Picked this up for $50 a couple of years ago at K&L. Normally this wine is quite a bit more apparently. This house doesn't make a whole lot of Champagne; according to K&L most of it goes to restaurants in France (Including Guy Savoy...where Sarah and I will probably not go in Paris. Although it sounds fun to go to a Michelin 3 star, I think that perhaps blowing a grand on dinner is a little much. Unless someone wants to comp us or treat us! We'd take that!). Very illuminating to drink this with the Deutz fresh in my head from the other day, as drinking this illuminates the differences in a base level bottling and one completely from Grand Cru vineyards. I don't know much about Champagne, but I can tell you that there is a huge difference between these wines, and they're both from Ay. I am kicking myself for not purchasing another bottle of this wine. Even at 50$--which is expensive as far as I'm concerned--I think this wine is a good deal. Compared to the Deutz, this is from a completely different planet. It's more harmonious, more integrated, and instead of being a little flabby, perfectly balanced. One last thought: I found it more than a little interesting that this is a French Champagne named after a Florentine (Florentine because she was alive pre-unification of Italy via Garibaldi.) woman. Not being particularly up on European Kings and Queens and their ilk (really, why would you retain that knowledge?), I had to look up what the association was. Catherine de Medicis was married to King Henry II from 1547-1559. So I guess the name is not as weird as I initially thought it was.
50% Chardonnay, and 50% Pinot Noir. Completely barrel fermented, which has to be responsible for some of the more interesting characteristics of this wine. Hazelnuts, caramel, and subtle vanilla pastry notes. Dense, rich, perfectly balanced, and suave textures lead into green apples and orange/pineapple flavors lead into an insane, lingering finish. A+