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The beautifully crafted “Les Rocheforts” from Champagne Étienne Calsac is our March 2017 “Champagne of the Month”.
Étienne Calsac is a young and very talented vigneron from Avize who cultivates 2.8 hectares of vines in the villages of Avize and Grauves on the Côte des Blancs along with Bisseuil in the Vallée de la Marne. He has been awarded the HVE (Haute Valeur Environnementale) certificate for sustainable viticulture.
The cuvée “Les Rocheforts” comes from a single plot in Bisseuil where the average age of the vines is 29 years. The soil is a combination of chalk and limestone and the slopes have a south/south-east exposure.
Only the cuvée is used and the wine is kept in contact with the fine lees for 7 months prior to bottling. Consisting of 100% Chardonnay, the base wine comes from the 2013 harvest. 15% is vinified in barriques, bottling took place on 23rd May 2014 and it was disgorged in July 2016 with a dosage of 4gl.
Appearance: Pale, lemon, with a fine and persistent mousse.
Nose: Medium intensity with primary aromas of citrus fruit – lemon, grapefruit juice and orange peel. There is some green fruit – pear, with tropical aromas of lychee, fresh coconut pulp and star anise. You also get a little chalk and a hint of salinity. Secondary aromas of toast and hazelnut come from the minimal use of oak and finally tertiary aromas of hay and nuttiness from its time in the bottle.
Palate: Medium bodied with primary notes of fresh lemon, grapefruit, lychee, green apple, pear and fresh coconut pulp. Secondary notes of pastry – lemon meringue pie and biscuit – butter shortbread and a little gingerbread from the lees contact. Clean and precise with a chalky finish.
An outstanding expression of Chardonnay; elegant with a sense of purity. Ideal for drinking now but we suspect this has the ability to develop further with a little bottle age.
Price circa €35.50