Single Vineyard Exploration
The beauty of the blend has been synonymous with Champagne for centuries, so it wasn’t until the 20th century that the idea of focusing on the purity of one specific vineyard, let alone labelling it as such, took shape. Wines from Philipponnat, Clos des Goisses and Cattier, Clos du Moulin started the ball rolling in the 1950s and ‘60s, but it was with Champagne Krug and the magical Clos du Mesnil that the concept really took off. At the time, many Krug lovers (including some of the family) laughed at the idea, but a decade later the first vintage was released and the rest is history.
Since then single vineyard Champagne has become synonymous with high quality, low yield, terroir focussed winemaking and many Maisons have followed suit. The innovative growers we work with at Sip offer some of the most exciting and unique single vineyard wines available – they tell a story, represent authenticity and bring you closer to the heart of Champagne. Here are six of our favourites...
Pure Chardonnay from the brilliant 2012 vintage, 25% oak vinified with 1g/ltr. This is spot on! Warm, fudgey nose full of grass, chalk and a complex chewy note. The first sip gives all of that and then this lovely crisp depth, which is brilliantly achieved with a central explosion on the palate. It clearly needs time but there is already so much here; heather honey and this unique midpalate grip. Superb texture with this delightful chalky, slightly creamy mid to late. What a wine!
With over 400 years of family history in winemaking, Alexandre now works with 6 hectares across several fabulous plots to create rich, penetrating wines. This pure Pinot Noir is made from the single vineyard in Verzy of its name with 4.4g/ltr. The front end is rich and intense leading to a palate that brilliantly expresses the chalky nature of this village, whilst the finish is rich, round and long.
Didier creates wines with incredible structure, complexity and an engaging character and this is no exception. 100% Chardonnay, 8g/ltr. Made from a single vineyard in Rilly la Montagne, it’s a proper tropical treat with loads of fiery pineapple, roasted nuts and oak. The palate leads in really nicely but remains strict and compact with notes of aniseed, mint and liquorice. There’s such amazing length and a wine that develops beautifully in the glass.
A smokey bomb of a wine made from pure Chardonnay from the village of Verzy. The nose reveals what you would initially take as Pinot fruit, but on second pour there’s an introduction to some exotic notes of starfruit, a pinch of citrus pith and chalk. There is a lovely juicy weight to this wine and a nicely balanced back end. With every glass you feel the complexity build and build. This is one for the ages and will capture you for a few hours as you investigate its depths.
100% Chardonnay with 0g/ltr. Powerful tropical nose with baked apple and a sprinkle of sea salt. There is a tremendous level of complexity on the front end bringing some candied notes to the apple. The first sip is sensual, full of finesse and then this brooding, oaky power. On returning to the glass, you are hit with more tropical notes, layered with the oak. There’s so much texture and lateral weight, loading up with more sea salt and lime peel.
Fourth generation winemaker, Adrien, makes this wine from a single vineyard ‘Le Mont’ in Louvois which was planted out in 1961. 100% Pinot Noir with just 2.5g/ltr, this is one of just 660 bottles made! Gushingly generous up front with loads of strawberry and other sweet forest fruits, the palate shows a wonderful creaminess with a complex layer of salinity. The concentration of the saltiness on the mid palate is divine!