Gautherot’s champagnes are uncompromisingly original…’ Peter Liem

A disciple of biodynamics, Bertrand Gautherot is a deep-thinking, visionary producer. Farming just five hectares of land, his label Vouette & Sorbée derives from his two primary vineyards of the same name. These are some of the most expressive and energetic champagnes going around; their ability to link place to the personality of each cuvée is refreshingly honest and exciting.

Friends and influences include Selosse, where he used to work, as well as Dagueneau. Both original and dogmatic in their beliefs, it is clear Gautherot also shares these values. He is happy to question the status quo, with fascinating results reflected in his very original wines. Based in the Aube, which is closer to Chablis than the main villages of Champagne, it has been noted that Vouette & Sorbée champagnes are more akin to Chablis than Champagne – they are minerally, tightly wound and deeply profound.

Gautherot prefers shorter aging periods as he loves the ‘expression, energy and assertiveness’ of youthful champagnes. For this reason, most of his wines are not able to be vintage labelled, however to decipher what year it is from, on the back label, look for the two digits preceding ‘R’ (recolte).

These revolutionary champagnes are packed with wonder, surprise and detail. All the wines are vinified in old oak, procured from legendary Meursault producer Arnaud Ente, some in clay amphorae. Minimal, if any sulphur is used and the wines are not dosed.

We have received a small allocation of these exquisite champagnes. Please send us your wish list and we’ll do our best to fill it.

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R15 Champagne Vouette et Sorbée Fidèle Extra Brut
Bottle $148     Magnum $330 (R14)
Gautherot’s first cuvée is Fidèle, a Blanc de Noirs (100% Pinot Noir) that comes from Kimmeridgian-limestone soils. This is mostly from a single vintage yet also includes roughly 5% reserve wine (from a perpetual blend started in 2001 and stored in a giant old foudre).
“The amber-colored NV Brut Nature Fidèle is gorgeous. Lifted, precise and nuanced throughout, the Fidèle possesses a captivating aromatic. Medium in body and tense in style, the Fidèle is super-expressive today. It could use another year in bottle to soften a bit, but it is nevertheless striking.” Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com

R14 Champagne Vouette et Sorbée Blanc d’Argile Extra Brut
Bottle $191      Magnum $415

Within the cold, west-facing Biaunes lieu-dit there is a small parcel of Chardonnay (the Côte des Bar is overwhelmingly planted to Pinot Noir) that Gautherot planted wild, without preparing the soils, amongst the native vegetation. Established in 2000, with massale cuttings from Anselme Selosse’s vines in Avize and Vincent Dauvissat’s Valmur Grand Cru vineyard, this portion of the vineyard is now the origin of what Antonio Galloni calls “one of the most beautiful and distinctive wines in Champagne.”
“The NV Brut Nature Blanc d’Argile is terrific. Vinous and rich on the palate, as these Champagnes are, offers a striking interplay of fruit intensity and tension from the non-dosage style. With time in the glass, the wine gains precision and energy.” Antonio Galloni, Vinous

R15 Champagne Vouette et Sorbée Textures Brut Nature $215 (Limit 1 bottle)
Textures is Gautherot’s newest cuvée, a rare, 100% Pinot Blanc Champagne crafted from vines in the Fonnet vineyard (planted between 1995 and 2000). The 2015 was fermented and raised in large Georgian amphora and used oak barrels before blending and then spent 18 months on lees in bottle. These amphora afford Gautherot the kind of lees contact and minimal oxidation he is looking for.

R14 Champagne Vouette et Sorbée Saignée de Sorbée Extra Brut  $235 (Limit 1 bottle)
This bottling comes entirely from the 2014 vintage – uncrushed whole grapes were macerated for six days in an open wooden vat before pressing. Vinified entirely without sulphur, the wine was aged for ten months in 400-litre barrels and was disgorged without dosage in November 2017.
Just a drop-dead gorgeous wine, packed with crunchy, red fruit notes, as well as some resinous, sappy and stemmy notes. The hints of spicy, white pepper reflect Sorbée’s Portlandian soil. And there’s also loads of earthy complexity and tangy freshness that again honours the soil and the wine’s zero dosage. All in all, it’s an endlessly fascinating wine that demands food.’ Rob Walters, Importer

2008 Champagne Vouette et Sorbée Extrait Extra Brut $287 (Limit 1 bottle)
The wine takes its name from the French for ‘extract’, which is exactly what it is—a barrel’s worth of wine extracted from a single vintage. It is incredibly rare and usually only gifted to friends of the estate or opened for family celebrations. This is a blend drawn from the domaine’s finest pinot noir and chardonnay barrels with the composition following the percentage of each variety harvested that year. The wine spends between nine and ten years on lees before being disgorged by hand.
The 2008 reflects the quality of the vintage – it’s a beautifully sleek and complex wine, extremely mineral, with a complex, chalky crackle that can be reminiscent of a great Manzanilla Pasada. This bottling was disgorged in March 2017.’ Rob Walters, Importer

 

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