Laherte Frères, Champagne (France) “Ultradition” Rosé NV

($50, Polaner Selections):  Made entirely from Pinot Meunier, this powerful yet graceful Champagne, shows how that grape, in the right hands, can excel.  The Pinot Meunier comes from old vines, which likely explains the wine’s elegance because that grape is more often used to bring fruitiness, not finesse, to the blend.  There’s certainly powerful fruitiness — wild strawberry-like flavors — framed beautifully by a straight spine.  Barrel-fermentation and aging along with a hefty dose of reserve wines helps explain the power.  But it’s the wine’s elegance and finish that makes you pause.  Great as an aperitif, it’s a wonderful choice for the entire meal.
95 Michael Apstein Sep 11, 2018