Next week, Matter of Taste is returning to Napa Valley for its second edition. Taking place at the Culinary Institute of America at Copia in association with Feast It Forward Foundation, wine lovers will be delighted to take part in a Grand Walkabout Tasting featuring over 250 wines from around the world (and all rated 93 points or higher by our troop of reviewers), as well as a series of masterclasses, including Icons of the Grower Champagne Movement: Egly-Ouriet and Larmandier-Bernier
Over the last decade and a half, the grower movement has radically transformed Champagne. This masterclass with The Wine Advocate’s Champagne reviewer, William Kelley, will explore the wines of two pioneering estates: Ambonnay’s Egly-Ouriet
and Vertus’ Larmandier-Bernier
. Both were among the first in the region to farm responsibly and work the soils; both believe that fully mature grapes are the premise of great Champagne; both nod to Burgundy by producing terroir-specific cuvées that are largely fermented in wood; and both produce intense, vinous wines that owe their unmistakable texture and concentration to ripeness and low yields. But though these two estates have much in common, there are important differences: not least, between Egly’s Ambonnay—one of the finest villages of the Montagne de Reims, where Pinot Noir dominates—and Larmandier’s base in Vertus in the Côte de Blancs, where tensile Chardonnay is the order of the day. William Kelley will compare and contrast these two leading Champagne estates, unpacking nuances of terroir, vineyard practices and winemaking—as well as discussing their important place in the story of the grower Champagne movement.
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