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Aubry

This was one of the visits that I was least sure about what to expect.  When I told many of the other producers I was coming here, they made a face or told me how grumpy the brothers are.  Interesting, considering they're in to sustainable farming, odd grapes, interesting production methods, and generally pushing the boundaries.  I think it's more a generational thing.  Most of the producers I met with were younger, between 30-45, where as the Aubry twins were older.  Regardless this turned out to be a great visit.  

When I arrived I met Philippe, who was on first appearance a funny little frenchman, he was very proper and helped me with my French.  He spoke almost no English, so another good opportunity to practice.  That being said, I'm really glad this wasn't my first visit,  that would have been rough. We jumped right into the tasting, no tour, no vineyards, which I was okay with.  You can only see so many wineries before your eyes glaze.  He gave me a brief break down of where the grapes come from - Jouy-les-Reims, Villedommagne, Pargny-les-Reims, and Coulommes-la-Montagne, all in the heart of  western part of the Montagne de Reims, also known as the Petite Montagne. The expositions vary between south and west, with soils primarily being chalk and clay.  

Interestingly, the Aubry brothers have all 7 of the grapes of Champagne planted, which is awesome, and even better that I was able to taste these wines with recent experience with the other grapes during other appointments like Bereche and Laherte.   We started with the brut classique which is always an easy and playful wine, followed by the rosė classique. As we tasted, Philippe realized I actually had a pretty good palate, and brought out his book of flavors that I've heard about and for the rest of the tasting we played name that flavor ranging from tangerines, hazelnut cookies, red currants pineapple, tonic, earl grey tea, and lots more fun.  

At some point Philippe's twin brother Pierre came down stairs and kind of grunted a hello before moving along.  Maybe the other winemakers had a point.  Regardless, we tasted through the line, and it was one of the most fun tasting I did during my trip.  Between the complexity of the wines and playing name that flavor I really enjoyed myself.  We moved on the the 2008 of both the Le Nombre d'Or Companie VV and Blanc de Blancs both of which were fascinating and complex.  

We then started moving into some of my favorite wines of the trip:  Ivorie et Ebene 09 which is 70% chard, 25 meunier, and 5 Pinot.  It was loaded with flavor, lots of dark fruits, honeycomb, floral tones, cider notes, overall a delightful wine with lots of complexity but very friendly at the same time.  Sablė Rosė 2008 - without a doubt one of the wines of the trip.  Made with 45% vin tache from pinot and muenier.  Vin tache is the slightly pink juice from the start of the pressing that is usually blended with enough white to remove the color.  The rest of the blend is 15% chard, 20% arbanne, 29% petit meslier, and 5% rouge.  So much complexity here.  Peaches, bark, floral notes, gummy bears, loads of depth, complexity, great acid, and only fermented to 4 bars of pressure instead of the regular 6.   We finished on the Aubry de Humbert, named after the first stone placed in the cathedral of Reims. 1/3 each of the three main grapes with long aging.  This wine was fascinating with lots of aged and oxidative notes - coffee, bark, chocolate, hazelnut, honey, orange, mature wine that was delicious with a long finish and pleasant acidity. 

It would have been great to do a vin clair tasting here, just experience these components on their own.  It would also have been great to have better glassware.  The stems were the awful little flutes that don't do anything good for the wine.  Can't wait to revisit these wines are home with good glasses!