Vouette & Sorbee - Opinions?

Hi all,

I have a lot of respect for Gautheron and his philosophy, but V&S is one of the producers I’ve never really managed to put my finger on. The wines are undoubtedly interesting and well-made but I find them an acquired taste.

My first experience with a ‘15 Fidele was not to my liking — I found the wine too oxidative in style and heavy, with almost bruised apple notes and light praline as well leading me to think it might’ve been slightly past its prime.

Nor did I enjoy the ‘16 Saignee de Sorbee, though I admired the craft. A bit too peppery and herbaceous for me, with some unexpected notes of dried thyme and pink salt that didn’t sit well with what presented as a semi-carbonic nose to me, showing lots of candied red fruit. Bold but not integrated or balanced for me, and a little too out there (though I admittedly lean conservative on champagnes).

But a recent bottle of the ‘19 Blanc d Argile wowed me. I felt it was Selosse-lite at first, but toward the end of the bottle as it gained weight in the glass I was starting to seriouslyy ponder whether I would ever pay the premium for the Initial again. The interplay between the creamy, almost butterscotch notes that developed with air and an intense chalky minerality that I associate with high-end Chablis was stunning; it was unanimous WOTN among a lineup of young RMs that included the LC20s and the recent Egly disgorgements.

I have heard from others that V&S can often be divisive and was curious what the board thought. Another oft-heard comment is that the wines are wild and bottle variation is a real problem. I still have the 2019 Textures and the 2012 Extrait in the cellar to try and am looking forward to them!


Love the wines. If they had a cooler label, would be selling for triple.

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I’ve also had advanced issues with Fiedel and it seems to be quite a common problem with older bottlings. With that being said they are terrific food champagne in their youth, and I never had a problem with Blanc d’Argile of any vintage. And very lucky of you to have a bottle of Extrait; I’ve never seen one for sale locally.

While I too have been guilty of purchasing many grower champagnes based on the label alone (RM champagne is probably second only to craft beer in this regard), UC doesn’t have the most exciting labels either and we all know what happened there…

I think part of the reason the wines remain cheerfully priced is that Gautheron is not really much of a salesman. He always struck me as more of a dry intellectual guy compared to, say, Prevost.

Agree that they are great with food; and in particular they really shine with Asian food thanks to the bold and savory flavors.

And the Extrait was part of an allocation package! Had to take a few bottles of Clandestin that they were struggling to sell in order to seal the deal, but getting a bottle of the Extrait and two bottles of Bouchard’s Ursules at allocation prices didn’t require much hand-wringing on my part.

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Vouette is one of those growers that fulfils in my opinion the maison’s criticism of grower producers, variability. I have drunk magnificent bottles and bottles it is best to forget about. I think there are limitations to following the Burgundy mantra of one vintage, one site one grape in difficult vintages.

Saying that, the daughter taking over and the influence of her now ex-boyfriend Benoit Dousset have added in my opinion a level of consistency which was not there in the past. I think the 2018 Blanc d’Argile is the best champagne of that vintage , I have tasted so far, although lacking in acidity, they really achieve a nice balance which is difficult to find in this vintage. a recently tasted Jacquesson was a flabby unprecise mess.

If someone offered me a glass of Selosse, I would never turn it down, Vouette alongside Leclapart and Dehours are the reason I would never pay the inflationary Selosse prices.

Vouettes champagnes need food, especially the Fidele.