CHAMPAGNES have always been famous for their lovely, sweet bubbly taste but the best of champagnes are the ones that are pure and fruity like the Ayala Champagnes.
The Ayala Champagne house was set up by Edmond de Ayala who was invited to Champagne, France by the Viscount of Mareuil. Ayala fell in love with the Viscount’s beautiful niece Gabrielle d’Albrecht and Ayala received the Chateau of Ay as well as some prime vineyards located in Ay and Mareuil sur Ay as part of his wedding dowry in 1860. The house was bought over by Societe Jacques Bollinger and is still owned by the Bollinger family.
Ayala produces some 700,000 bottles a year and is very particular about low or no dosage (less sugar or no sugar) dry champagnes.
Ayala’s export manager, Raynond Ringeval was in town recently to host a champagne review at the Pressroom in Bangsar Shopping Centre with Ayala’s award-winning champagnes.
“Ayala is leading the way in pure champagne with natural expressions. We let the wine speak for itself with low amounts of sugar,” said Ringeval.
He also said the champagnes could be enjoyed as an aperitif, with a meal or just on its own.
During the meal, Ringeval served three varieties, the Brut Nature ‘Zero Dosage’, ‘Brut Majeur’ and the ‘Rose Majeur’.
The ‘Zero Dosage’ has the same blend with the Brut Majeur but with no dosage. It is made from Pinot Noir (45%), Chardonnay (30%) and Pinot Meunier (25%) and is aromatic. The blend is dry and shows complexity and works well as an apperitif.
“This wine goes really well with sea food, caviar, scallops, lobster, Sushi and Asian food,” added Ringeval.
It was served with Clarified Butter Toast with Aquitaine Caviar, Cured Salmon with ginger and Whole Grain Mustard.
The champagne brought out the sweet taste in the Cured Salmon and accentuated the flavour of the Caviar.
Next on the menu was the Chicken Breast with Black Truffles and Creamy Champagne Sauce served with the Ayala Brut Majeur NV.
The same blend with the ‘Zero Dosage’, this champagne has 15 grams of sugar per litre which is half the amount found in other brands.
It is ideally paired with seafood but works really well with white meats just like the tender chicken breast. The richness of the Creamy Champagne Sauce was a perfect blend to the delicate, fruity Majeur.
Champagnes are wonderful with desserts especially Strawberries and Ayala’s Rose Majeur was ideally paired with the Chocolate Opera with Strawberry Foam.
The first whiff from the glass reveals a beautiful blend of red berries that is enhanced by the Chardonnay (51%). The thick slice of Chocolate Opera Cake was a delightful end to a meal with a delicate champagne.
The Champagnes are distributed by Sunrise Wines Sdn Bhd.
The Ayala Brut Majeur is priced at RM229 per bottle while the Ayala Zero Dosage is priced at RM240 per bottle. These two are available in retail at Cold Storage, Mercato, Village Grocer and Vintry.