Wine Review of Drappier Blanc de Blancs Signature Brut Champagne Sparkling Wine, France
Drappier is a Champagne house based in the town of Urville, in the southernmost sub-region of Champagne (South of Reims and Epernay), the Aube department.
Maison Champagne Drappier was founded back in 1808. It is now renown for Champagne sparkling predominantly based on the Pinot Noir grape variety, but also to a wine style that uses minimum amounts of sulfites (SO2) and added sugars (dosage).
Being a winery more specialized and reknown for its Blanc de Noirs Champagne (white wines made from red grape varieties), I was interested in tasting this Blanc de Blancs (made from white grape varieties).
Drappier own vineyards cover a surface of 53 hectares (130 acres), while the house also sources grapes from local growers from another approx. 50ha (120 acres). So the total vineyard surface area spreads over bout 100 ha in total (250 acres).
Drappier prides itself from growing not only the classic Champagne grape varieties such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay or Pinot Meunier, but also rare local varieties such as Petit Meslier, Blanc Vrai or the even-rarer Arbane.
The house’s top and most famous cuvées include the ‘Prestige Tête de Cuvée’, Grande Sendrée, Charles de Gaulle and a varied range of Brut Nature, both whites and rosés.
Drappier Blanc de Blancs Winemaking Facts
Only the juices from first pressings are used (called ‘the cuvées’ in Champagne, understand the ‘free run’ juice). Drappier uses gravity during the winemaking process to avoid pumping and reducing oxidation, allowing for a minimal use of sulfites. The alcoholic fermentation lasts for about 2 weeks at low temperature before a total malolactic fermentation is run. Wine are not filtered before bottling.
Drappier Blanc de Blancs is a blend of 95% Chardonnay with 5% of the rare and ancient Champagne grape called ‘Blanc Vrai’, both are vinified in tanks to preserve the freshness of the fruit character.
After bottling, the cuvée is aged for 2-3 years sur lattes (on lees in the bottles), before disgorgement and final dosage at 8 grams/liter of added sugar.
Blanc de Blancs Overall Tasting Impressions
A dry and mineral bubbly, as we love and expect from a Blanc de Blancs Champagne wine. Precise, crisp and filled with acidic tension, it yet delivers many layers of fruity, floral, nutty and spicy complexity in a soft and smooth sophisticated texture.
A Champagne for those who love their sparking Chardonnay very dry, mineral and slightly vegetal, but more importantly floral, delicately tropical and also rich from opulent coconut and oily hazelnut flavors.
A Champagne for refined cocktail parties, and even better suited for pairing with super-elegant entrée or seafood dishes. A wine you can imagine would stand proud in a very refined Michelin-starred restaurant, or a classy reception.
Full Tasting Notes
This Champagne bubbly comes in a delicate, bright and pale lemon-yellow color, looking both pale and shiny which makes it looks elegant and glamorous.
The nose appears equally delicate, filled with floral aromas of elderflower and lily, and a clear and distinctive fresh hazelnut tone that dominates the aromatic profile.
The nutty smell of roasted hazelnut comes with the slightly grassy note you get in freshly-picked hazelnut. Intriguing and quite delightful to smell it is.
Put the Champagne in your mouth, and things really start to get interesting!
Firstly, the wine’s texture is noted and described. It’s utterly smooth, with super-soft and delicate bubbles coating your taste buds and in creamy silky texture. Yet, this is a very dry sparkling wine, with a mineral acidity, crisp and almost sharp although if it wasn’t for an oily body and such an unctuosity to the texture that the whole feels naturally very smooth. Phenolics add a salty and slightly bitter salivating feel to the finish, confirming this is a wine for gastronomy, a dry style meant to be paired with elegant, delicately-flavored dishes.
The uniqueness of this Blanc de Blancs though, comes from its complex and stylish flavor profile…
As you first sip it, flavors of fresh lemon and mango first strike your senses, with a fruity and peasant burst.
They are followed by a wealth of coating and generous coconut and hazelnut paste notes. Huge floral flavors are also obvious, somewhat like a super-subtle Muscat wine would be, tasting like succulent fresh white grapes.
Add a hint of spicy white pepper, a lifted mintiness, and a slightly grassy meadow hay impression, and you’ll understand that this Champagne delivers many interesting layers of multi-faceted sensations.
You can go sip after sip for quite a while experiencing a different flavor or aroma every time. Rare and pleasing an experience.