Standout Mountain Sparkler: 2011 Belluard Mont Blanc

Posted by Joe Salamone

Standout Mountain Sparkler
2011 Belluard Ayse Mont Blanc Brut Zero

Every year, Belluard's Mont Blanc is stunning. It's one of the best sparklers outside of Champagne.

We recently opened a bottle of the 2011 and really enjoyed it. As good as it was on release, it has blossomed with some additional time in bottle.

Mont Blanc comes from a single parcel (Belluard's highest altitude site) that's composed of iron-stained clay and limestone. It's bottled without dosage and shows an amazing sense of completeness and balance. There's a deeply tactile impression of minerality that's beautifully offset by the wine's cut.

Dominique Belluard has devoted the majority of his attention to the Gringet grape, an obscure local variety in his corner of western Savoie. Of the 22 hectares of Gringet in Savoie, Belluard works 12 of them. Belluard's wine swiftly developed a cult following. It's always fun to watch how shocked people are when they taste them for the first time.

The most fame that Gringet has achieved has been for sparkling wines. Back in the 19th Century, Ayse was famous for its sparkling wines. Tasting Belluard's Mont Blanc, it's clear that the area and Gringet have a natural aptitude for sparkling wine. And Belluard takes it to the next level. There are few if any sparkling wines outside of Champagne that I prefer to drink.

The 2011 Mont Blanc boasts an unusually powerful smoky minerality. There are also notes of yellow plum, flowers and herbs. It's incredibly clear and pure with a fine core of acidity. Mont Blanc ages really well in the midterm - we're offering 4-packs for that reason. As good as it is today, the 2011 will be even better in five or so years.

Belluard is turning out some of our favorite wines. They're captivating and so obviously made following the most rigorous methods. The 2011 Mont Blanc makes this clear.

To order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits