In a nutshell: A rich and fruity Champagne from an independent family owned House in the Marne Valley.
The lowdown: Champagne Gratiot-Pillière is a small family owned House now run by brothers Olivier and Sébastien whose family have been growing grapes in the Marne Valley since the 16th century. The Marne Valley is renowned for growing Pinot Meunier which usually accounts for the smallest part of the traditional Champagne blend with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir dominating, apart from a few distinguished examples, however Gratiot-Pillière's Tradition Extra Brut is 80% Pinot Meunier which means it has a wonderful abundance of a fruit and richness.
Straw gold with fine bubbles in the glass. Complex aromas of yellow stone fruit and citrus, quince, plum and honeyed notes lead onto a fresh, dry, delicate and just thoroughly enjoyable palate.
When to drink: Asides from as an aperitif try with oysters, smoked salmon or sashimi.
The small house of Gratiot-Pillière, situated in the town of Charly-Sur-Marne, has been handed down through the generation since 1657 and is, today, in the hands of the 11th generation of the family in the shape of brothers Olivier and Sébastian Gratiot. Their vineyards are spread across local sites from Chely-Sur-Marne to nearby Azy-Sur-Marne and extend to 18 hectares in total. They are a good example of a classic, small Champenois grower-producer who are focussed on producing excellent value Champagnes at value for money prices.