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Brilliant New Champagnes from Alexandre Filaine!

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Our friends at the tiny, Connecticut based import company: Transatlantic Bubbles recently brought us a couple of new Champagnes to try. TB, as the name suggests, specializes in Champagne (in fact they import nothing else) and works with a few of our favorite small growers: Vincent Laval, Marguet, also Raphael Bérèche and Aurélian Laherte, though not in the New York market where those wines are distributed by other companies. The fellows at TB are passionate about what they do, and they never fail to bring us very good Champagnes. Six months ago, when we heard these fellows were in hot pursuit of a new grower in Damery, we couldn’t wait to taste. The process of getting the wine into the country took some time and as it turned out the wines were well worth the wait. We are pleased to welcome the wines of Domaine Alexandre Filaine.

Damery is a quaint town along the Marne River; its next door neighbor is Cumières, where Vincent Laval makes some of the most soulful Champagnes to cross our paths. Located in the southern Montagne de Reims, bleeding over into the Vallée de la Marne, Damery and Cumières share a slope and, in fact, Filaine’s wines share some qualities with Laval’s wines: organic farming - only sulfur is used in the vineyard - , minimal manipulation, native yeast fermentations, etc... Perhaps it’s mere coincidence that the winemaker at Filaine, Fabrice Gass, and Vincent Laval are compatriots and went to school together. Today, Gass is a winemaker at Bollinger; Filaine is his side project; the wines are made to drink and to share with friends. He didn’t imagine exporting until very recently. Gass farms eight tiny plots totaling one hectare of vines and the production at this Domaine is around 4,000 bottles per year. In style, the wines are possessed of Bollinger-esque power, along with very high acidity because they don’t go through malolactic fermentation. Based on Pinot Noir with small quantities of Chardonnay and Meunier, the wines are fermented in 100 year old barrels. The underlying idea is to make Champagne in an old style, the way Gass’ predecessors might have made wine. The particulars of the cuvèes are detailed below; overall these are powerful yet graceful, energetic wines that are creamy in texture, and classical in style. Clearly the production is microscopic. Grab a bottle of two while you can… your palate will thank you. Salut! -Sophie

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Filaine (Fabrice Gass) NV Damery 1er Cru Cuvee Confidence

Essentially the same wine as Alexandre Filaine's Cuvée Speciale (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Meunier from Damery), Cuvée Confidence is based on slightly older vintages (2006 and 2007) and thus sees longer lees aging before disgorgement. Unlike Speciale, which is aged under capsule, Confidence is aged under cork before release, a more risky and costly process that allows for some very slow oxidation during aging. Confidence is rich, powerful, and expressive with savory and umami notes complementing the wine's delicious apple-iness and spice. MSB

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • $59.99

Filaine (Fabrice Gass) NV Brut 1er Cru Damery Cuvee Speciale OLD

This wine is based on the 2009 and 2010 vintages and is a creamy and classical Champagne from the 1er Cru of Damery in the southern Montagne de Reims. The cepage is as follows: 45/35/20 -- Pinot Noir/Chardonnay/Pinot Meunier, and aromatically the wine offers warm Christmas spice, baked apple, and chalk. The wine sees several years of aging before disgorgement and has about seven grams of dosage. With no malolactic fermentation, there is no shortage of cut to balance its ripe and creamy profile. Fabrice Gass, the winemaker, works for Bollinger. This is his side project and he essentially makes these bottles to drink... so kind of him to share! MSB

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $49.99