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Our “Champagne of the Month” for August 2019 is produced by Etienne and Anne Sandrin who are based in the beautiful village of Celles-sur-Ource in the Aube. Etienne and Anne took over the family domaine in 2006 and since 2015 have been working the vines biodynamically. They have just under 10 hectares at their disposal within the village. Including Etienne and Anne, there is a team of four who are responsible for all work in the vineyards as well as tending the vegetable garden, caring for their bees and picking plants to be used in producing herbal remedies for the vines.
The cuvée “A Travers Celles” is an undeclared vintage – coming from the 2014 harvest but without being labelled as a vintage wine. It consists of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Blanc from three locations within the village limits.
Firstly, the Pinot Blanc for which the Aube was rightly famed comes from a single plot “Grille Besace” that was planted in 1961. It has an exceptional micro climate, planted on a stony plateau with a Western exposure it is cooled by fresh winds. We were surprised to find that there was only 20% Pinot Blanc in the blend as it is particularly evident.
The Pinot Noir comes from two plots, “Mouille Brant” which is planted on marl and limestone with a Southern aspect (looking towards Burgundy) and “Vieux Moulin” which is planted on white and brown clay with a North Eastern exposition. All of these plots bring something different to the wine which has a pronounced mineral character. The preservation of this character is aided by the fact vinification takes place in cuve inox. Malolactic fermentation was carried out, the bottle was disgorged on 21st November 2017 with a dosage of 3gl and sealed with a Mytik cork. Alcohol is at 12% abv.
Tasted: 21st July 2019 at 18:35 (flower day in the lunar calendar)
Appearance: Pale, lemon.
Characteristics: Pronounced intensity with primary aromas of lemon juice, lemon peel, grapefruit, elderflower, chamomile, kaffir lime leaf, wet raspberry leaf, raspberry, bergamot, juniper, rose, green mango and blueberry. There are secondary notes of fresh bread, bread dough, yeast and toast .Tertiary aromas include hay, nutty, hazelnut and honey. The mousse is delicate and the finish long.
This is a delightful wine with a real vibrancy. The mineral structure is particularly enjoyable and you really do get a sense of the wine’s origin. Despite only contributing 20% to the blend, the Pinot Blanc is both pronounced yet delicate; such a great balance. A Travers Celles is intended to be drunk whilst young to preserve its primary fruit; that said we believe it has the potential for further ageing and would be fascinated to try this same wine in a few years time.
Price circa €42.00