de Sousa & Fils Caudalies Blanc de Blancs Avize Grand Cru Nv
The vineyards for this wine are located on the Grand Cru classified vineyards of Avize, Cramant and Oger. An ideal south-eastern exposure combined with grape maturity and a chalky soil lends these wines their characteristic refinement and vivacity. The estate is currently moving towards fully organic farming methods, which, combined with the mostly 35 year old vines, works towards extracting the individual character from the terroir.
100% Chardonnay from 50 year old Avize vineyards that are today managed biodynamically. The wine is vinified entirely in oak barrels and then aged and assembled via a "solera method", with the final blend now incorporating 9 vintages (only the finest vintages are added). The unusual term "Caudalie" is the name given to de Sousa's top cuvee's. The word denotes the persistence of the aromatic expression of a wine on the palate measured in seconds - 1 Caudalie equals approximately 1 second. A stunning wine, highly complex as you would expect from a wine made this way, with piercing intensity and great length. Once it settles it will show a rich texture and layers of pastry, ground nuts, vanilla and citrus flavours. A wine of tremendous concentration and a chalky, lingering finish.
Serious wines these. Serious wines produced in exciting times for Champagne. Times when a handful of small, high quality grower producers are challenging the hegemony of the large Champagne brands by encouraging drinkers to judge their Champagne as a wine first and a Champagne second. These renegades crop low and vinify naturally minimizing dosage and shunning fining or filtration. They produce wines of genuine richness and depth (vinosity you sometimes hear). Wines that taste of fruit, not of simple oxidation, lees, and dosage. Wines with persistent length rather than a faint, sweetish finish. Wines that go with food (and not just finger food). Wines that taste of the place they were grown; not "Champagne" (a vast, diverse area) but rather of the local area, the village or the vineyard. In a region that has based its marketing on the "blenders art" and the "house style" this is quite a revolution.
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