Jean-Noël Girard, Export Director of Champagne Devaux (pictured, left) was in Mumbai recently to showcase three premium champagnes from their Collection D. Imported and distributed by Rad Elan a special tasting was held at Gada Da Vida bar at the Novotel, Juhu. Suneeta Sodhi Kanga, (pictured) attended the tasting for Sommelier India. According to Shailender Singh, director and CEO of Flipsydee (pictured,right), the brand consultants for Champagne Devaux, three labels are being launched in Maharashtra – the Cuvée D, Ultra D and the D Rosé.
Located at Bar-Sur-Seine, Epernay, in the Côte des Bar region of Champagne, the House of Devaux produces 7,00,000 bottles annually, which are available in three ranges, the D Collection, Classic Range and Speciality 100% Pinot Noir.
In the past, Côte des Bar was often overlooked and even regarded with disdain as it did not receive any of Champagne’s top classifications except Drappier, even though 50% of Pinot Noir in Champagne is grown here. When the cellar master Michel Parisot conceived Collection D, he wanted to create a masterpiece according to time-honoured methods of champagne-making, something that had its own identity within the hierarchy of Champagne.
As briefed by Jean-Noël, a selection of the best Pinot Noir from the “crus” of the Côte des Bar and Chardonnay from the “crus” of the Côte des Blancs is used to make Collection D. No pre-blending is done and a large amount of reserve wines aged in oak casks are used. Only first pressing juices called “cuvée” and the heart of the first pressing juices called ‘cœur de cuvée’ (the best quality) is used for the D Collection. Amazingly, the wine spends a rather long time on lees: a minimum of five years in the bottle for the non-vintages.
Jean-Noel encouraged us to taste the collection in large white wine glasses and not in the usual flutes and tulips that are normally used. He wanted us to experience the concentrated aromas on the nose; it did make a huge difference when compared to a flute.The first wine we tasted was the Devaux Cuvée D, Brut, which is a delicious fresh and creamy Champagne of great persistence. With key aromas of toasted Brioche, vanilla and white blossoms, it makes a good aperitif.
Devaux Ultra D, Brut, was next. This dark gold colour “extra brut”, apparently the only one of its kind available in the Indian market, makes a good food wine. We were urged to try the fabulous range of cheeses, cold cuts, spreads, olives and breads that was displayed by Gada da vida to experience its versatility as a food wine. The freshness was accompanied by great minerality combined with saline notes. The low dosage enhances purity, freshness and elegance. It had wonderful vivacity and excellent length on the palate.
The last wine that was tasted was the pale coloured D Rosé that has fresh light aromas of red fruits. The palate was fruity with subtle notes of raspberry and apricot. This is a Rosé made by blending 10% red wine with the white. A perfect aperitif for a hot summer afternoon.
Champagne House of Devaux was founded in 1846 by the brothers Jules and Auguste Devaux. It was taken over by the three Devaux widows of great character or Veuves as they are called in Champagne. They ran the company with much energy and skill. The company is now owned by Union Aubois known today as the Groupe Vinicole Champagne Devaux.
Priced at Rs 5,500 and Rs 6,000 in Mumbai – the wines mentioned above are available in select retail stores and hotels.