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Our “Champagne of the Month” for October 2018 is produced by Cédric Bouchard who is based in the village of Celles-sur-Ource in the Aube.
Cédric Bouchard’s domaine “Roses de Jeanne” which he named in honour of his grandmother began in 2000 when he took control of 1.37 hectares of vines from his father, eventually taking over the remaining 1.47 hectare estate in 2012. Cédric studied winemaking at the famous Lycée Viticole in Beaune, Burgundy and it is these teachings that have inspired his winemaking, producing only vintage champagnes from a single plot and a single variety of grape.
In the vineyard Cédric concentrates on natural farming methods and although not certified, he works closely to the biodynamic ethos. He strictly controls the yields which can see his overall harvest being a fraction of the permitted total set by the appellation. Meticulous attention to detail ensures the grapes are picked at the optimum moment.
The wines are fermented in stainless steel and enamelled tanks, undergoing malolactic fermentation naturally and the wine is made solely using the first press of juice. They are not fined, filtered, there is no cold stabilisation, no chaptalisation and no dosage. Only indigenous yeasts are used and sulphur addition is kept to a minimum. A long and slow second fermentation helps to create a champagne with a much finer mousse and this is clearly evident on the palate.
The village of Celles-sur-Ource sits at a crossroads or four valleys, home to the rivers Ource, Arce, Seine and Laignes. This valley system continues south into Burgundy to the Côte d’Or and onto Chablis. As a result, the terroir is more akin to that of Burgundy than which is found in the North of Champagne. Kimmeridgian soil from the Upper Jurassic period consists of limestone and marl – a crumbly mixture of various clays with calcium, magnesium carbonates and fossilised sea shells. It is this unique combination which imparts and influences the wines of the region.
“Côte de Béchalin” V07 is a vintage wine where the V07 denotes the harvest (vendanges), thus 2007. It is a blanc de noirs consisting of 100% Pinot Noir. The wine was disgorged in April 2014, meaning that it spent 6 years aging on the lees. Alcohol is at 12.5% abv.
Tasted: 22nd September 2018
Appearance: Pale gold.
Characteristics: Pronounced intensity with primary aromas of jasmine, pear, red apple, honeysuckle, preserved lemon, candied orange, stewed raspberry, roasted pineapple, mango, lavender, prune and a vivacious mineral tone. There are secondary notes of sablé biscuit, freshly baked bread, brioche. Tertiary aromas include marzipan, almond, caramel, butterscotch, marmalade, dried apple, cinnamon, ginger, coffee and tobacco. It is medium bodied with a long finish and a very delicate mousse.
Now is a perfect time to drink this wine but that said, we feel it still has potential for further aging.
Cédric Bouchard is a talented winemaker and it is easy to see why he has built such a reputation among professionals and keen amateurs alike. This is a stunning wine, with a perfect balance between fruit and acidity and depth of flavour. It is well-worth searching for…..if anyone has some left?
Price circa €64.00 (2009)