Bulles de Comptoir 'Tradition' #9 NV
A Wine That
makes you cock your head to one side and rethink Champagne. This is so complex that it almost makes you want to shake out the bubbles to see what it would be like as a wine; and that's the true sign of a great Champagne; the bubbles aren't hiding anything here but rather amplifying the incredible raw materials. A wine for savouring and sharing with best friends only.
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- Winemaker: Charles Dufour
Where and How?
From the rebel of the grower Champagne movement, Charles Dufour, comes the ninth edition of Bulles de Comptoir. This is Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc from the Upper Jurassic clay-limestone soils of the Côte des Bar in Champagne. The vineyards are found in the Ource Valley, Landreville 80%, Celles sur Ource 10% and Essoyes 10%.
80% of the wine comes from the 2018 vintage, with the rest from his perpetual reserve wine [2010-2017], aged in casks. The wine is naturally fermented, and the 2018 portion is aged in barrels and small vats for one year on the lees. Tirage took place in October 2019, and disgorgement in January and March. Dosage is 'extra brut' (<2g/L), and the total sulfites are <10mg/L.
The Winemaker: Charles Dufour
When Champagne is mentioned, it’s often the Champenois heavyweights who spring to mind first. Closely followed by the sound of clinking glasses; an over-bubbly aperitif spilling from the sides of a tall fluted glass. It's the ultimate expression of celebration. But these days, the growing movement of Champagne winemakers who also farm the land are turning what's often seen as a luxurious, brand-led product into a wine that's all about farming; it just happens to have bubbles.
Charles Dufour is the rebel child of this movement, which has been dubbed _grower Champagne. _Born to a family of winemakers residing slightly off the beaten track of the region down in the Côte des Bar, his approach to winemaking is an embodiment of recent changes in the region; it’s as much about organic farming and terroir, as it is courage and conviction.
It’s of little wonder that Noma – cheerleaders of food and wine with a point of view over the usual ‘greatest hits’ lists – present one of Dufour’s cuvées, Bulles de Comptoir, as their house Champagne. And if that isn’t enough, Dufour’s foray into Côteaux Champenois Blanc will propel the category forward; just wait and see...