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Our “Champagne of the Month” for February is produced by Charles Dufour from the village of Landreville in the Côte des Bars. Charles has 6 hectares at his disposal which are located in Celles-sur-Ource, Essoyes and Landreville. Certified Biodynamic, Charles has been working his estate organically since 2013. When Charles began to work for himself, his father offered him the pick of the family plots. He explained to us that he didn’t necessarily choose those plots deemed to be the best but rather those with which he had a connection and which made him the happiest. Standing at the top of the lieu-dit “Le Champs du Clos” in the stunning valley system at the confluence of the rivers Ource, Arce and Seine and after tasting his vibrant wines, it is easy to understand his philosophy.
Charles tends to the vineyards himself, using herbal remedies to combat disease. In the winery only indigenous yeasts are used and vinification takes place in old Burgundy barrels or foudres. The wines do not undergo fining or filtration and there is no addition of sulphur. Malolactic fermentation is allowed and dosages are either negligible or non-existent. Charles is a charming and extremely talented young winemaker. His wines are always beguiling and downright delicious. Made in small batches and such is his reputation for excellence; these wines sell very quickly!
“Orange Sanguine” is certainly individual much like Charles himself. It is a rosé and orange wine rolled into one. A rosé champagne made in the traditional saignée method is made much like a red wine but with a much shorter period of maceration. Whole bunches of black grapes are pressed gently and the skins are left in contact with the juice for a period of time so that the black grape skins colour the white juice and in doing so add a little tannin and structure. Orange wines are made in the same way but with white grapes. Here we have a blend of the two. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc are pressed and macerated together, producing a pinkish/orange wine. Vinification in old Burgundy barrels offers further structure to this funky wine.
“Orange Sanguine” is a vintage wine coming from the 2016 harvest and born from the three villages in the Vallée de l’Ource: Celles-sur-Ource, Essoyes and Landreville. Here the soils are from the Upper Jurassic period, clay and limestone with fossilized sea shells. The wine consists of 60% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Blanc, macerated for 1 week without any addition of sulphur. Vinification took place in old Burgundy fûts with indigenous yeasts. The wine was afforded 12 months resting on the lees prior to racking and there was no fining nor filtration. It was bottled in November 2017 and disgorged without adding sulphur in March 2019 with dosage at 3gl (rectified concentrated must); alcohol is at 12% abv. Just 1500 bottles were produced.
Tasted 18:05 Saturday 25th January 2020 (root day in the lunar calendar not an ideal tasting day!)
Characteristics: Pronounced intensity with primary aromas of raspberry, raspberry leaf after heavy rain, wild strawberry, ripe pear, windfall apples, Bramley apple, apple compôte, blood orange, pink grapefruit, pomelo, candied orange peel, guava, blackcurrant, blueberry, lavender, violet and kirsch. There is a discernible earthiness on the finish and some delightful, grippy tannin. There are secondary notes of toasted brioche, vanilla, pastry - galette des rois immediately springs to mind and butterscotch. Tertiary aromas include almond, walnut, marzipan, dried apple, marmalade, lime curd, forest floor, caramel, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and a delicate hint of leather. Medium (+) in body, the mousse is delicate and the finish long.
Whilst this champagne is drinking superbly now it would definitely be suitable for further ageing if you have the patience! Once again Charles Dufour has created a sublime, interesting and thought-provoking wine. Utterly delicious and versatile, this cuvée is equally at home as an aperitif or as a gourmet wine, capable of pairing with a multitude of dishes. A must try…did we mention how good it is?
Price circa €38.00