One of the original grand marques, Ayala was founded in 1860 by Spanish aristocrat Edmond d’Ayala. Owned by Bollinger since 2005, Ayala is often described as ‘feminine’ in style. This is due to a higher percentage of Chardonnay in the blends; the purity that low dosage brings and fermentation in stainless steel tanks to retain freshness and pristine characters. Ayala has an enviable supply of Grand and Premier Cru fruit with an extremely high rating on the échelle des crus. Interestingly, Ayala’s haute couture dry blends are crafted by one of the few female cellar masters in Champagne, Caroline Latrive.
The NV Brut Majeur shows lovely balance in an approachable, up-front style well-suited to near-term drinking. Clean, mineral notes add a sense of proportion on the fresh, vibrant finish. The blend is 45% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Meunier, 80% of which is from the 2004 vintage, while the rest of the wine is composed of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay reserve wines.
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