Francophile wine “pusher” Martin a.k.a. Caviste recently released this year’s batch from Champagne producer Pehu-Simonet. It’s the second year he does that at about this time of year, and I tasted them last year as well.
Pehu-Simonet is located in Verzenay, a Pinot Noir-dominated grand cru village in the Montagne de Reims part of Champagne. Some of their vineyards are located in the surrounding villages, including Verzy, Sillery, and Mailly.
Selection Brut Grand Cru NV
70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, base vintage 2011. Bottled in April 2012 and disgorged in January 2014.
Nose with ripe apple, in particular red apple, bread, and some flowery notes. The palate shows good fruity notes and concentration, with rather apply character, good acidity and some mineral. Approachable now, fruity but still rather firm style, 88 p.
This bottle had been open for about 3 hours. A bottle just opened came across as somewhat more firm and with more mineral notes and less fruit-dominated. This indicates a Champagne that is still rather young.
I also took a sniff at last year’s release of the same Champagne (base vintage 2010) that showed somewhat more developed and bready notes. So one year in the cellar apparently makes a difference in this case.
Brut Rosé Grand Cru NV
80% Pinot Noir of which 10% red wine, 30% Chardonnay, base vintage 2010. Bottled in April 2011 and disgorged in March 2014.
Nose with red and green apple, wild strawberries, slightly bready, and a hint of herbaceous notes. Palate with red apple, with an impression of a fresh bite into a tart apple, noticeable minerality, good acidity, and an aftertaste with mineral. 87-88 p.
Here my impression was that the 2010 vintage character came through when it was placed next to the 2011-based white version. This means higher acidity and less concentration of fruit. This release of the rosé might benefit from some time in the cellar.
I also tasted last years’s release of the rosé. Interesting enough, it’s exactly the same batch as this year, as both are 2010 base vintage and were bottled in April 2011. They differ by a bit more than a year in their disgorgement dates, i.e., this bottle had been longer on its cork. The nose is a bit more smoky with a more pronounced wild strawberry note. Palate of wild strawberries, red apple, good acidity, and a slightly herbaceous note. 88 p.
Blanc de Noirs Brut Grand Cru NV
100% Pinot Noir, base vintage 2010. Bottled in April 2011 and disgorged in March 2014.
Nose with ripe apple, both red and yellow apples, and a discrete flowery note. Palate of apple, good concentration, powerful minerality, and good acidity. Comes across as rather young, became a bit more flowery in the glass, so it will probably benefit from cellaring. 88-89 p.
At present less fruity than the regular Brut (that is 2011-based), but not as firm as the rosé (that is 2010-based).
Basically, my impression of the Pehu-Simonet Champagnes is the same as last year: they are well-made in a rather fruity style and show good concentration. To some extent, they come across as a bit firmer than last year’s batch, and they would benefit from at least some months in the cellar (or perhaps a year), but I suppose this is because two of them are 2010-based and are quite recently disgorged. However, they are not really made in a style that really calls for extended cellaring. There’s a positive element of “good and uncomplicated” about them.
Swedish version here.