Champagne Ayala Creates New Prestige Cuvée La Perle 2012
Maison Ayala in Aÿ, Champagne
© photo provided
The vintage of the new wine, 2012, was cellar master Caroline Latrive’s first year at the helm of the house – with full responsibility. 2012 was also an exceptional vintage and, despite the challenge of orchestrating the huge logistical task of a Champagne harvest for the first time on her own, Latrive was compelled to create this special cuvée.
A Memorable Year
Latrive says: “It was my first harvest as cellar master, it brings back a lot of memories. The harvest was so full of emotions and humility, as we as a certain amount of pressure! For the first time I was entrusted with the task of exalting the fruit provided by the work of man and nature. The blend appeared to me at springtime, like a revelation.”
Caroline is a self-confessed lover of Chardonnay: “The style of the wines of Ayala is entirely expressed by a great aromatic freshness, a silky texture and a pure line. I would say my mission has always been and still is to enhance the expression of the Chardonnay.” La Perle 2012 is composed of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir – sourced from grand cru vineyards only: The Chardonnay from Chouilly, Cramant, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and the Pinot Noir from Verzy. The wine was aged for 8 years on lees, hand-riddled and hand-disgorged with a dosage of 6g/l.
True House Style
Owned by Champagne Bollinger, Ayala is a stylistic counterpart: where Bollinger is rich and creamy, Ayala is sleek and taut – but the craftsmanship and dedication is just the same. Fermentation of base wines is in stainless steel only, to underline the brisk purity of the wines, especially Chardonnay, but the ageing of the bottles after the second fermentation is under natural cork – mellowing that briskness but never denying it.
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