It can be debated whether older is better, but when it comes to Champagne, it is not a point to argue; it is indubitably true. We don't just mean vintages; we mean the houses themselves. The Champagnes we gravitate to, the ones we keep coming back to, are invariably those from estates that reach back centuries — ideally, several centuries.
Perhaps best known as the maker of Armand de Brignac, Cattier was founded in Chigny-les-Roses, a Premier Cru village of the Montagne de Reims, in Champagne, in 1618 — more than 150 years before the United States declared its independence from England. Twelve generations have presided over its cellars, which are among the deepest in all of Champagne.
The current growers, Jean Jacques Cattier and son Alexandre Cattier, are producing bottles as exquisite and rewarding as any we have had the pleasure of drinking in recent memory, so we were delighted when we were presented the opportunity to acquire this trio of gems from their portfolio.
One never needs an excuse or an occasion to drink Champagne, but one of the great things about these three is that they are so eminently versatile — able to share the stage with a variety of foods but also superlative all on their own.
If there is any other quality that unites them, it's a precise craftsmanship.
Made from a Pinot-dominant blend of grapes (60% Pinot Meunier, 20% Pinot Noir) sourced from nine different villages and aged on the lees for more than 4 years, the Cuvée Brut Premier Cru is a strikingly fruit-forward expression, with vivid aromatics, a soft, rich palate of fig, plum, and brioche, and a long, fresh finish. Roger Voss of Wine Enthusiast praised its “good depth,” as well as “ tangy flavor and hints of toasting from the cellar aging,” and noted that it is “ready to drink.” We’ll second that, and just note that it makes for an ideal aperitif, but also shows beautifully alongside lighter preparations of seafood and fish.|
Pinot is prominent, also, in the Brut Rosé Premier Cru, a blend, principally, of Pinot Meunier (50%) and Pinot Noir (40%) that also aged on the lees for more than 4 years. This is a stunning rosé, with great aromatic complexity, a testament to the quality of the Pinot varieties Cattier has sourced throughout Montagne de Reims. The lasting impression is that of balance, with a multitude of disparate characteristics brought into a seamless harmony. Voss called it “rich and structured,” and singled out the presence of the two Pinots, which give it a complexity of fruit and spice.
The most iconic Champagne in the Cattier portfolio is the Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru. Made entirely from Chardonnay (40% of which is reserve wine), it aged for more than 4 years on the lees. Its signature, apart from its delicate gold color, is a consummate silkiness, which is answered, in turn, by a wave of fine, gentle bubbles that washes it away. Voss awarded 92 points, noting: “the mineral texture may have softened” after four years on the lees, “but it has been replaced by a balance between crisp apple flavors and touches of toastiness.”
There you have it, folks — three sparklers for nearly any occasion, or any need.
And we're making them available to our Concierge Family for the next week only. Quantities are limited, though, and Champagne never sticks around for long, so act now!
*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Winter 2022. With the supply chain issues that we are seeing globally, there may be some unforeseen delays which could affect the ETA. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in MI, NY, or TN. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.