Vouette et Sorbée Blanc d'Argile NV

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Aube, Champagne, France
Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, minimal additional sulphites
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Show-stopping biodynamic grower Champagne that will have the hairs on your arms standing on end. Truly sublime and unforgettable wine. This comes from low-yielding vines in the lieu-dit Biaune, a cool parcel planted alongside the forest on Kimmeridgian soil. The chardonnay vines are massal selections from Selosse’s Avize and Dauvissat's Chablis Grand Cru vineyards. Oak aged in 4-10 year-old 500/600ltr barrels before bottling for 'élevage sur lattes', it is richer, deeper and more complex than many blanc de blancs but still with tightly wound acidity and salivating minerals – like a top Chablis Grand Cru with fine bubbles. This is a 2017 bottling, disgorged in 2020.

The jovial and outspoken Bertrand Gautherot is a vigneron at heart. He started back in 1986 tending his family’s vines in Buxières-Sur-Arce, on Jurassic limestone hillsides nearer to Chablis than Reims, selling grapes to Champagne houses. A deep respect for his terroir and concern for his young family triggered a conversion to biodynamic farming (Demeter certified as early as 1998) leading the way to sustainable viticulture in the Côte des Bar and the Aube region as a whole - a long-lasting inspiration for the younger generations of local growers.

Meticulous viticulture has been practised for more than two decades, yields are tiny, grapes are pressed by an old traditional wooden Coquard press, the wine isn’t pumped or fined and filtered, low SO2 is added at press only, ageing occurs in new to 8yo barrels (fûts for pinot noir and 500/600ltr barrels for chardonnay), and all his champagnes benefit from a couple of years bottle age after being disgorged without dosage.

Bertrand also likes to point out that all the operations in the cave are carried out by people who work in the vines – definitely not the golden rule in the region!