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Michel Chapoutier will unveil his first Champagne in less than three years’ time.
The Rhône-based winemaker bought half a hectare of vineyard with Champagne Devaux back in 2008, and the two producers plan to launch a vintage prestige cuvée in 2014.
According to Lauren Gillet, president of Union Auboise – Champagne Devaux cooperative, the upcoming release will use Pinot Noir from 35-year old vines from the land bought by Chapoutier and Devaux, as well as Chardonnay from a range of growers.
The Pinot Noir vineyard is located in Les Riceys in the Côte des Bar on a site, which, due to its southeast exposure, is capable of producing Rosé des Riceys as well as Champagne.
The Chardonnay comes from a range of parcels owned by growers supplying the Devaux cooperative, and Gillet tolddb that the new cuvée would use only white grapes from the chalky slopes of the Montgueux hillside, close to Troyes.
In terms of vineyard practices, Gillet said that Chapoutier would like to employ biodynamics, but presently the co-owned vineyard was farmed “sustainably”, using “very few pesticides and no weedkiller”.
The Champagne will feature Michel Chapoutier’s signature but will be packaged as a brand extension of Devaux, according to Gillet.
He also explained that around 6,000 bottles were being produced of the vintage Champagne, which will have no dosage, and won’t undergo malolactic fermentation.
“We want to make a Champagne with a long ageing capacity,” stated Gillet.
Union Auboise – Champagne Devaux holds almost 1,500 hectares in the Aube and Côte des Blancs and acquired the Devaux brand in 1986, although the cooperative was already producing wine for the Champagne house.
Chapoutier, who is a lover and avid drinker of Champagne, makes wine from several appellations in northern and southern Rhône, as well as from Roussillon and Alsace and has collaborative projects in Portugal and Australia.
Story by Patrick Schmitt
Courtesy of The Drinks Business