Pehu Simonet, 'Face Nord' Brut, Champagne, France, NV
Overview of the Wine
Of Pehu-Simonet’s 7.5 hectares of vines, six are in grand cru villages, and these are the ones used for making estate-bottled champagnes. In addition to 3.5 hectares of vines in Verzenay, Pehu has holdings in Verzy, Sillery, Mailly and Bouzy in the Montagne de Reims, as well as 65 ares of chardonnay in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, in the Côte des Blancs. The rest of the estate’s harvest is sold to the négoce, including the fruit from a parcel of old vines in Villers-Marmery that Pehu says produces exceptional wine. "It’s a pity it’s premier cru,” he says. “If I could call it grand cru, I’d happily use it."
Vinification is either in tank or in barrel, depending on the particular wine. Pehu, who studied oenology in Burgundy, has been using barrels since 1988, and while most of his barrels are purchased second-hand from Burgundy, he’s experimenting more and more with local oak from Verzy, coopered by the Tonnellerie de Champagne in nearby Cauroy-les-Hermonville. Pehu strictly avoids the malolactic for all of his wines, including the red wines used for making rosé, as he believes that blocking the malo better preserves the finesse and expression of fruit in the long run.”
Grape / Blend
70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay Assemblage 70% 2018, 30% reserve wine (perpetual reserve back to 2005) Village/vineyard Verzenay Grand Cru, Verzy Grand Cru, Sillery Grand Cru Elevage 80% stainless steel tanks, 20% barrique Ageing sur latte for 30 months
94 Points - Wine & Spirits
Based on the 2017 vintage, this blend includes 30 percent from a perpetual reserve established in 2005. It’s focused on David Pehu’s parcels in Verzenay, Verzy and Sillery, weighted toward pinot noir (70 percent), and it is red fruit thats pours out of the glass. Powerfully structured as a young wine, with a hint of vanilla bean (20 percent of the base wines were vinified in oak), this is more accessible a day after the cork is popped: The mineral acidity turns frisky, the layered intensity of cèpes and chalk mellows toward generosity.
93 Points - Wine Spectator
Packs a fragrant skein of violet, star anise and graphite that winds through macerated cherry and strawberry fruit, raw almond and crystallized honey. Finely meshed and satiny in texture, this is softly juicy and fresh throughout. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
92 Points - Vinous
The NV Brut Face Nord is a bold, racy wine that captures the essence of Pinot Noir on this north-facing slope. Plum, kirsch, dried flowers, mint and chalk are front and center. The Face Nord has plenty of depth and avoids the austerity that is sometimes found in wines from Verzenay, Verzy and Sillery. It is a terrific introduction to this range from David Pehu. Disgorged: June, 2021.
Product size: 750ml
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