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NV Rosé Brut 1er Cru

Veuve Fourny et Fils
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The other night, with a glass of Fourny’s premier cru Rosé in hand, I helped myself to a wingtip and some jammy charred lemon off the platter of roasted chicken my husband pulled from the oven. One sip later, and with holiday feasting front of mind, I dreamt of all the pairings in which I’d cast this copper-hued Champagne in the starring role. The way the burnt bits of citrus and crispy chicken brought out a savory, surprisingly full-bodied quality in the wine, led me to imagine other serendipitous pairings: buttery mashed potatoes, bacon-roasted Brussels sprouts, or chestnut stuffing topped with gravy drippings.
     Fourny’s Brut Rosé is so adaptable thanks to the harmonious blend that fifth-generation brothers Emmanuel and Charles execute so masterfully. They take equal parts Chardonnay, grown on chalky slopes, and Pinot Noir from steep, red clay parcels and craft an homage of sorts to their village’s ancient roots. Vertus, a once fortified town in the Middle Ages, used to be a Pinot Noir outpost, planted almost exclusively to the red grape. Today, the Côte des Blancs is well known for its racy blancs de blancs, but Fourny’s exquisite rosé, akin to a transparent red with a fine bead, boasts an identity all its own. The wine is both lively and mineral, as you’d expect given the Fourny house style, but comes enhanced with a festive fruit profile—cranberry, sour plum, and blood orange. If you’re looking for a Champagne to carry you from apéritif, through the main course, and into dessert, Fourny’s Rosé is the one.

Jane Augustine

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Technical Information
Wine Type: sparkling
Vintage: NV
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 50% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir
Appellation: Vertus
Country: France
Region: Champagne
Producer: Veuve Fourny & Fils
Winemaker: Charles and Emmanuel Fourny
Vineyard: 40 years, .80 ha
Soil: Chalk, Limestone
Aging: Ages in bottle for 2 years before release
Farming: Lutte Raisonnée
Alcohol: 12%

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About The Region

Champagne

map of Champagne

True Champagne must not only sparkle, but also must come from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France and be made using méthode champenoise—a process that involves prolonged aging of the wine as well as a bottle fermentation used to add the sparkle to the finished product. Though wine has been made in this region since at least the 5th century, Champagne as we now know is a relatively new creation. It wasn’t until the 19th century that sparkling wine production took hold on a large scale in much part due to improvements in the strength of glass for bottles and the embrace of French nobility of the sparkling wines of the region.

Only three grape varieties may be used to make Champagne: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. The chalk-heavy soils not only provide complexity and texture to the finished wine, but also act as a natural humidifier thus keeping the vine’s roots warm during colder months of the year. There are grand cru and premier cru designated vineyard areas but unlike Burgundy, there are few lieu-dit vineyards (though in recent years there has been a greater interest in producing vineyard specific Champagnes).

Kermit’s first foray into the region came in 1981 when he began importing the wines of J. Lassalle and Paul Bara—two producers whose wines we still import. In the mid 2000s, Kermit began importing the wines of Veuve Fourny et Fils.

Of Champagne, Kermit says, “You might be surprised to learn that I don’t like a goût de terroir to dominate the taste of Champagnes. If it dominates, you lose finesse. I want some, obviously—but only enough to keep things interesting.”

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Old cob-webbed wine bottles

Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.

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