In 1911, the year vineyards in Champagne were first officially classified, Raymond Duval-Leroy — son and heir from the house-forming marriage of Henri Duval and Eugénie Leroy — was the first to create a Premier Cru Champagne, combining Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from three newly classified areas of premier and grand cru vineyards. During the first tasting sessions, Raymond distinguished an aroma of white flowers evoking the scent of the ‘wine flower’ in June, which led to the birth of ‘Fleur de Champagne’.
Fleur de Champagne is still produced today from those same Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes from a mix of premier and grand cru vineyards within the family holdings. Elegant and well-structured, it is veiled with fine, satiny bubbles, with a fragrant nose of toasted brioche, yeast and, appropriately still, white flowers. The palate is crisp, fresh, vibrant and complex, fresh bread crust and tangy lemon meringue with a fine minerality, and hints of fig, nuts and ripe brie all detectable on the after-taste.
Will serve well as a premium aperitif and match superbly with fine shellfish, try it with grilled langoustines and butter.
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