Made from low-yielding biodynamically-farmed chardonnay vines, this blanc de blancs is unusually dense and powerful. The nose is briny and infused with citrus. On the palette, this wine offers complexity for days: straw and dried fruit mingle with flinty Chablis-like minerality. Like the Fidele, this wine will also become more expressive with cellaring and/or decanting.
The Aube, home to Champagne’s far-flung Cote-de-Bar sub-region, used to be considered a second-rate appellation. This all changed about twenty years ago, when the region became a hotbed of artisan grower-producers and experimental mavericks. The transformation of this region is due, in large part, to the vision of small farmers like Bertrand Gautherot, the pioneering vigneron behind Vouette & Sobée. Believing in the unique potential of his land, Gautherot stopped selling his grapes to negociants for blending in 2003, and started producing small amounts of his own terroir-expressive wines.
Gautherot was an early advocate of biodynamic viticulture (his vineyards have been certified since 1998) and natural winemaking. Both his wines, and his approach in the cellar, are utterly original. He only makes single-variety wines (Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir) from his estate. These wines are fermented with indigenous yeasts, a rarity in champagne. They receive minimal to no added SO2 and are released without dosage (Brut Nature).
“Like many artisan Champagnes, the Vouette et Sorbee are wines first and foremost. They should be opened in advance, given some air and served in regular white wine glasses, never flutes. All of the wines are fermented in barrel, using only indigenous yeasts. There is no cold stabilization, fining or filtering and the wines are bottled with no dosage. When the wines are on, they are among the most exciting wines being made in Champagne. Bertrand Gautherot crafts gorgeous, handmade wine loaded with personality.” Antonio Galloni
“The Champagnes of Vouette et Sorbée are uncompromisingly original, possessing deep, vinous aromas and assertive personalities. These are wines before they are Champagnes, and their intensity of character makes them more suitable to contemplative drinking or to accompanying food than to casual sipping. They are clearly the products of a natural philosophy of viticulture, with all that that implies in the French wine world…” Peter Liem, www.champagneguide.net