Our New Year’s champagne for 2014 was non-vintage Pehu-Simonet Grand Cru Brut Rosé. David Pehu, who studied wine-making in Burgundy, represents the fourth generation to head up the family estate, which was named Pehu-Simonet in the 1970s when vines from his mother’s side of the family were added to his father’s. He has been growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes and making estate-bottled champagnes from outstanding Grand Cru vineyards in the chalky soils of Verzenay on the northern slopes of Montagne de Reims in the Champagne region of France since the late 1980s.
This luscious Rosé Champagne was deep pink in color, with aromas of rose petals, strawberries and raspberries, and had plenty of tiny bubbles, giving the wine a smooth, silky mouthfeel. It is a blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay from the Grand Cru villages of Verzy and Verzenay, including 10% Pinot Noir still wine fermented and aged in oak to give the champagne its deep color. Disgorged in March 2011, it had a perfect balance of fruit and acidity, with juicy flavors of red fruits, blood orange and pomegranate, and a nice creamy finish with a touch of chalky minerality. An exceptional Grand Cru Brut Rosé Champagne, this wine got 90 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, 92 points from Wine Spectator and 93 points from Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar. What a great way to welcome the New Year!