 
Derived from mid-slope vines within the prestigious Grand Cru village of Bouzy, this rosé is crafted from 100% Pinot Noir predominantly from the 2014 vintage with some reserve wine. In order to achieve the trademark salmon color, still Bouzy Pinot Noir (8%) was added to a base. Fun fact: “No.3” was originally created to assist customers in judging the color, with the numbers ranging from 1 (the lightest) to 10. This wine fermented—both alcoholic and malolactic—in stainless steel vessels and then aged for several years in bottle before its recent disgorgement. It was topped off with a low dosage of six grams of sugar (technically qualifying it for the Extra-Brut category). With incredible terroir, extended lees aging, and meticulous winemaking, this particular rosé offers an incredibly balanced combination of ripe fruit, texture, depth, and minerality that is nearly unrivaled. 
 
André Clouet’s latest "No.3" release shows a pale salmon core with slight pink-orange tints that dance out to a clear rim. Its ‘bead’ (effervescence) is tiny, compact, and travels upwards with vigor before fanning out to the edge of the glass; truly, a gorgeous wine to look at. It’s a bit reticent if consumed too cold, so make sure you’re sniffing and drinking around 50-55 degrees. When at the optimal temperature, it erupts with seductive notes of wild strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, cherry blossoms, fresh red and pink flowers, crushed chalk, and orange zest. The near full-bodied palate coats your mouth with supple fruit that trends toward the side of creamy: you can expect strawberry coulis, white peach, ripe Rainier cherries, and a persisting mineral-driven presence. As noted in our previous offer, this is not your angular Champagne; it boasts rich textures that deliver complex pleasure. Delightful in its youth, this wine’s fruit will take on savory components over the next 3-5 years, so be sure to stow a few bottles! When consuming, please serve in an open mouth flute or an all-purpose glass; a tall, thin flute will stifle the otherwise magical aromatics. For pairing, go for a main course over light snacking. See the recipe in order to whip up a strawberry balsamic glaze for a fresh take on salmon salad!
Print Tasting Notes
Country
France
Region
Champagne
Sub-Region
Bouzy Grand Cru
Variety
Pinot Noir 100%
Alcohol
12%
Soil
Chalk
Farming
Sustainable Practices
Service Temperature
50-55ºF
Glassware
Wide-Mouthed Tulip or All-Purpose Stem
Drinking Window
Now-2023