Ayala Rose #14 2014
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.
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. Founded in 1860, Ayala is based in Ay with the focus on Chardonnay. Caroline Latrive, who is originally from Reims, is the chef de cave, having assumed the role in 2011. She was previously at Champagne Bollinger, which purchased the house in 2005. All the wines are vinified in small stainless-steel tanks and go through malolactic fermentation, and they receive relatively low dosage levels ranging from zero to seven grams per liter. In 2018, they built an additional winery that increased the capacity by 3,300 hectoliters.