Val de Mer Brut Non Dosé Sparkling Wine, Burgundy, France

Val de Mer, which loosely translates to ‘Valley of the Sea,’ is a second winery owned and produced by Patrick Piuze. Patrick’s partner, Moutard-Diligent, hails from Champagne and no doubt has a hand in the fine sparkling wines produced under this label. The winemaking is very similar to his own, eponymous line: both are hand-harvested, both are spontaneously fermented, and the élèvage is the same. 100% Chardonnay, sourced from vines over 25 years of age in a vineyard planted on limestone and clay soils in the town of Tonnerre (10 miles from Chablis, but no longer Chablis appellation). All the grapes are hand-harvested, and it is fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks before undergoing secondary fermentation. It then spends 9 months on the lees before it is disgorged and no dosage is added. This wine has aromas of toasted brioche and hazelnuts, hints of caramel, with golden delicious apple and lemon citrus, with a chalky minerality and dry crispness on the palate.