Champagne David Coutelas Brut Cuvée Tradition
8 hectares/under 5,000 cases annually
The Coutelas family has been growing grapes in the Marne Valley since before the French Revolution, but they didn’t start bottling their own Champagne until 1910. The Cuvée Tradition is from the village of Villers-sous-Chatillon and is 50% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir & 25% Pinot Meunier, fermented in oak (no malolactic) with 9g of residual sugar. It’s a blend of three vintages; the base vintage is 2008. This is a lively champagne with loads of citrus and lemon zest with a touch of almond and apples on the finish. Refreshing from start to finish, it’s the perfect match for fancy brunches and the festive ringing in of the new year.
Domaine Cheveau Macon Fuisse “Les Grandes Bruyeres” 2012
Domaine Cheveau was established in 1950 by André Cheveau; today his two grandsons run the estate, which is situated on 14 hectares around Solutré-Pouilly, and extends into Davayé in the Maconnais and Saint Amour in the Beaujolais. All harvesting is done by hand and the wines are fermented and vinified parcel by parcel. Total estate production is less than 5,000 cases.
Notes from the importer: Approximately 6000 bottles are produced annually from 40 year-old vines in the village of Fuissé. Planted to limestone-clay soils, these vineyards produce a typically generous, rich wine from this village famed for its ideal setting that yields some of the finest wines of the Maconnais. In this instance, after fermentation, the wine is raised in stainless steel but left in contact with the fine lees for one year. Virtually the entire production of this wine is dedicated to the US market.
Chateau Thivin Cote de Brouilly 2013, Beaujolais
Chateu Thivin, built into the side of an ancient volcano, is the oldest estate on Mont Brouilly, dating back to the 15th century; it has been in the Geoffray family since 1877 and has hosted many famous writers & journalists over time. The writer Richard Olney is responsible for introducing importer Kermit Lynch to the estate, proclaiming it the best producer in all of Beaujolais. Farming here is organic (conversion will be complete by 2020) and the vines are an average of 50 years old, with some over 90.
The Cote de Brouilly comes from 8.5 hectares that sit upon the steep, blue-stone slopes of Mont Brouilly. This wine can be enjoyed in its youth, but can also age for close to a decade. Right now it is fresh and floral, with notes of wild strawberry and black pepper. Have it with terrines & paté, roasted poultry, duck breast and goat cheese.
La Roche Bussiere Flonflons 2012, Cotes du Rhone
Importer notes on the estate: Located northeast of Vaison-La-Romaine in the southern Côtes du Rhone, Antoine and Lawrence Joly work 18 hectare of organic vineyards making some of our favorite wines in the region. They maintain a freshness and lightness in their wines by dedicating themselves to very intense vineyard work that allows them to harvest earlier than several other producers in their area, resulting in less concentrated and lower alcohol wines.
Antoine’s family has run the estate since the early 1970s (his grandfather was a beekeeper in the area and his father Pierre returned to live a more simple life after his involvement in the Parisian student riots of 1968). Pierre was a pioneer of organic viticulture in the Rhone and the vineyards have been certified since the 1980s, although he sold most of the grapes to the local co-op when he started. Antoine and Lawrence took over in 1999 and, since 2003, have vinified 100% of the harvest themselves.
Flonflons is mostly Syrah and Grenache from 2.5 hectares of vines averaging 25 years old. It’s fermented and aged in concrete and bottled unfiltered and unfined with little to no sulfur.
The Fizz is finished. Long live the Fizz!
Ok, there’s nothing more we can say. We’ve set them up, you’ve knocked them down, and now we’re doing it one more time before we put a cork in it, so to speak: Tonight is the FINAL FARMER-FIZZ FRIDAY of 2013. We hope you can join us! Then be sure to visit us again tomorrow for our Thanksgiving wine and beer tastings.
