Benoit Lahaye Bouzy Rouge NV (2012) (Coteaux Champenois, France): Bouzy Rouge… absolute best wine name ever. Try to say it without smiling. Nearly impossible. Yes, it’s Bouzy, (a village in the Montagne de Reims area of Champagne) not ‘boozy.’ But it sounds the same. It’s a Coteaux Champenois – a catch-all for "still wines made in what would otherwise be called Champagne if they were sparkling."
I will admit, I am a bit obsessed with these wines, and Benoit Lahaye’s is the one that set me off. It was probably over five years ago (oh how time flies!) that we had one at the shop in a line-up of random bottles brought over by John’s friend from France. There were some stunning wines open, but the Lahaye Bouzy Rouge was my favorite. It was delicious – gorgeous red Pinot Noir fruit with a bright, firm core of minerality. The elegance, purity, and focus of Burgundy combined with the liveliness and drinkability of really good Beaujolais. There was also a certain element of wanting what you can’t have: like all Coteaux Champenois, this one is made only in tiny quantities, and it wasn’t currently for sale in the US market.
Fast forward to now, and there’s a quiet buzz building around Benoit Lahaye’s bubbles. (Google him, and you’ll find plenty of background, including an early piece by Champagne-sage Peter Liem.) And his Bouzy Rouge? Two years ago I managed to beg, plead, and pester dear importer Jeffrey Alpert into getting me five cases. Last year, with interest in Lahaye and Coteaux Champenois building among the wine retail set, I managed to get one case. This year, I pulled rank and snagged two. We couldn't resiste opening a bottle at the shop and it's as delicious as ever.
So if you’re looking for something special and value rarity, a good story, and sheer deliciousness, then this is your wine.
SALE PRICE: $59.99