Haton! I Was There
For those of you who read my blog or know me personally, you know I am a big fan of Champagne, Jean Noel Haton. It was amazing for me to actually have the opportunity to go there and meet Jean Noel and toast with his son Sebastian. This review of a new champagne from Haton called Haton Pure, Extra Brut was not only an opportunity to review the wine and drink some affordable bubbles but to also go over the different sweetness levels that are used on Champagne Labels
Extra Dry Is That TOO DRY? No, Less Dry..Huh?
So here’s the scoop. 200 years ago when the method of making champagne by re fermenting the wine in the very bottle you drink it out of for a couple of years by adding sugar and yeast to the bottle, they liked their bubbly very very sweet. On the chart above, to the far right you can see that was called DOUX and contained 50 grams per liter of Residual Sugar (Dom Perignon Moscato lol) Then some years later, they thought to remove just a tad bit of sugar and give a legal window (quite large) of between 32-50 Grams of Residual Sugar called a Demi-Sec or (Semi Sweet) That’s a big variation so be careful if you buy a Demi Sec or what some call now RICH or Some NECTAR Champagne because some can be on the lower end of sweetness with 32 grams of sugar per liter and some can be much sweeter in the high 40’s. Then, we removed some more sugar which allowed champagnes to be called “DRY” and that window of sweetness was between 17-32 grams per liter of Sugar. Now we are getting to the really confusing part for most average consumers. Then we removed even more sugar and allowed 12-17 Grams of Residual Sugar per liter and that is labeled “EXTRA DRY”…Huh?? That’s Right! The next level that many love to buy is “BRUT” which still allows from 0-12 grams per liter of Residual Sugar. If you are thinking…..Hmmm, So Extra Dry Is LESS DRY Than Brut…BINGO. That would be accurate not only for Champagne but all sparkling wines even Prosecco. As you can see, even a Brut Champagne can still have some sugar in the wine and vary from one producer to the next. Wait! There’s More!! Let’s take some more sugar out of the Brut and only allow between 0-6 grams of Residual Sugar (French People ONLY DRINK THIS STYLE) and we have EXTRA BRUT. For me, I go even to the highest level. Yes ONE MORE! Brut Nature only allows maximum 3 grams per liter of Residual Sugar and most have ZERO which is the driest of all Champagnes. This new release from Jean Noel Haton is a Non Vintage or Multi Vintage Cuvee called “PURE” because it is an EXTRA BRUT! I hope this made sense. Just work backwards. All the way from DOUX which is Very Sweet to BRUT NATURE which is bone dry. Voila !!
NV Jean Noel Haton “PURE” Extra Brut
Champagne “PURE” Extra-Brut from Maison Jean-Noël HATON is a champagne characterized by a low sugar dosage. It is comprised from 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir grapes. I think to appreciate a true champagne, Americans need to reduce the sugar (I say that about all wines) and taste the true expression of the grapes and the terroir. 4 Years of Bottle aging before it’s release and very affordable and more artisan than the popular brands on the marketplace that are Not EXTRA BRUT and cost $10-$20 more per bottle than this $37.99 one. Let’s review
As you can see by my screenshot on my phone…what the heck am I doing drinking Champagne at 5:52 AM… Hey…I had the next day off lol. Let’s see if I agree with the Wine Enthusiast reviewer Roger Voss.
Very fine bubbles and a beautiful mousse as you can see in the glass photo. What an elegant nose of peaches at a roadside fruit stand, pear and golden delicious apples and on the end of the sniff some brioche which I love. In the mouth, bright acidity and a rich mouthfeel shows tart apricot and citrus notes of almost quince jelly meets lemon and orange. A long finish showing the “PURE” expressions of both grapes, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. My only complaint about the bubbly was to me it wasn’t a TRUE EXTRA BRUT. It was right on the fringe of borderline Brut and Extra Brut and it may be lower dosage than a Brut but I would prefer more towards the lower end or Brut Nature. I hate to copy Roger but The Haton Pure Extra Brut gets a 92 Points from me as well. So wonderful with creamy runny french cheeses or grilled salmon as I had it with.
It’s wonderful to drink champagnes from houses I have actually been to. Drinking this brought back memories of a great visit to their production facility in Damery. I think if you are tossing out $45-$60 on so called BRUT Non Vintage popular brands (Not Popular In Champagne France but in America) You need to toss out only $37 and taste a lower sugar level PURE 50% Chardonnay 50% Pinot Noir Aged 4 Years in bottle and I think it could be a life changing moment for a lot of people who buy what’s popular not what they truly like. Plus with the Dow Jones dropping and our retirement funds going down the drain, it’s not a bad idea to save $20 bucks and still be able to drink a well made bottle of Bubbly. AND LESS SUGAR IS HEALTHY.!!… MORE “PURE”!!!
Grape-fully yours, Larry