12% | FRANCE

R.015 represents Récolte or Harvest 2015, with 80% of the wine selected from the 2015 vintage and a small proportion (20%) made up of reserve wines from previous vintages (2008,...
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R.015 represents Récolte or Harvest 2015, with 80% of the wine selected from the 2015 vintage and a small proportion (20%) made up of reserve wines from previous vintages (2008, 2009 and 2012).

An intense nose of crisp green apple leads into a very ripe, rounded, apple and lemon-fruited palate, a reflection of the warmth of the 2015 vintage that this cuvée expresses. Lallier worried that the vintage would be too warm for great Champagne, but a drop in temperatures, plus a little rain, a couple of weeks before picking rescued the freshness and maintained this wine's vital acidity. A very approachable and seriously enjoyable vintage-character wine.

Lallier's R.015 is the reflection of a radiant year. Winter passed without pressure from frosts or pests and from mid-May, the weather turned very hot and dry. It remained this way right through to August (like in 2003, 1976 and 1951). This exceptional climatic stability was accentuated by significant daily temperature variations (cool nights and intense heat at midday). The prolonged dry conditions began to cause concern at the start of ripening as the grapes began to show signs of hydric stress, but at long last in the middle of August downfalls of rain hit the vineyards for 2 weeks. At last, the grapes began to swell and the occurrence of rot was avoided thanks to a drop in temperatures. Everything fell back into place and the harvest began happily on 6th September with perfect sanitary conditions. A year of superlatives worthy of a great vintage, with the promise of extraordinary quality.

The first bottles to bear the Lallier name appeared in 1906, when the Champagne house was founded by René Lallier who had married into a prestigious Champenois family. Lallier has been firmly rooted in the village of Aÿ ever since. In 1936, Aÿ was one of the seventeen villages to be classified as ‘‘Grand Cru” in Champagne, a clear indication of the quality of the grapes that grow on its famous hillsides and the remarkable wines they produce.

In 1996, René-James Lallier, the founder’s grandson, carried out major modernisation work on the winery and refurbished the cellars in which Lallier’s Champagnes are aged. He enlisted the help of Francis Tribaut who, at the time, worked as a consultant to some of the most prestigious Champagne houses, as well as managing his family’s domaine in Romery.

Having worked so closely together, when René-James Lallier decided to sell his business he naturally asked Francis Tribault if he was interested in buying it. Francis took up the challenge, convinced of the potential of Lallier brand.

Free to craft wine in the spirit of an artisan domaine, Francis vinifies each parcel of grapes separately using a Lallier’s own ‘house’ yeast, and he keeps the dosage low to create Champagnes with real character and finesse.

Perfect match for roast belly pork for a decadent Sunday lunch.

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