ayala no.14 brut rose 2014 750ml
N° 14 is the third opus from the “COLLECTION AYALA,” a set of cuvees produced in limited quantities, unveiled only as they approach their peak level of drinkability. This ephemeral cuvee is 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir — including Grand Cru Aÿ red wine.
Thanks to its extended ageing in the cellar and a low dosage of 5.3 grams/liter, N° 14 expertise, the ephemeral cuvée N°14 is composed of the five emblematic Grands Crus that form the backbone of the House’s blends. Caroline Latrive wanted to work the crus in equal proportions, exclusively from the 2014 vintage and for the first time in a rosé version.
Ayala currently owns 35 acres in Champagne. Thanks to its privileged location in the heart of the Grand Crus of Montagne de Reims and their link to Bollinger, they also have unique access to top quality grapes. The 2014 Vintage is sourced from 5 Grand Crus.
The heart of the Grands Crus which compose the House’s blends:
-Chouilly: for its elegance and balance.
-Cramant: for its chalky minerality.
-Le Mesnil-sur-Oger: for its tension and ageing potential.
-Aÿ: for its upright, firm character.
-Verzy for its upright, firm character.
Produced in an exceptional vintage, with the most pristine fruit sourced from the top grand crus villages, the No.14 has been crafted with the very best techniques permitted in winemaking practices in Champagne. After the primary fermentation has taken place in small stainless steel vats, a precise blending, and secondary fermentation is complete, the wine will age slowly in the underground cellars at the Ayala Maison for 6 years. During this extensive aging process, the wine will have been sealed in bottle via cork rather than crown cap. This detail is anything but, as all processes (riddling, disgorging, administering the liqueur d’expedition) after corking the bottle during aging must be executed by hand by the cellarmaster and her team. After aging for 6 years, each bottle will be disgorged by hand and given a low dosage of 5.3g/
2014 marked an exceptional year: After the sunniest June in 50 years, which resulted in a fairly early flowering, the months of July and August in particular were the coldest for almost 50 years. The quality of the grape was definitely there; the acidity was preserved by the cold summer, and parasites were kept at bay by a bright September, which allowed a beautiful maturity. There was a great balance achieved between maturity and acidity in the grape musts.
Bright color with delicate rose-gold tints revealing a fine bead and subtle effervescence. Fresh and acidulous nose. Notes of morello cherries, red currants and cherries. Frangipani flowers mingle with the delicacy of mango, lychee and passion fruit. Lively and generous attack, revealing the unctuousness of vanilla and the freshness of zesty lime. Chalky and mineral mid-palate wrapped up in warm notes of cocoa and blood orange. A finish of
candied ginger accompanies a sweet bitterness of grapefruit. A firm hold on the palate with length and amplitude.
N°14 will add vibrancy and contrast to fine and spicy dishes such as a carpaccio of sea bass with mango and pink peppercorns. Between richness and delicacy, it will pair equally well with a shoulder of lamb with sweet spices or a beef tartar and shellfish reduction. For a sweet note, a pavlova with Mara des Bois will subtly balance the lovely bitters of this vintage.
94 points, Wine Enthusiast
"This is the third in a open-ended series of limited-production Champagnes numbered after the vintage in which they were produced. This new iteration is now beginning its rich maturity, with five Grand Cru villages at its heart. It is a finely textured wine with weight and dryness mitigated by the ripe fruit. Drink now."
93 points, Decanter
"There's a pronounced character of long lees ageing, with salty, savoury flavours of lees dominating the undertone, and the lees ageing seems to impart a body and richness of texture as well. It's complex, still fresh with the core of Chardonnay. (Panel Tasting)"
93 points, James Suckling
"Plenty of strawberry character with iron, peaches and hints of chalk. Full-bodied with medium, round tannins and a spicy, cotton-candy and orange-peel aftertaste. Drink now."
92 points, Jeb Dunnuck
"A very different expression, the 2014 Champagne No 14 Brut Rosé is a pale peach hue, with a subtle and attractive perfume of lilac, tangerine, and cantaloupe. It has more racy and compact tension on the palate, with a soft, chalky texture that lifts cleanly. There is nice, snappy energy to this wine, which can be drunk over the next 10 or so years."