Œnothèque: Our library of previous Champagnes of the Month  May 2016

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Our “Champagne of the Month” for May 2016 is the utterly delicious cuvée Fidèle which comes courtesy of Bertrand Gautherot, winemaker at Champagne Vouette et Sorbée from the village of Buxières-sur-Arce in the Aube.


Certified Biodynamic by Demeter since 1998, Bertrand allows nature to shape his stunning wines with as little artificial interference as possible.


The 5 hectares that constitute Champagne Vouette et Sorbée’s vineyards are more Chablis than the traditionally accepted terroir of Champagne. The flora, fauna, climate, geography, plant density and Kimmeridgian limestone soil would certainly be at home in the famous white wine region of Burgundy.


In the winery, a gravity-fed Coquard press ensures no need for pumping, a method which increases oxidation in the juice; the consequence of which is to counteract the potential harmful oxidation with the addition of SO. This gravity-fed method allows Bertrand to avoid adding SO, allowing the naturally forming Sulphur in the grapes to protect the wine. Natural yeasts induce spontaneous fermentation negating the requirement for chaptalisation. The wine is fermented and aged on its lees in fûts de chêne to bestow upon it depth and body. Malolactic fermentation is allowed to occur naturally in the barrels and the wine is neither fined nor filtered. Rémuage is achieved in the traditional method, by hand with pupîtres; disgorgement is also traditionally effected by hand – a process known as à la volée.


Cuvée Fidèle consist of 100% Pinot Noir, without dosage and from a single harvest – the rear label divulges the clue after the disgorging date. “R11” on our bottle denotes the 2011 harvest or récolte which was disgorged on 4th November 2014.


Fidèle is a wine full of flavour, deep and intense: figs, hazelnuts, spice, dark berries and candied fruits are evident. It is so easy to fall head-over-heels in love with this fantastic, natural champagne.


Price circa €45