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16 January 2015 News

“From crisp whites to sultry reds, some of the world’s best sparkling wine comes in all shapes and sizes”, says Julie Albin at DrinkMeMag.com. Champagne Ayala’s NV Brut Majeur Rosé is one of their top 12 sparkling wines for your countdown to 2015. With 93 points, review is as follows “This Champagne is pretty in pink as it unveils lovely fragrances of kiwi, raspberry, peony, and pie crust. With its stony minerality that’s softened by a creamy froth, this all-round beauty is quite the catch.” To check out the full top 12 list click here.

 
12 November 2014 News

Wine writers Tom Stevenson, Michael Edwards, and Andrew Jefford tasted a prestigious line-up of Vintage  Champagne Blanc de Blancs in a panel tasting for the World of Fine Wine (September 1, 2014 edition). The results for Ayala are striking – their Blanc de Blancs 2007 placed 3rd, ahead of Krug Clos du Mesnil 2000 and Salon 2002!

In his introduction, Tom Stevenson notes:

“Ayala has always been one of Champagne’s best-value brands, and over the past eight or nine years it has also been one of its fastest improving.  The 2007 Blanc de Blancs must rank as one of its finest Champagnes to date.”

Champagne Ayala Blanc de Blancs 2007 was included in both Andrew Jefford and Tom Stevenson’s Top Wines of the tasting.

 
19 September 2014 News

Benjamin Lewin MW put up a blog post about Brut Nature Champagnes, with specific notes from his visits to 3 houses – Laurent-Perrier, Ayala and Philiponnat. Below is the paragraph on Ayala, in which he discusses the “fresh and elegant” house style, and compares Brut Nature with Brut Majeur. Click here to read the full blog post.

“Ayala is another house that has a history of lower dosage Champagnes. In 1865 it was only 21 g, about a third of the standard for the time. Old posters for Ayala from the early twentieth century emphasize its dry character. Since Bollinger bought Ayala in 2005, the brand has been repositioned – or perhaps you might say has returned to its roots of the early twentieth century – by focusing on a Chardonnay-driven, crisp, pure style. The flagship Brut Majeur (a blend of 40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier), which accounts for about 80% of production, has a crisp, elegant style, emphasized by low dosage (7 g). The Brut Nature is exactly the same blend but has zero dosage; the only difference with Brut Majeur is that the lack of dosage is compensated by an additional year on the lees before disgorgement. So when I tasted the two side by side at Ayala, the current Brut Nature had a base wine from 2009, whereas the Brut Majeur had a base wine from 2010. The house style is recognizable in both wines, fresh and elegant, with a similar balance and without an enormous difference in perceptible sweetness; the difference for me is more that I find the Brut Nature to show more precision and purity of fruits. Another bottle of Brut Nature, disgorged somewhat earlier with base wine 2008, provided a fascinating contrast: extra time in the bottle has brought some development to a broader, less overtly mineral character: so zero dosage can evolve. Another demonstration of this capacity was the prestige Perle d’Ayala Brut Nature from 2002, which added savory brioche to the usual salinity, but, it has to be admitted, was not as complex as the Perle d’Ayala Brut of 2005.”

 
28 July 2014 News

 

Ayala Champagne was featured at Basta Surf’s rooftop party at Miami Swim Week last week. Click here for photos and more information about the event.

 
24 July 2014 News

John Gilman has some great comments about the new Champagne Ayala releases, as follows:

Ayala Brut Nature NV (Ay)

The new release of Ayala Brut Nature is outstanding. The wine is a blend of forty-five percent pinot noir, thirty-five percent chardonnay and twenty percent pinot meunier and spent four years on the lees prior to disgorgement, and received no dosage whatsoever. The back label has a place at the bottom to stamp the date of disgorgement, but my particular bottle was not stamped clearly and I could not make out the date. In any event, the wine is absolutely singing, offering up a deep and vibrant nose of pear, lemon zest, chalky soil tones, brioche and white flowers in the upper register. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and shows off lovely mid-palate depth, with crisp, well-integrated acids, pinpoint bubbles, fine focus and grip and lovely mineral drive on the beautifully balanced and long finish. This is one of the best Brut Natures on the market today from a Grande Marque. 2014-2025+. 93 Points

 

Ayala ‘Brut Majeur” NV (Ay) Disgorged September 2013
The Ayala Brut Majeur has unveiled a new, black label with its current release (rather than the old white label with red type), or at least it is new to me, and it admirably includes a disgorgement date on the back label. The wine is excellent this year, offering up a very floral nose of pear, brioche, white peach, chalky soil tones, a subtle touch of crème patissière and a garden-full of white flowers. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and very nicely balanced, with a fine core, lovely focus and grip, pinpoint bubbles and a very long, crisp and complex finish. The dosage here is probably around nine or ten grams per liter, which may be just a touch too generous for purists, but the balance here is impeccable and this wine is drinking beautifully right now. 2014-2024. 91 Points

 

