In a given year, Franck Pascal produces around 1,000 bottles of his Côteau Champenois.
The availability of the 2014 underscores how rarely seen this bottle is. It can only be found at three other places in the U.S.
It's a shame, because Pascal's Côteau Champenois Rouge Confiance is one of the great examples of the category. Côteaux Champenois Rouge, a still red wine from Champagne, remains seldom seen and one of the most esoteric categories of wine.
It's a really hard wine to pull off well. When it is, though, you get an intriguing combination of flavor intensity and nimble, ethereal elegance. It’s almost impossible to imagine this wine coming from anywhere else on earth.
Making Coteaux Champenois Rouge is a labor of love. Champagne is one of the northernmost limits of where most grapes can properly ripen. To make a red wine from Pinot Noir and Meunier requires the best southern and southeastern-facing slopes and often the domaine’s oldest, lowest yielding vines in order to achieve ripeness. It also requires really conscientious farming. After all that, the wine sells for roughly the same as a house's basic non-vintage sparkling.
When you taste examples like Pascal's, it becomes clear that Côteaux Champenois Rouge has enormous potential. The Confiance is a blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. It offers up complex aromatics wrapped around a driving, dark mineral core. There’s crushed berry fruit backed by a fragrant wild strawberry perfume, exotic spices, and an emphatic, tensile minerality. We really love Confiance's suave texture and how this bottle thrives on subtlety.
The 2014 vintage in Champagne was somewhat of a wild ride. There was a good amount of rain in the summer followed by a nearly perfect September. From what we've tasted, it's a really strong vintage. The 2014 Confiance shows the presence, layered depth and verve that we've come to expect from the vintage.
In 1994, Franck Pascal took over his family's small 3.5 domaine in the Marne. He immediately set on an ultra-conscientious path, eventually converting to biodynamics. The wines (both sparkling and still) have a deep, terroir-soaked intensity and speak boldly of how hard Pascal is working.
This is one of the most fascinating - and simply fun to drink - bottles that we've had in some time. It's a bottle that we've been returning to again and again. We created 4-packs to encourage you to go fairly deep. You'll be happy that you did.
To order, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the store at (212) 980-9463.
Crush Wine & Spirits
2014 Pascal Côteau Champenois Rouge Confiance
Special Bottle Price: $49.95
Special 4-Pack Price: $183.80 ($45.95/btl)