Local Event Premier Host
The Wine House is thrilled to welcome Aline Thiébaut, owner of Aline Wines, to showcase 8 of our favorite champagnes from 4 grower producers.
“That the expansive rolling hills of Champagne have been repeatedly ravaged by war over the last century has never stopped locals from celebrating every day with a glass of bubbly in hand. After all, there’s sparkling wine, and then there’s real champagne! While many of Europe’s wine regions lay claim as the birthplace of bubbles, Champagne is the region that has perfected sparkling wine since the 17th century. Its deep chalky soils allow Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier to thrive, finding some of their most unique expressions. Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, both red grapes, produce white structured wines rich in fruit; while Chardonnay—the region’s noble white grape—offers stony minerality, finesse and rich yeasty aromas. While the blending of the grapes is what produces a wonderful complexity, the real magic lies in the process, where the wine goes through secondary fermentation in the bottle to create its iconic effervescence. While the big champagne houses and their uniform ‘house styles’ once defined the market, today, small production champagnes made by independent growers are offering better values from more pedigreed fruit. We are proud to represent several of these artisans.” – ALINE THIÉBAUT, IMPORTER
Participating grower producers and wines poured include:
NV Cachet Vert Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, $50
NV Carte Blanche Premier Cru Brut, $49
NV Rosé 1er Cru Brut, $62
2013 Premier Cru Brut, $95
Champagne Huré Frères
NV Invitation Brut (2018), $55
NV Memoire Extra Brut, $99
NV Oiry Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru (2018), $100
NV Cramant & Chouilly “C+C” Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru (2018), $140
All wines will be available for purchase (or order, if not in stock) at a 10% discount after the event.
Cheese and charcuterie will be served.
Wine House Kitchen restaurant is open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday! Make a reservation for dinner before or after the tasting or stop by the bar any time after 5PM for the new “Rush Hour” bar bites before the tasting.
ABOUT THE PRODUCERS
For the Chauvet family, harmony in champagne is not just important, it is elemental. As such, they are regional champions of the art of blending Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and they take an unabashedly classical approach in the vineyards and in the cellars. Farming their family’s 10 hectares sustainably in five of the Montagne de Reims’s 17 grand crus—Bouzy, Ambonnay, Verzy, Verzenay and Bisseuil— one feels a complex synergy to the final wines where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Long fermentations and extended élevages on the lees help develop complexity and fine aromatics, while also radically reducing the need for sulfur and eschewing the need for malolactic fermentations. In the end, their harmony in both their partnership and practice yields elegant, earthy and aromatic champagnes with a fine, satiny mousse that dances across the palate. That they are also capable of long cellar aging is a fitting legacy for a family who has endured since 1848, and whose family home in Tours-sur-Marne features an immaculately preserved salon, dating to the early 1900’s.
Elodie Hulin (née Marion) is a lady who knows what she wants. Intelligent and assertive, spunky and strong, she has quickly risen through the ranks of Champagne’s vigneron community. Following in the footsteps of the four generations of women who preceded her, Elodie works in the Vallée de la Marne, farming three hectares of her own old-vine premier cru Pinot Noir vineyards in Hautvillers. In addition, she sources Chardonnay from grand-cru vineyards in Oger, Vertus and Ambonnay. Having trained in Burgundy under Henri Boillot and Patrick Piuze has taught her how to make great wines with a meticulous attention to detail.
Dedicated to expressing her terroirs, Elodie brings a Burgundian approach to Champagne, implementing sustainable farming practices, thoughtful vinifications and extended élevages—as much as 84 months for the vintage wines! Focusing on freshness and low dosages, her wines exhibit a fine complexity, lively mousse, regal structure, and persistent palate…much like their maker.
Champagne Huré Frères
Third-generation vignerons and brothers François and Pierre Huré represent a new wave of artisan champagne production that stands to elevate the regional notions of excellence. Based in Ludes on the northern side of Champagne’s pedigreed Montagne de Reims, these open-minded perfectionists farm 10 hectares of vineyards—80 percent of which belong to them and 20 percent which are rented from family vineyards and those of other like-minded partner-growers. Having both trained in Burgundy, the Rhone and New Zealand has fostered global perspectives in these native sons, as well as a desire to question convention.
While they have farmed sustainably for 20 years, they have also been farming with organic and select biodynamic practices since 2009, though François prefers to not pursue any official certification. Precise, fresh, generous and terroir-driven champagnes define the house style at Huré Frères. Each parcel is vinified separately and is later blended.
The wines age in both in tank and neutral oak, depending on the cuvee, with their cellar also featuring a perpetual-reserve solera begun in 1982. Dosages are never systematic; they are added by blind tasting only. Their finished wines offer incredibly pure and expressive aromatics, a fine, persistent bead, charm, elegance and deep, vinous earthy pleasure.
Semi-pro basketball player Aurélien Suenen made an about-face in the late 2000s, leaving basketball and returning to the family estate to help his ailing father. And he hasn’t looked back since. He farms three hectares of Chardonnay vines in the Côte des Blancs (in grand cru AOCs Cramant, Chouilly and Oiry), and a small plot of ungrafted Pinot Meunier in the sandy soil St. Thierry hills, due northwest of Reims.
Approaching organic and sustainable viticulture with the same zeal and disciplined mindset as his athletic training, he has been seeing to the revitalization of his soils—implementing organic and some biodynamic practices with the aim of rejuvenating the land and local ecosystems. Aurélien is one of the 2% of producers in the Côte des Blancs to farm organically, and one of the 4% in Champagne overall.
Heavily influenced by Burgundian winemaking, as well as the savoir-faire of mentors Pascal Agrapart and Anselme Selosse, he seeks slow, gentle, temperature-controlled, native-yeast vinifications and a separation of cuvées by individual parcel to achieve focused, vibrant and mineral-driven champagnes. His style of wine is becoming recognized both in France and abroad for both its masterful precision as well as its layered complexity. Aurélien’s star continues to rise and he is undoubtedly one of the most promising young grower-producers in the entire region.
Cancellations must be received at least 48 hours before start time for a refund or transfer to another class or event.