Selosse Contraste

What can I expect from this champagne? I’ve had Selosse a handful of other times, but never the Contraste…thoughts?

and I just bought 6 btls.

Atta girl!

Shoot first, ask questions later!


I’m not a fan of this wine. However, I’ve only had it a few times.

Very heavy and oxidative in style. Last bottle I drank with a couple of friends went unfinished.

Additionally, with a few specific exceptions, I’m not the biggest fan of Selosse’s wines, so YMMV.

This isn’t one of my favorites, it’s a bit too oxydative in style as Ray mentions. I prefer his other wines, especially his Rose. But then again I am a fan of his work for the most part.


Now that Ray has said it, I can admit to it as well. I’ve only had Selosse twice, but in each case, I was unimpressed, and I thought it was not allowed to express any disapproval for the mighty Selosse…

I am now free.

So…Ray and Michel…would a “younger” (a date closer to today’s date) be better (aka, less oxidized)?

I’m going to make an educated guess and say while it won’t hurt to have a more recent disgorgement date, it isn’t going to make that much of a difference since that’s the style the wine is brought up to be. Again, only having had the Contraste a few times, I’m hardly an expert.

If the wine is even remotely in the style of the Substance, then I am a fan. Will be very interested to try a bottle once Bowden mules some back from France.

As an aside, while I’m not the biggest fan of Selosse’s wines I am a big fan of the man himself. One of my favorite visits I’ve had was an afternoon with him in his cellars.

Well, Ray put it perfectly, as this wine is made in an oxydized style. Not sure how “less” oxydized it would be with a younger disgorgement date. Again, I am not a fan of this wine but do like his other stuff.

I’ve met him once in Paris and it was a lot of fun as I literally bumped into him at a small store in the 6th. I can’t wait to visit his cellars next time I’m in Champagne.

fwiw, I do not find Contraste to be overly oxidative and certainly less than Substance. It is one of my favourite cuvee chez Selosse. It has incredible complexity and depth and well, contrasts, with his other cuvees which are, of course, blanc de blancs. I think this is fantastic stuff but it must be noted that like all his wines, they carry a clear “Selosse” style that one likes or not. If you have liked other Selosse wines, chances are you will love it. If not… send the bottle to me :wink:

I can’t wait to meet Anselme Selosse again next month. The visit is always, as Ray points out, fantastic. The man is passionate about what he does and he communicates it very well.

Who talked you into buying this crap anyway? [neener.gif]

The Contraste is made in a similar style to the Substance in that it is also a Solera of mixed vintages that go into the bottle, but it is much more restrained as it doesn’t go back as far as the Substance with the mature or oxidative flavors - the red fruit character of the Pinot Noir is allowed to show through very nicely. There is going to be some Selosse signature oxidation spice in the cuvee, but there is a nice biting rich red flavor too. This is the most different of all his cuvees and I love it.

One other Selosse tip. One of his most recent disgorgements of Initial (the most recent one most of us will find for sale) - April 2009 - is absolutely gorgeous. A top wine and one of the best Initial’s I have had. Just a huge wine of spice and citrus zest. Selosse in all out powerful glory.

Did a dinner at Blue Hill with all the Selosse wines a few years back at Blue Hill and Contraste was my least favorite. Even liked the Exquise more. I have no problem with the oxidative style but more with a lack of depth and it just seems a pure Pinot is not Anselme’s strength.

Statement based on one tasting? I’m impressed.

Wish I could have the luxury of regular tastings of Selosse but I don’t so that’s my statement. You taste a bunch of Chard from one guy and then a Pinot that stinks. So that’s what I came away with. YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY! [thankyou.gif]

The one thing to remember about Selosse is that his cuvees do vary from release to release. In some cases they vary a lot. It is a byproduct of how he makes wines, his curiosity, his experimentation, and the fact that he is willing to take chances. The only way to get better is to try something new and Selosse is not afraid to make a mistake. I have had variable Contraste releases, but the wine of his I have the most problems with is the Rose. I have had some wonderful releases of it, but most have been disappointing. Still, every time I am ready to write it off, out comes a wonderful release. At least he gives you enough info to know what you are buying.

Bad bottles happen… Let’s put this as the explanation. I’ve had one bottle of Substance that was absolute shite. Thin, sligthly metallic taste, no depth… no TCA noticeable though and nothing which could explain where it came from (bottle went direct from Selosse’s cellar into mine and was stored perfectly). Just a shite bottle and a big disappointment.
Anyway, re. Contraste… it is definitely very different from everything else he produces but the demand for this cuvee is absolutely crazy. So give it another chance, if you get a chance - or stop by at my place when you’re next in Pfalz/Alsace [thumbs-up.gif]

A note apart and fwiw, Selosse has the merit of having put grower Champagne on the map so deservedly got recognition for the quality of his wines -and for once I agree with Michel Bettane who “discovered” him- but I do not quite understand the cult status that his wines enjoy…