TNs: Getting to know Selosse

After having been a fan of grower Champagne for a good while my run of avoiding the wines of Selosse finally came to an end as a Champagne-loving friend showed unforeseen generosity by sharing her six-pack of the producer’s lieu-dit wines. It just so happened that between being invited and the tasting taking place the Decanter magazine featured an article on these wines, praising them lavishly. It certainly did not have a negative effect on our excitement.

After a blind bottle of Bérêche the wines were served in two flights - BdB and BdN separately of course. By the hostess’s decision the wines were served blind to see whether the two true rarities would separate themselves from the others. In the end the wine that each and everyone of us loved the most was Les Chantereines, the very wine Decanter awarded 100 points for.

I was not surprised to find proper wines that did not suffer at all from losing some of their bubbles in the big Burgundy bowls. An embarrassment of riches would probably be a fitting description for this tasting as it is very likely that each wine would shine extremely brightly on its own. Having tasted grower Champagne otherwise quite widely there was not really anything truly surprising about the wines and I found them easy to approach despite their unique style. As it is possible that I will never get to drink them again I feel truly blessed about having been part of this tasting.

  • NV Bérêche et Fils Champagne Campania Remensis - France, Champagne (29.6.2017)
    Lot 03/2015. Very pretty orange color. Pleasantly herbal and somewhat developed on the nose with a marmalade-esque feel to its cherry-driven fruit. Oak is quite evident but not over-done. Markedly vinous and robust on the palate. Very much dominated by sour cherry but with an intriguing bitter edge. Does not seem very youthful but yet possesses absolutely great energy and lift and is impeccably balanced.
  • NV Jacques Selosse Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Le Bout du Clos - France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru (29.6.2017)
    Disgorged March 2nd 2016. Plenty of ripe - slightly oxidized - apple and oatmeal on the nose. Harmonious and weirdly comforting but not especially complex nor expressive at this point. Quite massive and vinous on the palate with an acid structure to match. Despite the size and power it is very well-behaving and gentle, although with time in the glass it becomes noticeably spicy.
  • NV Jacques Selosse Champagne Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut Sous le Mont - France, Champagne (29.6.2017)
    Disgorged March 2nd 2016. Looks like a rosé with its beautiful amber color - very different from the two other PN lieux-dits that have the color of pale lager. Possesses the most magnificent ripe sour cherry fruit on the nose. There is also a hefty amount of stylish oak and notes of smoke and Marsanne-esque almond. Absolutely gorgeous aromatics. Mouth-caressingly rich on the palate with good acidity hidden underneath the concentration. Perfumed and spicy with an exotic and even wild feel to it. Ultra savory and chewy all the way to the very end. Remarkably complex and characterful and closer to red wine in its expression than the two other PN lieux-dits.
  • NV Jacques Selosse Champagne Blanc de Noirs La Côte Faron - France, Champagne (29.6.2017)
    Disgorged March 2nd 2016. Explosively aromatic on the nose with a hugely distinctive medicinal note not unlike spearmint. Quite formidable and expressive really with lesser notes of bruised apple, smoke and grain. The dense and mouth-filling mousse reveals a juicy and ripe wine bursting with fruit (cherry, apple mostly). There is also a salty and hay-like note that reminds me of the wines of Ganevat. Notably firm and structured, chiseled even. Has a really lively acidity that carries well to the mouth-watering finish. The most elegant of the PN lieux-dits.
  • NV Jacques Selosse Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Extra-Brut Chemin de Châlons - France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru (29.6.2017)
    Disgorged January 18th 2016. Very much fresh and fruity on the nose with notes of apple, lemon and minerals with slight oxidative, lactic and almondy glimpses. With some time in the glass it develops milk chocolatey and marmaladey qualities. A quite bright and complex nose really. The mousse is big and a bit hasty and reveals quickly an excessively ripe fruit profile dominated by apple and apricot. Initially comes off too ripe indeed, short and lacking in acidity but develops well in the glass, becoming drier, more focused and way more pleasant eventually while picking up some acidity as well. However at least this time this was clearly the weakest of the six lieux-dits and by quite a margin.
  • NV Jacques Selosse Champagne Blanc de Blancs Extra-Brut Les Chantereines - France, Champagne (29.6.2017)
    Disgorged January 18th 2016. Started off a bit shy but quickly the nose got it going on with notes of spearmint, smoke, coffee, gingerbread and some butter. Absolutely not about fruit yet it does not lack any either. Fantastic! On the palate this is an unsurprisingly big wine but with the kind of majestic form and poise that separates it from the pack. Bone dry, steely and chiseled, I would say somewhat similar to Les Chétillons. Once again the fruit is not really evident - except that you know there is plenty of it - but instead it is the toastiness that is more obvious. First and foremost it is about its density, length and energy though, as it has all of those in spades. Very clearly my favorite of the lieux-dits and a truly formidable wine.
  • NV Jacques Selosse Champagne Blanc de Blancs Les Carelles - France, Champagne (29.6.2017)
    Disgorged March 2nd 2016. Quite a complex and captivating nose of apricot, cereal, spearming and some smoke.The mousse just might be the tightest and most persistent of all six wines. It reveals a fairly dry supermodel of a wine brimming with everything that one would want in their Champagne. High acidity, tons of apple compote, some exotic spiciness and voluptuous frame all packed in one - it is impossible not to love this one. However while it combines lushness, freshness, great lift and extreme length in a rare and simply amazing manner it does not have the charisma and character that Les Chantereines has. On its own this would have surely rocked my world but in this company it was destined for the second place.

Posted from CellarTracker

Wow, dude.

+1
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Nice. I need to crack open one of my cases this summer.

One comment. The two rarer wines are just that, rarer as he has less vines. I’m not sure they should be expected to be ‘better’.

That is actually what I was wondering beforehand, regardless of the Decanter reviews. I believe the thinking was that several participants had experience with one or more of the other wines but not these two so they wanted to see if they could find them blind.

Wow - thanks for sharing. That was quite a tasting!! champagne.gif champagne.gif

Thanks for the notes! I had eyed that mixed case but couldn’t justify the cost so I’m very interested to read your impressions.

And the Bereche Remensis is one fine wine.

Nice lineup. Thanks for the notes.