Champagne Castelnau is releasing the second of its limited edition Hors Categorie cuvees, a Champagne bottled in 2012 that will retail in the U.K. for about 100 pounds ($140) a bottle.
The blend is unusually high in Pinot Meunier, a variety that Castelnau's Managing Director Pascal Prudhomme said has ``long aging characteristics'' and adds to the wine's fruit character. Pinto Meunier accounts for 45 percent of the blend, Pinot Noir 40 percent and Chardonnay 15 percent.
The Champagne is made from premium grapes supplied by Castelnau's growers, who have a total 900 hectares (2,224 acres) in the region. Much of the Pinot Meunier comes from the Vallee de la Marne.
Prudhomme said 85 percent of the wine has been aged in barrels, some from Burgundy and some from the Argonne region of eastern Champagne.
While the previous Hors Categorie was a combination of the 2008, 2009 and 2010 vintages, the latest edition is 85 percent from the 2010 crop and 15 percent from 2011, so has more of a single vintage character to it.
Castelnau produced 3,500 bottles and 600 magnums of the Champagne, which is branded CCF 2067, after the Col de la Croix de Fer pass on the Tour de France cycle route, which is at an altitude of 2,067 meters (6,781 feet). Castelnau supplies the official Champagne for the epic annual race.