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R.H. Coutier Champagne Extra Brut Grand Cru Ambonnay Millesime 2012

$84.99

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From the importer: Golden yellow color with a very “pinot” nose (read cherry). Rich and full in the mouth, with plenty of creaminess. Nice acidity and structure enhanced by the Chardonnay finishes very fresh and long. Wonderful balance with ripe fruit aromatics makes this a very seductive bubbly.

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Since 1619, Champagne R. H. Coutier has been farming in the Grand Cru village of Ambonnay, one of the top wine-producing villages in the Montagne de Reims. You may recognize some of the champagnes made from the likes of Bereche, Marie-Noelle Ledru, and of course Krug’s famous single plot, Clos d’Ambonnay.

While Ambonnay is generally regarded as Pinot country, Coutier’s vineyards are planted with one-third Chardonnay and two-thirds Pinot Noir. In fact, in 1946 René Coutier’s father was the first vigneron to plant Chardonnay in the village, which has done well over the ensuing decades and now is as highly regarded as the Pinot Noir from Ambonnay.

The vineyards on the Montagne de Reims have a south by southeast facing exposure to provide a warmer microclimate for France’s coldest and most northern winegrowing region. A higher ratio of clay to the chalky limestone subsoils lends an added roundness to the wines produced here. Their house style marries the richness of the village’s Pinot Noir with the pure, racy crispness of its Chardonnay, a match made in heaven. The Coutiers farm nine hectares sustainably, but keep their production small and focused, selling off 80% of their fruit to the local cooperative and keeping the best fruit to bottle 2000 cases under their own label.

In the winery, whole clusters are pressed with their stems to act as a natural filter for clarity. No barrel fermentation and low dosage on all of the wines offered today an elegant precision to balance the richness of fruit. Typically only half of the wines go through malolactic fermentation to preserve freshness and acidity, but this is also dependent on the vintage. The sign of a great winemaker is always the ability to adapt to whatever nature throws at you.

Details

  • Grape Variety

    Chardonnay , Pinot Noir

  • Vintage

    2012

  • Size

    750ml

  • Farming Practice

    Organic

  • Style

    Crisp , Fruity , Minerally

  • Sweetness

    Dry

  • Body

    Medium Bodied

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