And speaking of thanks, thank you to everyone who reads this longwinded newsletter, to everyone who shops at our dusty little store, and to everyone who has ventured out and made our Fridays extra special this month – may the Fizz be with you!Dosnon-Lepage Blanc de Noirs “Récolte Noire” Aube Valley, 100% Pinot Noir (own 2 hectares, farm 4 additional leased hectares)
Located less than an hour north of Chablis, the Aube valley has more in common with northern Burgundy than with the rest of Champagne, including the soils, which are Kimmeridgian (limestone and fossilized oyster shells). Simon-Charles and Davy are intent on showcasing the Aube and the sometimes overlooked wines of the region. Their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir based champagnes are rich and mineral-laden. Fermented entirely in former Puligny-Montrachet barrels, the wines are elegantly focused with delicate fruit, but there’s a savory quality, an earthy intensity (mushrooms perhaps?) that really sets these wines apart from the pack. These wines are unfiltered and unfined, with very low dosage, which intensifies the mineral characteristics.Thierry Triolet Grand Reserve Brut NV Cotes de Sezanne, 10 hectares planted primarily to Chardonnay
The Triolets are one of a growing number of families who’ve recently begun estate bottling their champagne. They own 10 hectares in & around the village of Bethon in the Cotes de Sezanne. Their vineyards are farmed with minimal intervention & are planted almost entirely to Chardonnay; only wild yeasts are used in the production. The Grande Reserve is made entirely from Chardonnay and stays an average of 3 years “sur lie” before disgorgement. Dosage is 11 grams. This is a staff favorite, a rich, satisfying champagne – it’s utterly balanced, clean, refreshing & pure.Guy Larmandier Cramant Grand Cru Blanc de Blanc 9 hectares, 7500 annual case production
From the Rosenthal website: The cellars of Champagne Guy Larmandier are located in the village of Vertus at the southern base of the Cote des Blancs. This estate owns 9 hectares of vineyards, all located within the Cote des Blancs and distributed amongst the Grand Cru rated villages of Chouilly and Cramant and the 1er Cru rated vineyards of Vertus and Cuis.
Guy Larmandier established this domaine which, following his death, is now supervised by his wife, Colette, and their two children, Francois and Marie-Helene. Harvest is conducted manually, the Champagnes are aged a minimum of 36 months on the lees and the Champagnes destined for the US market are disgorged on order and receive a minimal dosage so as to emphasize the purity and finesse of this special terroir.
Made exclusively from Chardonnay grown on the Grand Cru rated slopes of the village of Cramant; aged for a minimum of 36 months, this Champagne is a blend of two successive vintages; it expresses the exceptional finesse and delicacy as well as the piercing chalk-like minerality and high-toned aromatics of this remarkable Grand Cru.Perseval-Farge Brut NV “Terre de Sables” Montagne de Reims 4 hectares/calcereous-clay & sandy-clay soil Planted to: 50& PN/35% CH/15% Pinot Meunier Small plot of Arbanne, Petit Meslier and Fromentot (Pinot Gris)
From the Wine Traditions website: Champagne Perseval-Farge is a 4 hectare estate in the 1er Cru village of Chamery which is in the heart of the Montagne de Reims. The Perseval family traces its roots back to the early 18th century in the village and today it is Benoist and Isabelle Perseval who carry on the tradition. Benoist farms sustainably, what he calls “viticulture integrée” with the commitment of taking care of the land for future generations. Atypical of Champagne, the Perseval’s four hectares are largely in one single parcel with the greater portion being on the mid to upper slope with calcereous-clay soils and the smaller part on the lower slopes with sandy-clay soils. Besides his commitment to sustainability in the vineyard, Benoist has worked to decrease the use of sulfur in his winemaking and at 26 to 35g per liter, his dose level is below 50% of the norm.
The Terre de Sables is a blend of one third each Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. It is also a blend of vintages, with the base of 50% coming from 2006 and the rest a blend of 2007, 2004 and 2001. The cuvée is made from grapes grown on the domain’s sandiest soils and is sharply marked by it, with notes of marine minerals being supported by bright acidity. The Champagne is held “sur lattes” for four years before disgorgement and finished with a dosage of 7g/L.
When we tasted this wine at the seminar in NY, we were blown away by it’s multi-faceted personality. It’s a cool champagne with a whole lot going on, from high-toned fruit and flowers to spicy low-tones of sandalwood and other yet-to-be identified foresty notes. And salt! The salty finish takes you by surprise, but it’s there and it sort of cried out for oysters. Mmmmm….oysters…
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