Stanislas, director of export and son of owner Alain Thienot, walked me through a tasting of Thienot’s entire portfolio. I must say, the saddest thing was learning that they are not presently on the U.S. market and that they don’t have plans to reenter this market this year. In 2009? I hope. It’s true that the last time I tasted a Thienot was in a bistro in Rheims. Actually 80% of their total production is sold to restaurants.
Now here is a champagne with fantastic label designs. I found the “La Vigne aux Gamins” label especially intriguing (photo above). The design is minimal: white type on a black label on a black bottle. The typeface used here is the one used on all the plaques (indicating grape variety, vintage and village) down in the champagne caves where batches of still wines are stored. I have never seen anything like it.
My favorite wine from Thienot was the brut rosé from old vines in Aÿ. The base wine is from the 2004 vintage blended with about 7% red wine from the 2003 harvest. This is the type of rosé I’ve been searching for: subtle and elegant. I wish more producers would tone down their rosés in both color and taste. It would be easier to have with food, especially raw seafood.