LES HAUTS PARTAS
2016 Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Grand Cru Chouilly Champagne Roger Coulon
100% Chardonnay from Chouilly. Dosage 2 g/l. A small parcel of vines 30 to 45 years old. 150 m. Coulon's latest harvested vineyard. Spontaneous fermentation, slow at low temperatures in vats and small oak barrels. Natural malo. Aged in oak on lees for 10 months. Natural clarification, no fining, no filtration. Seven years sur lattes Six months in bottle after disgorging. Dosage 2 g/l.
Candied angelica, candied peel, smoke packed into layer upon layer of polyhedric acidity and structure. A matrix of a wine that is shafted by helical verticality. Shimmering green acidity that sifts through light with nacreous iridescence, that tastes like crushed green cardamom in bergamot syrup, like spaces within clusters within the Milky Way. A fling of fine stars in the mouth. Absolutely outstanding. The electricity of this wine is off the chart. Drinking range: 2023 - 2038 Rating: 18.5 Tamlyn Currin - www.JancisRobinson.com (Jun 2023)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles of wine (or 9 litre equivalent) or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified (4.5 litres) to get the discounted 'case price' for each bottle.
A vineyard of Grand cru Chardonnay in the best part of the slope, right by the Château de Saran, where the chalk comes to the surface. This is always the last parcel they harvest, as it ripens late, but the ripeness is important to wait for - it gives naturally very small bunches with lots of millerandange, so a very concentrated and flavourful juice with aromas of orchard fruit and citrus. It is all vinified in wood with natural yeast. Like all the Coulon wines there is masses of flavour, expressed here with particular delicacy and finesse, capturing the purity of the chalky site. Drinking range: 2022 - 2030L&S (Oct 2022)
A tiny cuvée produced from a small parcel in the Côte de Blancs that's affected by fan leaf virus (producing smaller, more concentrated grapes as a result), the 2016 Extra-Brut Blanc de Blancs Chouilly Les Hauts Partas offers up aromas of sweet stone fruit, ripe citrus, vanilla pod and buttery pastry, followed by a medium to full-bodied, fleshy and satiny palate that's pure and concentrated, concluding with a saline finish. Drinking range: 2023 - 2035 Rating: 94 William Kelley, The Wine Advocate (Dec 2023)
The 2016 Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Les Hauts Partas from vines in Chouilly, sizzles with Côtes des Blancs tension. Lemon peel, chalk, slate, white pepper and bright saline notes all take shape in the glass. Linear and bursting with energy, the Hauts Partas is super-expressive today. This is an especially good wine for the year. Dosage is 2 grams per liter. Disgorged: November 2022. Drinking range: 2023 - 2031 Rating: 94 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (May 2023)
Champagne Roger Coulon
Eric and Isabelle Coulon, now joined by their children Edgar and Louise, have around 11 hectares of vines in Premier and Grand Cru sites in Vrigny, Gueux and Coulommes-la-Montagne on the Montagne de Reims, and Chouilly on the Côte des Blancs. The vineyards are farmed organically under the principles of agroforestry. They are justly proud of the history of the vineyard, which goes back to the cultivation of vines here in the 6th century, and also of their own long family history, with Edgar and Louise being the ninth generation.
The vines are in around 100 parcels, so although they aim to press by parcel, some do end up going together. Around one third is vinified in tank, the rest in barrel. Both Edgar and Louise have trained in wine-making elsewhere, Louise at Domaine Ott, and Edgar with Philippe Pacalet and Fredéric Cossard in Burgundy, but also in England and Australia.
The family aim to pick at decent maturity, to give the wines a natural balance and feel, and the maximum dosage used is 3g/l. The second fermentation is at around 4.5-4.8 bar, a little lower than the classical 5 bar, giving what Eric describes as 'measured effervescence'. 'I make wine of Champagne not Champagne', he adds, 'Everything at Roger Coulon needs to be harmonious, that's what counts the most for me'.
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