Ayala “Rose Majeur” Brut NV (Ay)
I had bad luck with the typesetter on the back labels of the samples I received from Ayala this spring, as this too has a spot for the date of disgorgement on the back, but it did not print and hence, there was no date. In any event, the wine is comprised of a blend of fifty-one percent chardonnay, forty percent pinot noir and nine percent pinot meunier and was aged on the lees for thirty months prior to disgorgement (whenever that was), and then was given an additional three months in the cellars prior to release. The color is a lovely salmon color, with a bit deeper hue than many of the Brut Roses out there these days, and offers up a lovely and quite vibrant bouquet of white cherries, tangerine, chalky minerality, bread dough, lovely spice tones, dried roses and a dollop of citrus zest in the upper register. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, crisp and very well-balanced, with a good core, fine focus and grip, frothy mousse and very good length on the bright and complex finish. Today, the wine is a touch more complex on the nose than the palate, but another year in the cellar will allow the palate to play catch up. A very pretty bottle. 2014-2025. 90+ Points

 

2007 Ayala Blanc de Blancs Brut Millesime (Ay) Disgorged February 2013
The 2007 Ayala Blanc de Blancs Brut Millesime is a fine follow-up to the lovely 2005 version I reported upon last year. As I noted then, this cuvee hails exclusively from the grand cru villages of Mesnil-sur-Oger, Avize and Chouilly. The bouquet is deep and youthfully vibrant, wafting from the glass in a mix of lemon chiffon, pear, chalky soil tones, bread dough, spring flowers and incipient notes of crème patissière. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, crisp and very elegant, with a fine core, frothy mousse, lovely focus and nascent complexity and a long, poised and snappy finish. Fine juice in the more ethereal style of Blanc de Blancs that will make this an excellent aperitif Champagne. 2014-2030. 92 Points

 

2005 Ayala “Cuvee Perle d’Ayala” Brut Millesime (Ay) Disgorged October 2013
This was the first time I had tasted Ayala’s Tête de Cuvée, Perle d’Ayala. The 2005 is comprised of a blend of eighty percent chardonnay and twenty percent pinot noir and spent nine years resting sur lies in the Ayala cellars, under cork, rather than crown top, prior to disgorgement. The wine offers up an excellent nose of apple, pear, incipient notes of pastry cream, chalky soil tones, biscuits and a lovely topnote of spring flowers. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and still quite youthful, with a lovely core, elegant mousse, crisp, beautifully integrated acids and excellent length and grip on the poised and still fairly primary finish. This is certainly approachable today, but it will clearly be even better with a year or two in the cellar and is an outstanding bottle of high class bubbly. 2016-2035. 93 Points

 

 
2nd July 2014 News

In the latest issue of  Massachusetts Beverage Business Magazine feature an article on Blanc de Blancs Champagnes. Among their top picks to showcase was Ayala’s 2005 Blanc de Blancs. Click here to read more!

 
12 May 2014 News

Some great new press with the release of Ayala Brut Nature.  It’s featured on the front of the Wine Enthusiast article “It’s Champagne Season”. With a score of 91 Points, the Brut Nature’s review is as follows:

“Ayala specializes in dry Champagnes, and this is the house’s extreme example. It has just the right amount of bottle age to soften its intense acidity and develop some toastiness and fruit. It can be enjoyed now, but a few more months in bottle would make it even better. Nature Champagnes are naked Champagnes. There is no dressing up with the dosage (added sugar) to soften the naturally high acidity. Nature wines stand and fall on their own, warts and all. The fashion has split the Champagne world. Some believe that climate change aided the production of very dry wines that pair with food, and others see the wines as too tight and tart to be pleasant. This Ayala shows that with great care and selection, it’s possible to make very dry wines of remarkable quality. It’s essential to serve it with food, where its cutting acidity can handle even the richest fare.”

 
5 May 2014 News

Snooth.com just released a piece on April’s Most Exciting Wines, according to their favorite wine professionals. Jenny Benzie, former sommelier at the Michael’s in Santa Monica and the Pearl on Nantucket, had the following to say about Ayala Blanc de Blancs 2005:

“While I have always been a fan of their Brut Majeur and Rose Majeur, this was my first experience with their BdB and I can guarantee you that it will not be my last.

This is the first vintage of this wine produced by Ayala with their current winemaker since the purchase of the property in 2005 by the family Bollinger. The wine is 100% Grand Cru Chardonnay and is aged for at least six years after disgorgement before release.

Soft gold color with refined mousse, this Champagne shows the quality of the vintage. The nose shows a hint of maturity with pear, ripe pineapple and a hint of almond. Creamy, rich, intense and pure on the palate which will inspire you to drink more. An amazing value for a vintage selection.”

Click here to read the full article!

 
19 November 2013 News

Wine & Spirits Magazine just published their annual reviews on Champagne. All four Ayala Champagnes received excellent scores of 90 or higher – click here for a summary of the reviews!

 

 
7 November 2013 News

The Washington Post’s Lifestyle “Food” section featured “5 Wines to try”, giving recommendations on their top picks for the week. Of the 5 choices, Champagne Ayala’s Brut Rosé Majeur was the top pick, with 3 stars for being “Exceptional”. Click here for the review and more recommendations.