Grower Champagne for NYE 2020
This year has been...a lot. A lot of sadness. A lot of grief. A lot of trauma. And a lot of loss.
But with the Winter Solstice behind us and a new year on the horizon, it feels as though we are at a point where hope & optimism feel realistic. It has taken all of us a lot of work to get here and our work as a society still has a long way to go, but for now...
It's time to celebrate making it through this year! With a special kind of champagne, of course.
For those that have never had grower champagne, there is no better time than now to treat yourself, and few growers better to try than Vouette et Sorbée.
Think of these wines as time capsules from sunnier days. Bright moments of past years that emerge from the bottle to remind you of loved ones and connections in your life that still exist despite their lack of tactile presence.
Unlike champagne "houses" who purchase fruit (of questionable quality) from thousands of farms throughout the Champagne region and then construct the same product yearly; "Grower" champagne is made by those who farm their vines and seek to express their singular terroirs & vintages.
Bertrand Gautherot's five-hectare estate is named after his two primary vineyards: Vouette on Kimmeridgian soil—the fossilized oyster-laden marl that it shares with Chablis—and Sorbée on Portlandian soil, also found in Chablis, further up the slope.
Bertrand farms his estate biodynamically; its vineyards have been Demeter certified since 1998. Grapes are harvested by hand, then delicately pressed by a vertical Coquard press to obtain only the finest juice. In the cellar, the wines ferment spontaneously and are only moved by gravity in order to retain their aromatic complexities. All of Vouette et Sorbée's cuvées are single vintage wines, so they offer a transparent lens into the soil and season they came from.
Fidéle Brut Nature (vintage 2017, disgorged Nov. 2019) -- $75
Made from 100% Pinot Noir, this is a vinous & ageworthy cuvée; light peach in color with notes of citrus, red cherry, apple, and herbs.
Blanc d'Argile Brut Nature (vintage 2016, disgorged Dec. 2019) -- $98
This is 100% Chardonnay from a single site of low-yielding vines. Showing its proximity to Chablis, the wine revels in notes of briny sea shells, white orchard fruits, preserved lemon, and orange blossom honey.
Textures Brut Nature (vintage 2017, disgorged Sept. 2019) -- $115
Only the fifth release of this avant garde cuvée; made of 100% Pinot Blanc. Bertrand vinifies and ages Textures both in barrel and clay amphora for nine months, adding fresh grapes once the primary fermentation finishes, for added richness and nuance. Textured :P and full of Pinot Blanc's distinctive floral and herbal characteristics.
Saignée de Sorbée Brut Nature (vintage 2014, disgorged Nov. 2017) -- $122
A rare and singular wine, this is a 100% Pinot Noir, single vineyard rosé that sees carbonic maceration. There's a combination of floral and spice tinged fruit, game and minerals. Akin to drinking sparkling red Burgundy!