This estate is small and lovingly tended by José and his wife Joëlle who took over from her father Serge Faust in 1972. Their son Christophe joined the historical 250 year family legacy in 1997. Their benchmark brut is, unusually, 100% Pinot Meunier which gives a fresh, full-flavoured and eminently drinkable champagne. Also popular is the rich, toasty and nutty Brut ‘Cuvée’, in a more mature and restrained style.
Vineyard size 8.5 hectares. Organic since 1971.
Jose and Joelle
Champagne Rosé ‘Oeil de Perdrix’ AC, Ardinat
After many years of producing their delicious and more deeply pink Rosé Champagne, the Ardinats have decided to ‘move with the market’ by creating this champagne in a lighter pink and (arguably) more delicate and elegant style.
Its name means ‘The eye of the partridge’ and making wines in this style (and with this name) is a tradition which dates back to the Middle Ages in the Champagne region. At that time local wine-makers were in competition with their counterparts further south in Burgundy, and since the latter had riper grapes to work with they were able to make the fuller-bodied red wines which were in demand at that time.
So Champagne began experimenting with creating a fuller style of white wine from red wine grapes that they could uniquely market. Despite their best efforts, they didn’t have the technical expertise to make a truly ‘white’ wine from red grapes, instead producing slightly pale wines which became known as Œil de Perdrix. Centuries later, a Benedictine monk named Dom Pérignon would eventually perfect the method of producing white wine from red grapes that would be a vital component in the success of sparkling Champagne wine.
With light pink and orange tinges, this wine is quite full on the nose with fleshy fruit and pleasing, faintly smoky notes.
It’s soft and generous on the palate with hints of apple, quince and brioche.
This is a great apertif of course but it also accompanies hot desserts well. Less obviously, try it with sweet and sour Asian cuisine.