From Montgueux with Love: Grower Champagne for Less Than $50

From Montgueux with Love: Grower Champagne for Less Than $50

Today we find ourselves on the island oasis of Montgueux, in Champagne's southernmost region, the Aube. 

Montgueux is a pure chalk outcropping 80 miles south of Reims. With just 15 inches of topsoil covering the thick chalk layer, the vines have to dig deep in search of water, sucking up limestone goodness along the way.
You get wines that go beyond minerality and enter a zone of sheer energy.

The most famous producer in Montgueux is the cult favorite Jacques Lassaigne, who makes wild and mineral-driven natural Champagnes. But we suspect he'll soon be facing tough competition from Vincent Couche, a neighbor making pure, terroir-driven grower Champagne at his biodynamically-farmed estate.

Vincent Couche tends to his soils as much as his grapes. This fastidious and obsessive nature allows him to imbue the very essence of chalk into his bubbles. In the cellar there are no practices that might mar this soil-to-glass-transfer.
There's no chaptalization, no yeast additions, no fining or filtering, and just the occasional dash of dosage to balance the searing acidity. This is a dangerous game in a winery, but when executed with the focus and diligence of a winemaker like Couche, the resulting wines are unparalleled.

We've been holding onto the last parcel of wines from a non-vintage, all-Montgueux blend made entirely from the 2008 and 2007 vintages. It's an extraordinary value in grower Champagne with 10+ years of age. But when it's gone, it's gone, so stock up now.