Uncompromisingly original - Vouette et Sorbee:
d'Argile, Saignee de Sorbee and Fidele

Posted by Ian McFadden

"The champagnes of Vouette et Sorbée are uncompromisingly original... These are wines before they are champagnes"

-Peter Liem

Bertrand Gautherot's Vouette et Sorbée remain some of the most unique and compelling bubbles in existence.

At the urging of his friend, none other than Anselme Selosse, Gautherot stopped selling off his grapes, started bottling his own wines, and almost overnight, became a cult sensation.

Our first Vouette et Sorbée offer was four years ago, just as their reputation was beginning to gain steam in the U.S. Since then, Vouette et Sorbée has blown up. We buy every vintage, but scoring enough for an offer has been difficult.

Which explains why we haven't done an offering since 2010. That changes today. We're excited to present a decent sized parcel of Vouette et Sorbée's 09 Blanc de Noir Fidèle, 09 Blanc d'Argile and 10 Saignée de Sorbée.

Vouette et Sorbée's Champagnes are a shocking expression of everyone's go-to celebratory beverage. They are deep, saturating and yet, finely etched and emphatically mineral. Think of Burgundy by way of Champagne. In short, they are thought-provoking, original. They are wines that cast Champagne in a radical new light. They aren't for everyone, but the impression they leave is undeniable.

View of the village from Vouette

Gautherot's heart is in the vineyards and that's where he focuses an insane amount of energy restricting yields and following biodynamic practices. Anyone who has visited him has mentioned how beautifully the vineyards are maintained. It shows in the wines. They possess a soil inflected clarity and a combination of concentration and energy that only the most carefully tended vineyards possess.

The 2009 Fidèle is one of the best versions of the wine that we've tasted. Antonio Galloni really nails it when he writes that it's "head spinning... Weighty, rich and powerful, the 2009 impresses for its fabulous balance and inviting, utterly irresistible personality.'

Fidèle is based entirely on Pinot Noir. And in 2009 the wine takes Pinot Noir's red fruits and delivers a round, textured mouthfeel aligned with a spine of minerality. Fidèle can be a bit raw and awkward in its youth, but in 09 it has a remarkable harmony and generosity to it.

Blanc d'Argile comes from a single, low-yielding and slow to ripen, west facing vineyard which sits on Kimmeridgian soil, (the same soil as Chablis). Similar to Chablis, Blanc d'Argile is dominated by an almost overwhelmingly pure and precise minerality. Galloni calls Blanc d'Argile "one of the most beautiful and distinctive wines in Champagne." In 2009, Blanc d'Argile's minerality has a backdrop of herbs and stone fruits.

The most particular of Vouette et Sorbée's Champagnes is Saignée de Sorbée, an all Pinot, single vineyard Rosé that sees carbonic maceration. There's a combination of floral and spice tinged fruit, game and minerals.

The 2010 vintage in Champagne is too varied to fit into a nice one sentence summary. The Aube, particularly Pinot Noir in the Aube, is one of 2010's biggest successes. It's also a vintage where the most dedicated growers really distanced themselves from the pack. Gautherot's hard work certainly paid off. It shows in the clarity of fruit and mineral and the general sense of poise in the 2010 Saignée de Sorbée.

Vouette et Sorbée are some of the most heartfelt and singular Champagnes you'll taste. They deliver a level of complexity and uniqueness that makes them especially noteworthy. I wish there were better quantities, but I'll take what I can get. I'm just happy to have them around.

To order, reply to offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden

Director, Fine & Rare Wine

Crush Wine & Spirits