2016 PRINTEMPS DES CHAMPAGNES TASTING
10 different winegrowers grouped together under the same roof for a day of tastings in Reims the 17th of April. This event of Le Cercle des Créateurs de Champagnes Confidentiels promoted champagnes vinified or matured in Champagne oak barrels. A unique opportunity for wine lovers and professionals to discover oaken cuvées in the richness and diversity of their expression.
Le Cercle des Créateurs de Champagnes Confidentiels – The complexity of oaken cuvées
“Confidential” for the rarity of their cuvées and because their champagnes provoke, besides emotions, confidence and dialogue for those who tasted them. Le Cercle des Créateurs de Champagnes Confidentiels brings together 10 talented champagne producers; Independent winegrowers, cooperative, co-op grower or even wine school… the association is all about diversity. Through this group, these producers want to share their know-how, spread it and attempt to progress in the excellence.
10 artists for 10 oak cuvées
After a first tasting the day before, Le Cercle host us in the beautiful Rome Lounge at the Hôtel de la Paix in Reims. The main theme of the event was the wines aged in barrels; used not to modify the aromas but to reveal them. During the tasting, the winegrowers introduced the professionals their production, made them taste their cuvée and explained their approach.
The champagnes introduced to wine lovers have their own character – different terroirs, grape varieties, blends, dosages… – but they have in commun their roundness, vinosity, complexity, power, freshness, evolution notes – including sweet bun, dried fruits, honey, tobacco, cinnamon, licorice, woody…
Independent winegrowers, Christine and Vincent from Champagne Piot Sévillano are the 8th generation on the estate. Located in Vincelles and certified in High Environmental Value, they create round and elegant champagnes with a supple palate. Their oaken champagne vinified with the Burgundy method – cuvée Interdite – develop spicy and mocha notes with a nice complexity.
Located Villers-Marmery, the House Boutillez-Marchand produces unconventional Blanc de Blancs champagnes but Marion and Jean Michel also creates a Ratafia from their Chardonnay must, Marc and Fine de Champagne. Aged in oak and vinified with the Solera process, the Boutillez-Marchand Ratafia develops a complex and spicy palate with wide aromatic pallet with fig, dried apricot and honey notes.
For over 20 years now, the champagne Caillez-Lemaire from Damery age 1/3 of their production in barrels. Their wines are expressive with strong personality. The cuvée Jadis is a blend of the three major grape varieties vinified 8 months in oak for complex, vinous and fresh character.
Passion and authenticity, Champagne Cossy is using an approach combining perfectly tradition and modernity. The oak cuvée L’Instant 2010 is a Blanc de Blancs aged 6 to 8 months in vat. The Brut Nature dosage highlight the character of the Chardonnay and the purity of the wine. During the tasting, the champagne develop a well-balanced minerality with fruity and biscuit notes.
Champagne Albin Martinot, independent winegrower in Jully-sur-Sarce, certified in High Environmental Value, produces 3000 bottles of their cuvée Rollon. Matured and vinified in oak, bottled under cork, this wine is made from a 50% of Pinot Noir and 50% of Chardonnay blend. The nose develop pastries and citrus notes while the palate is round with dried fruit and vanilla aromas.
Benoît Diot, a winegrower of Cramant, produces from his vineyard of Chardonnay, one creative cuvée from the best of his harvest: cuvée Subtil. Pure expression of his different plots, this oaken cuvée is complex but harmonious, a perfect reflect of the Chardonnay grown on chalky soil of the Côte des Blancs. An elegant and well-balanced wine with delicate notes of vanilly and white fruits.
For Champagne la Villesenière located in Boursault, the oaken cuvée offered to the visitors during the tasting is a Rosé de Saignée made by maceration. Laurence and Cyrille creates exceptional wines with authentic and distinctive character. The Rosé has developed intense aromas with red fruit notes. The style of the cuvée is vinous with mineral notes and a structure to age.
The brand from the cooperative of Janvry, Prestige des Sacres is specialized in the Pinot Meunier but each grape variety is grown on a terroir that reveals the expression of the grapes. La Cuvée Boisée is the perfect balance between the roundness of the Meunier (30%) vinified in oak and the acidity and freshness of the Chardonnay (70%). The vinification in oak brings light and elegant woody notes highlighted by the low dosage.
Located in Hermonville, Champagne Minière F&R vinified their cuvées exclusively in oak barrels and without malolactic fermentation to preserve the freshness. Aged for 6 years in the cellar, the cuvée Influence developed complex and candied notes. From its long aging, the wine reveals chocolate aromas well-balanced with the freshness of a vinification without malolactic fermentation.
“A creative desire to give birth to a champagne full of life, one that reflects our identity”, that is the philosophy of Champagne Crucifix Père & Fils. Sébastien creates champagnes that are made from the best of what the nature gives him. Each cuvée reflects the expression of the terroir, bringing maturity and interesting notes of caramel. The cuvée Signature aged for 6 months in oak barrels and 7 years on lees for light woody and vanilla aromas.
Among with the oaken cuvées presented during the tasting, the wine professionals had the opportunity to taste the 2015 still wines of each producers and two other champagnes in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.