This wine is the same base vintage as last year, yet with more time on lees meaning more texture and class. Within the cold, west-facing Biaunes lieu-dit there is a small parcel of Chardonnay (the Côte des Bar is overwhelmingly planted to Pinot Noir) that Gautherot planted wild, without preparing the soils, amongst the native vegetation. Established in 2000, with massale cuttings from Anselme Selosse’s vines in Avize and Vincent Dauvissat’s Valmur Grand Cru vineyard, this portion of the vineyard is now the origin of what Antonio Galloni calls “one of the most beautiful and distinctive wines in Champagne.” The vines here yield only 15-20 hl/ha each year – one of the keys to the quality and intensity on offer. Fermentation is wild and has traditionally taken place in a mix of Burgundian pièce and 400-litre fût, purchased from vigneron friends in Burgundy. The new vintages now include a portion of fruit fermented and raised in Georgian amphora (see above). As with the Fidèle, this wine spent roughly 15 months in bottle, sur lattes, before being disgorged by hand (zero dosage) in October 2017. The R14 magnums were disgorged in February 2017.
“The NV Brut Nature Blanc d’Argile is terrific. Vinous and rich on the palate, as these Champagnes are, offers a striking interplay of fruit intensity and tension from the non-dosage style. With time in the glass, the wine gains precision and energy.” 93 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous