A Wine That
bestows layers upon layers of flavours upon your palate. A triptych is a work of art that is divided into three sections; and this is a wine that comes from the three primary grapes of Champagne: it is Pinot Noir dominant, with Pinot Meunier and a splash of Chardonnay. In addition, it comes from three vintages: 2011, 2013 and 2014, and from three soil types; chalk, loam and clay. On first opening, it is tightwound, mineral, smoky and saline, with lime rind and cranberries. With a few minutes in the glass, it starts to open up and show its savoury side: thyme, juniper and bay leaves. It's a wine that keeps on giving, with new flavours emerging continually. Tasting this will explain to you in a single sip why grower Champagne can be so brilliant.
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- Winemaker: Timothée Stroebel
Where and How?
This is 60% Pinot Noir, 30% Pinot Meunier and 10% Chardonnay from Timothée's organic vineyards in Villers-Allerand, in the Montagne de Reins subregion of Champagne, planted on chalk, loam and clay soils.
The base wines were all fermented naturally and aged in bottle separately, before being blended with the liqueur de tirage added, and aged again together in bottle. It was disgorged and left as a Brut Nature, although a tiny touch of sugar remains naturally, which gives the wine a very gentle roundness on the palate. Unfined and unfiltered, with just a little touch of sulphur added at bottling.
Champagne, despite its lofty reputation, has borne the brunt of chemical farming, perhaps more so than any other French wine region. It’s thanks to an increasing handful of growers like Timothée that the soils here are beginning to slowly recover from decades of chemical abuse. They are leading the way, and others are beginning to follow, a little like a positive version of a vinous Pied Piper. The ecosystem doesn’t die; instead it strengthens and flourishes.
Timothée achieved his organic certification in 2014 after over a decade's work to regenerate his soils. He works almost without machines, instead working his soils by horse and plough with his own two horses, Bijou and Quina. All his vineyard work is carried out with the goal of promoting soil health; in order to boost the vineyards’ ecosystem and attract insects and birds.