If you have just $50 to spend on a bottle of sparkling, then spend it on one of the glorious Adelaide Hills wines I talked about on Monday.
But if you’re looking to step it up a notch and there’s a $100 budget on offer, then here’s an instant option.
Enter the Veuve Fourny Cuvée R Extra Brut.
I had this at lunch a few days back with Charles Fourny himself. Entertaining, honest about the Champagne world and quite complementary of Aussie sparkling, Charles poured this Blanc de Blancs in between telling stories about his vineyard chalk sample (see the picture below) being confiscated at Japanese customs as they thought it was a rock of coke…
No coke needed for the Veuve Fourny Cuvée R Extra Brut, which reads more like a real grower Champagne than something from a ‘house’.
Produced from organically farmed (but not certified) Chardonnay from the Vertus Premier Cru, fermented wild, the parcels for this wine coming from the 2011 and 2012 vintages, the wine spending a minimum of 18 months in small oak, then up to four years on lees before release, the dosage circa 3g/l.
I wasn’t drinking at the event (I don’t drink before 5pm normally – a rule that keeps me healthy) but I found myself sippin’ on the R.
The appeal, for mine, is the robust flavours, with the oak and lees ageing adding weight counterbalanced by plenty of acidity. Many years ago I bought a bottle of Aramis aftershave because I thought it was a proper man smell, and I always pick up that Aramis note in Chardonnay-dominant, long lees aged Champagne. And love it.
Of course, Blanc de Blancs will always be my poison, and Larmandier-Bernier is a favourite house (which kept popping into my mind drinking this wine). So perhaps preaching to the converted with this vinous, richly textured style.
In fact, my only gripe is that it doesn’t come with a disgorgement date. And that richness means it’s more main meal than aperitif style fizz.
Still, I’d drink this over a bottle or vintage Moët or Piper every day of the week, and you can find all three for the same price in retail land (circa $80).
Veuve Fourny Cuvée R Extra Brut. 18.5/20, 94/100 (for this release).