The history of maison Ayala, in Champagne, begins in 1860 thanks to Edmond de Ayala who establishes the winery in Aÿ, the famous Grad Cru of the Vallée de la Marne. The winery doesn’t take long to be noticed, thanks to the 1865 choice to vinify its wines with a dosage of 21 g/l, certainly higher than what we are currently used to but certainly much lower than the standards of the time, which included sweet wines with a dosage of about 150 g/l. This choice proved right and the prestige of the house grew to the point of obtaining the Royal Warrant, the honor that made of it an official supplier of the British Royal Family, as early as 1908.
Since then, a century has passed, crossed with understandable ups and downs, and since 2005 the house belongs to the Bolliger family who has equipped it with a futuristic cellar, started in 2007 and finished in 2017, led by Caroline Latrive. All these novelties, however, have not changed one of the pride points of this small maison: it is exclusively the own grapes, obtained from 80 hectares divided into 70 different crus, to cover the entire annual requirement. Both in the vineyard and in the cellar the path of eco-sustainability has been chosen with conviction to the point that the winery itself is conceived as a unicum in which the various phases of vinification take place by falling, from top to bottom, with a clear limitation of the manipulation of the grapes and the energy resources employed. Another characteristic of the winery is that the vinification in stainless steel and the aging in wood takes place in separate lots, grape variety per grape variety, cru per cru, vintage per vintage, in order to preserve and enhance the typicality of each parcel. Finally, this house, in line with its pioneering choices, has chosen to return to produce wines with an average dosage lower than that of other producers, with their Brut Nature become in a short time one of their fighting horses.
Among the various production lines was introduced the one called Collection Ayala in which we find the most precious exclusive champagnes, as in the case of this N.7, a blend of 7 Grand Crus between the Côte des Blancs and the Mountain of Reims, all vintage 2007. Obtained for 2/3 from Chardonnay from five Grand Crus (Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Le-Mesnil and Oger) and for 1/3 from Pinot Noir from two Grad Crus (Aÿ and Verzy), this wine has aged for some months in wood before the tirage of 2008 and the aging of over 11 years. After the remuage and the manual dégorgement the wine was put on the market, with a dosage of 6 g/l, in 2020, on the occasion of the 160 years of life of the house.
In the glass the wine has a full straw yellow color, with golden nuances, enriched by a perlage of great finesse and an olfactory range that opens with notes of apricot, peach in syrup, toasted hazelnuts and croissants, followed by pink grapefruit, hawthorn, eucalyptus and strawberry tree honey, with final boisée echoes of flint and burnt shell. The palate is kept in balance between soft and glyceric creaminess and a dry citrus sensation, with the elegant caress of perlage and a good mineral flavor in the background; all while the boisée and yellow fruit return to accompany the sip until a long and juicy closing.
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