In the Aube region, 70 miles south of Epernay, Bertrand Gautherot is making some very fine Champagne. Recent focus on his wines of expressive terroir & individuality has now brought him to the world’s attention.
As well as fruit trees, vegetables, some cows & chickens, Gautherot meticulously tends 5 hectares of vineyard, which, as a pioneer of biodynamic practices, he ploughs by horse. In 2001, after his friends Anselme Selosse & Jerome Prevost convinced him to stop selling grapes to the local cooperative, he started to produce Champagnes under the Vouette & Sorbee label (named after his main vineyards).
All the wines are vinified in oak barrels with indigenous yeasts & minimal sulphur; then disgorged by hand and bottled without dosage. These are Champagnes with pure expression of place. Packed with richness & ripe flavours, perfection is quality not quantity; very little is produced here.
The Fidele cuvee is made from 100% Pinot Noir, grown in the Kimmeridgian limestone of the Cote des Bar – just under 40 miles north-east of Chablis - and displays a deep richness. 93% is from the most recent vintage, with the remaining 7% from a reserve that started in 2001. Typified by vibrant red & blue fruit, Gautherot describes this as ‘a dangerous wine, as it’s so easy to drink!’
The Blanc d’Argile is a densely knit & richly textured zero dosage blanc des blancs. Yields are kept low and the wines show a beguiling combination of salinity & flinty minerality with nut & stone-fruit qualities.
We’re delighted to offer you, for the first time from Seckford, these two wonderful wines. Our first allocation is on its way; so please order without delay.
Blanc d’Argile (2016)
£310 per 6 IB
This comes from a low yield of Chardonnay produced from a massale selection from Anselme Selosse’s Avize Vineyard and a Dauvissat Chablis Grand Cru. Oak aged in 4-10yo 500/600ltr barrels, it is richer and more complex than many blanc des blancs but at the same time has a tightly wound acidity, like a great Chablis with bubbles.
£255 per 6 IB
The vines for this brilliant champagne are planted in the lieu-dit of Vouette, on a Kimmeridgian limestone slope facing south. It offers a rich gold colour, typical of low-yielding Pinot Noir and on the palate is vinous with a zesty, mineral vitality. Given a little time in the glass, and served ideally at 12 degrees c, it evolves constantly, revealing layer after layer of flavour. Zero dosage.
100% Pinot Noir