Culture Actuality

Tour in the Champagne Region: the Côte des Blancs

If in the previous articles we dedicated ourselves to discovering the Montagne de Reims first (Tour in Champagne Region: the Montagne de Reims) and the Vallée de la Marne after (Tour in Champagne Region: the Vallée de la Marne), today we continue the tour of the Champagne Region deepening the Côte des Blancs, third macro-region, together with those mentioned above and the Côte des Bar or Aube.

This article will also be an opportunity to give you some tips on our favorite Champagne of the Region, from the famous Maison to the talented Vigneron, to be tasted and shared during the holidays, on special occasions, but also in any convivial moment, because it is always the right time for a Champagne.

The geography of the Côte des Blancs

The Côte des Blancs is located in the Marne department and is extended for about 20 km south of Epernay; includes 69 villages of which 6 Grand Cru (Chouilly, Oger, Mesnil-sur-Oger, Cramant, Avize, Oiry) and 9 Premier Cru.

With a total of 6.096 hectares of vineyards, the Côte des Blancs owes its name to its main grape, Chardonnay (from which the Blanc de Blancs are obtained) which covers about 84.9% of the vines area, while Meunier and Pinot Noir represent 7.9% and 7.2% respectively. By convention and simplification, the wine-growing areas of Côte de Sezanne and Vallée du Petit Morin, Côte Vitry and Montgueux have also been linked to this area, as Chardonnay is the dominant grape variety here too.

The soil is the craie one, a calcareous-chalky sedimentary rock of marine origin formed by the sedimentation of microorganisms, oysters and belemnites, in a shallow sea between 90 and 75 million years ago. Its role is fundamental as it is a hydro-thermal regulator capable of storing water and heat and releasing them at a later time, when the plant needs it most.

And after the geography of the Côte des Blancs, how better end our tour of the Region than by telling you about the great Champagne of the area?

Our selection of Champagne Blanc de Blancs

Here is our selection of the Maison and Vignerons who have made their mineral, fine and elegant Champagne Blanc de Blancs a distinctive and recognised sign throughout the wine scene.foto_2-1.jpg

The Champagne Extra Brut PM.03 Éditon by Pertois-Moriset is a Blanc de Blancs made from 100% Chardonnay coming from the Grand Cru vineyards of Pertois-Moriset family in the Côte des Blancs. Limited edition, it is a Champagne of remarkable elegance, the nose is an explosion of yellow fruits and white flowers, in the mouth it is surprising for the very fine perlage and the aromas of toasting, yeast and pastry. Currently the Domaine Pertois-Moriset is in the hands of his son Dominique and his wife Florence and they are part of the famous Club Trésors de Champagne, an association of Champagne vignerons that is committed to the defense of quality, conservation of terroirs and small producers.

The Domaine Bolieu, led by Laurence and Charles Baffard since 1988, is located in Bassuet, where the terroir is unique and exclusive and produces a full-bodied Chardonnay with citrus and exotic notes. Their Champagne Extra Brut l'Instant B. 2008 is a Blanc de Blancs made from 100% Chardonnay from the best selected grapes of the Côte des Blancs; 2008 harvest, aged on the yeasts for about 117 months. Fresh and mineral, lively citrus notes of lemon light up on the nose, chalky and iodized notes; floral notes of bergamot and fresh mint. The palate confirms the nose: fresh and creamy with an important mineral and saline imprint.

foto_1-1.jpgIn the municipality of Oger, in the heart of the Côte des Blancs, stands the Domaine Demière-Ansiot, a family-run property that cultivates 8,5 hectares of vineyards classified as Grand Cru. Winegrowers since four generations, today the estate is led by Nicolas Demière.The Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2015, 100% Chardonnay is a 2015 Millésime, and ages for about 5 years on the yeasts. Hints of fruit, citrus and mineral notes for this Blanc de Blancs, which is full-bodied, persistent and well balanced.

Jacques Diebolt is one of the best winemakers in the area with around 13 hectares located mainly in Cramant, Choully, Cuis and Mesnil sur Oger. The Champagne Prestige is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes coming only from vineyards with a classification Grand Cru of Côte des Blancs. It is a high-level Cuvée where the wines ferment in steel and then remain in barrel until the choice of the three vintages that will make this balanced and perfect assemblage, with floral, fresh and mineral notes.foto_3-1.jpgRené & Lucien Legras founded the Maison R&L Legras over 200 years ago in the village of Chouilly, 100% Grand Cru of Côte des Blancs. The Maison is currently managed by the sixth generation of the family. Their Champagne Cuvèe Président Vieilles Vignes 2013 is composed by 100% Chardonnay and is produced only in the best vintages, it ages in the cellar for over 4 years expressing its characteristics of freshness and finesse at its best.

The Maison Taittinger needs no introduction: it is one of the great French families that has significantly contributed to the success of Champagne in the world. Champagne Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2011 is the best example of the style of the Maison Taittinger and it’s always a vintage cuvée. It is produced with 100% Chardonnay grapes coming from 5 Grands Crus villages of the Côte des Blancs: Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Oger and Mesnil-sur-Oger. Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs ages for over 10 years in the Maison's gypsum quarries under Saint-Nicaise, before being disgorged and delighting the palates of Champagne lovers.

It goes beautifully with fish dishes such as crayfish and lobster, so why not grant yourself to this Champagne in a special occasion?

Discover here the selection of GLUGULP! Champagne