NV Champagne Barrat-Masson Blanc de Blancs Fleur de Craie
Region: Aube < Champagne < France
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: certified organic farming (since 2009); 40+ year old vines on chalky soils (80% chalk!); base wine is mostly ‘15,14,13 vintages, Hand-harvested and each parcel vinified separately starting with the traditional ‘Coquard’ wooden basket press, then low temperature fermentation in a mix of stainless steel tank and oak barrels, where partial malolactic completed; still wine is aged a minimum 9 months on the fine lees and sur lattes a minimum fo 24 months. After disgorgement, the wine is aged an additional 3 months in bottle before release. No dosage. Bottled unfiltered with minimal So2
Winemaker: Aurélie Barrat
Champagne Barrat-Masson is a partnership of Aurélie Barrat and Loic Masson (wife & husband) who inherited his family's 7ha Sezannais farm in 2005. At first they sold their grapes to the local cooperative, but in 2010 they flew the coop and struck out on their own. Immediately, they began farming organically and were certified in 2009, and released their own bottles from their certified organic vineyards in 2013. Loïc manages the vineyards, and Aurélie, the former head oenologist of the local cooperative, makes the wine, doing, as she says, “just the minimum necessary, so as not to intrude on the wine's natural path.” Fleur de Craie is her zesty, mineral-driven Blanc de Blancs that expresses the true character of the region and its incredibly chalky soils. The wine is crisp, clean and palpably chalky, with a lovely balance of tropical fruits, tart lemon and puckery green apple, with a thrilling, racy acidity. She’s still a baby and will evolve beautifully for years if you have the willpower to cellar -- or drink now, with oysters, or friends on NYE. A fabulous wine to celebrate the end of the decade!