Vouette et Sorbée: Champagnes of Power and Precision from the Aube.

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Although Vouette et Sorbée only started releasing Champagnes about 10 years ago, the domaine has grown in stature, mentioned in the same reverent conversations as rising stars Cédric Bouchard, Dominique Moreau (Marie Courtin), and Pascal Agrapart.

Bertrand Gautherot used to sell grapes to other Champagne producers, but after some convincing by a famous Champagne friend (Anselme Selosse), he started producing Champagne under his own name in 2001, with his first wine released in 2004. Gautherot’s 5 hectares are located in the village of Buxières-sur-Arce in the Aube's Côte des Bar, just 60km northeast of Chablis. His parcels (Vouette, Sorbée, and Biaunes) consist of Kimmeridgian marls capped by Portlandian limestone, which have more in common with the soils of Chablis’ premier and grand cru vineyards than they do with their counterparts in the Marne.

Through fastidious work both in the vineyard and in the cellar, Vouette et Sorbée produces Champagnes faithful to the character of their terroir and vintage. Gautherot farms the estate biodynamically; its vineyards have been Demeter certified since 1998. Bernard manually harvests the grapes, and employs a vertical Coquard press to obtain the juice from the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. In the cellar, he ferments with natural yeasts and employs minimal sulfur before bottling. Bottles also list disgorgement dates, as well as the year of the base wine (Vouette et Sorbée’s wines aren’t vintage dated since they only spend 20 months on the lees vs. the minimum 36 months mandated, for vintage designation).

The Fidèle (Extra Brut) is the estate’s main cuvée, a blanc de noirs (grown on Kimmeridgian soils) with dried cherry fruit and a savory, herbal intensity. The Blanc d’Argile is a blanc de blancs from younger vines, grown in a the west-facing Biaunes vineyard, which produces a wine that combines power with chalky, mineral precision. The Saignée de Sorbée, from the Portlandian soils of the Sorbée vineyard, is one of their most original and individual bottlings. A saignée rosé, this has deep concentrated pomegranate and raspberry fruits and savory, peppery, meaty flavors. With its power and stony, ferrous intensity, it tastes as if Gautherot bled the terroir of this vineyard straight into this idiosyncratic and singular Champagne! Jonas Mendoza

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Vouette et Sorbée 2011 Champagne Fidèle Extra Brut

If you’re looking for a Champagne vigneron who embodies the dynamic portion of biodynamic, look no further than Bertrand Gautherot from Vouette et Sorbée. When he visited the store in October to show us his new vintage his enthusiasm was infectious. Quick with a smile, he poured for the whole staff and explained his desire for the vineyards to speak clearer than the winemaking. The wines from the admittedly difficult 2011 were poised and lovely. Biodynamically farmed Pinot Noir grown in Kimmeridgian soils in Biaunes and Kimmeridgian Marls in the eponymous Vouette vineyard in Buxières-sur-Arce, the wines are fermented with native yeast in barrel, see little sulfur, and are bottled without dosage. Cool-toned, with a peach hue, the 2011 Fidéle is chalky, red-fruited, with herbal notes, and the subtle gingery spiciness I associate with Pinot Noir from the Aube. There is nice persistence and complexity to the finish. This is savory and satisfying. Jonas Mendoza

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  • white sparkling
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  • $74.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Vouette et Sorbée 2011 Champagne Saignée de Sorbée R

The Saignée de Sorbée, from the Portlandian soils of the Sorbée vineyard, is one of Vouette et Sorbée's most original and individual bottlings. A saignée rosé, this has deep concentrated pomegranate and raspberry fruits and savory, peppery, meaty flavors. With its power and stony, ferrous intensity, it tastes as if Gautherot bled the terroir of this vineyard straight into this idiosyncratic and singular Champagne! Jonas Mendoza

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  • rosé sparkling
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  • no discount
  • $119.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Vouette et Sorbée NV (2011) Champagne NV Blanc d'Argile 1.5 L

Made from low-yielding biodynamically-farmed Chardonnay planted in the Kimmeridgian marls in the west-facing vineyard site of Biaunes, Blanc d'Argile is a blanc de blancs any many ways closer in character to Chablis than the chiseled Champagnes of the Marne. The distinction between the two types of chalky soil is palpable in the pungently mineral Blanc d'Argile. The nose is briny and citrus-inflected, with savory herbal notes. This cool-toned fruitiness (indicative of the 2011 vintage) carries over on the palate with a range of yellow fruit, seashell, and flinty sapidity. Typically, the long ripening period afforded by the vineyard manifests itself in a denser, richer, nearly flamboyant fashion; this vintage shows a leaner cut highlighting the Kimmeridgian pedigree. (Disgorged 5/2014).

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  • white sparkling
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Vouette et Sorbée 2012 Champagne Blanc d'Argile

The 2012 Blanc d'Argile from biodynamic grower Vouette et Sorbée located in Buxières-sur-Arce in the Côte des Bar is Champagne of power and class. Sourced from vineyards whose soils are closer in both geology and geography to Chablis than the Marne, this is a blanc de blancs which in many ways evocative of what I love about grand cru Chablis. Aromatically the Blanc d'Argile is quite reticent at first, but with time and air, the wine begins to reveal notes of yellow plum and golden apple evolving to show hints of honeysuckle and shortbread.  In the mouth you experience the traditional blanc de blancs flavors of lemon rind, white grapefruit pith, and dried herbs. After an hour, the wine shows its character as a fleshy, chiseled Champagne of intensity and definition displaying further flavors of preserved lemon, white button mushroom, and orange blossom honey, finishing with a light and silky mousse.This is a more deft and substantial style of blanc de blancs, perhaps better suited to meals or contemplative drinking. Jonas Mendoza

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  • white sparkling
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  • $94.99

  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Vouette et Sorbée 2012 Champagne NV Blanc d'Argile 1.5 L

The 2012 Blanc d'Argile from biodynamic grower Vouette et Sorbée located in Buxières-sur-Arce in the Côte des Bar is Champagne of power and class. Sourced from vineyards whose soils are closer in both geology and geography to Chablis than the Marne, this is a blanc de blancs which in many ways evocative of what I love about grand cru Chablis. Aromatically the Blanc d'Argile is quite reticent at first, but with time and air, the wine begins to reveal notes of yellow plum and golden apple evolving to show hints of honeysuckle and shortbread.  In the mouth you experience the traditional blanc de blancs flavors of lemon rind, white grapefruit pith, and dried herbs. After an hour, the wine shows its character as a fleshy, chiseled Champagne of intensity and definition displaying further flavors of preserved lemon, white button mushroom, and orange blossom honey, finishing with a light and silky mousse.This is a more deft and substantial style of blanc de blancs, perhaps better suited to meals or contemplative drinking. Jonas Mendoza

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $209.99

  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Vouette et Sorbée 2012 Champagne Fidèle Extra Brut

From Pinot Noir grown primarily on Kimmeridgian soils. The 2012 Fidèle blanc de noirs shows subtle hues of copper and salmon on the robe which definitely sets the mood during the holiday season. The lovely nose offers aromas of ripe golden apple, yellow cherry, and Mirabelle plum. On the dense and opulent palate there is a celebratory cascade of flavors: dried cherry, orgeat, blood orange, gingersnap, and clove with great mineral intensity on the persistent, driving finish. I would suggest this could benefit from decanting or some time to open. This is a rich, brooding Champagne that would be fabulous next to a crackling winter fire! Jonas Mendoza

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  • white sparkling
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  • $66.99

  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur