Guiborat ‘Téthys.16’ Grand Cru

Cramant, Champagne, France NV (2016)

Richard Fouquet had his eye on making Champagne since he was very young. So by the ripe old age of 18, he had moved to the family Domaine at edge of Cramant and began his tutelage under his grandmothers watchful eye. The estate has been there since 1885 and they’ve long been a grower for Laurent-Perrier, keeping a small amount of their very best Grand Cru fruit to make the Guiborat wines. Richard and his wife Karine now run the show and they are making insanely good wine that fully embodies everything that is special about Grower Champagnes. This cuvée is called ‘Tethys’ named after the Greek goddess of the sea and the name of the ancient ocean which previously covered Champagne. And although this wine has ample minerality, it is truly a celebration of Chardonnay’s beauty and power. 

Guiborat Champagnes are always ripe with bright aromatics and this one is all jasmine flowers and citrons and white melons. Reminds me of when you find the perfect melon by smelling the rinds in a produce aisle. Tart mango, almonds and river stones chime in with perfect harmony on the palate and then it fires the salivary glands into overdrive. Drooling may occur, but fear not, such is the shameless and crude nature of true Champagne lovers. 

FINE DETAILS

100% Chardonnay all 2016 as the name hints, though it’s not bottled as a ‘vintage’ Champagne. From Grand Cru sites in Cramat, Chouilly, and Oiry. Organic Farming. 7 months in stainless, then blended and spends 30 months on the lees. Dosage is 4.5 grams.

BOTTLE TAG

All jasmine flowers and citrons and the perfect white melon (found by smelling the rind in the produce aisle.) Tart mango, almonds and river stones chime in with perfect harmony on the palate and then it fires the salivary glands into overdrive.

Barrat-Masson ‘Fleur de Craie’ Extra Brut

Sézannais, Champagne, France NV (2016)

Aurélie Barrat and Loïc Masson are a husband and wife team that are truly living the dream. Their winery borders the Marnes and Aube, perched right on the edge of the Champagne border. Or, as Loïc would say “No, this is not the edge, it’s where Champagne begins.” They took over the family property, swiftly converted to Organic farming and have found a fine balance between traditional and modern technique to create these amazing small batch wines. They vinify the grapes from each of their small plots individually, about 10% in older barrel, but essentially do everything they can to make sure this cuvee is a transparent window to the fruit they grow in their deep chalk soils. 

Crunchy, chalky and snappy. Green apple tartness with both the scent and flavors of lime leafs. The minerality reminds me a bit of gunpowder (think old school cap guns from childhood), as well as earthy white sage and a touch of saltiness. The acid profile tightens the cheeks for sure, but the sensation is almost like something spicy as opposed to just straight mouth watering. This would be magic sauce with oysters or some good sashimi.

FINE DETAIL

100% Chardonnay all from the 2016 vintage, even though it is not considered a ‘vintage’ Champagne. Organic farming. 9 months on fine lees in 85% stainless, 15% barrel. Sur lattes 24 month, 3 months in bottle before release. This bottling is Zero Dosage.

 

BOTTLE TAG

Crunchy, chalky and snappy. Green apple tartness with both the scent and flavors of lime leafs. The minerality is gunpowder-y as well as earthy white sage and a touch of saltiness. This would be magic sauce with oysters or some good sashimi.