Ayala Brut Majeur
Wine EnthusiastAyala, based in Aÿ in the heart of Champagne, has been transformed since Bollinger bought it in 2005 and this nonvintage proves it. This is a balanced blend of 40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier. The result is crisp while not too dry, and therefore drinkable as an apéritif. Apple and bright citrus combine with green plums to give a fruity wine that is also structured. The cellarmaster continues to reduce the dosage (sugar) so there is a crisp, tight aftertaste.
Wine SpectatorSmoke and forest floor notes lead the way here, with the chalky texture carrying subtle flavors of grilled nut, lemon meringue and dried currant. Balanced, offering smoke details on the fresh finish. Disgorged September 2014. Drink now.
Wine AdvocateThe NV Brut Majeur shows lovely balance in an approachable, up-front style well-suited to near-term drinking. Clean, mineral notes add a sense of proportion on the fresh, vibrant finish. The blend is 45% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Meunier, 80% of which is from the 2004 vintage, while the rest of the wine is composed of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay reserve wines. Disgorged January, 2010. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2014.