Devaux is a champagne house located in Merrey-sur-Arce, on the banks of the upper River Seine. However it was not always based in that sleepy village, instead being one of the many houses located along the Avenue de Champagne in Epernay (the same stretch of road as Moet, Perrier Jouet & Pol Roger).
Originally Devaux was founded in 1846 by two brothers, but over time was notably managed by a number of key women. One of these ladies; Claude-Joseph Devaux was widowed at the young age of 39, and under which the house became known as Veuve A. Devaux. She passed the reigns to her son, whose early death brought about the second Devaux widow; Augusta-Maria.
The house was maintained by the Devaux’s until the late 1980’s when the last of the family line; Jean-Pol Auguste (who was without an heir) entrusted the business to the Groupe Vinicole Champagne co-operative.
Today, the house is noted for its exclusive use of first press juices and the use of oak barrels for aging its reserve wines – which feature heavily in its entry level offering; Grand Reserve Brut NV.
From: Bar-sur-Seine, Champagne, France
Cost & Source: ~$50 a Bottle from Dan Murphy’s
Blend Ratio: Pinot Noir/Pinot Meunier/Chardonnay (70/0/30)
Aging: 3 Years minimum
Disgorged: March 2015
Sipped: Late September 2016
In The Glass:
Look: A soft honey colour, with a robust medium sized fizz or reasonable vigour.
Smell: Devaux Brut Reserve offers a very yeasty, bready aroma laced with jams and fresh citrus fruit.
Taste: Devaux Grande Reserve offers a well placed honeyed introduction on the tongue which it follows up by transforming into a fairly crisp, dry and fruity middle, in which you will find the zesty freshness of lemon rind mixed with the flavour of outer rockmelon (as in the part closest to the skin).
It’s fairly bitey in acidity (but not overly) and delivers on its “Brut” (Dry) nature. Reasonably pleasant to drink.
Notes: I was fortunate enough to be able to taste Grande Reserve and other Devaux Champagnes at a recent event, and the Rose was quite enjoyable.
Party Potential: I think that Devaux could be considered for your next hosting, but given the price tag and the label it is a very abstract choice – it is also hard to buy in very large quantities. It presents good value in terms of quality if you place it head to head with other bottles near the same price. It does offer a good BYO offering because it is a lesser known brand who’s nice golden label will pique interest from your friends.
As a Gift: It would make a good present for more discerning drinkers if you are looking to spend $50. It would do well as a bring along to a dinner you have been invited to and one that is intended to be popped that evening. It is a good quality champagne and is available in gift boxes.
At Home: This make some fancy dinner party fare for crowds of say, 2-4 people – especially if you are doing a tasting. This would also make good fare at the Xmas table before the turkey comes out.
Matching: Devaux’s tartness makes for a very good aperitif matched with cold seafood and salty cheese tarts. It will also go well on its own, too!
Score & Verdict:
At first a bit of an unknown quantity, but as you get to know them you come to enjoy their sweet little charms and ability to deliver a snappy punchline. An honest and good time, without much pretentiousness.
At $50 I feel it is good value for the quality.
How did I drink it?
I had some friends over for a lunch (turned also into dinner) party where we had this over the afternoon.
How did you drink it?
And how did you find it? Let me know!
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