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Champagne Goulin-Roualet Cuvée Sous-Bois Brut Nature Premier Cru 2017 Wine - Last Bottle

Champagne Goulin-Roualet Cuvée Sous-Bois Brut Nature Premier Cru 2017

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Flavor Profile: Spice and woodsy notes, sour berries and cherries, nuts, toast, salted plums, tarragon, fennel, sage, and lemon verbena
Time on Lees: 60 Months
Dosage: 0 g/L

Why We Love It...

When we got a call from one of our best suppliers of off-the-radar, tiny, and artisan producers throughout France about a Champagne portfolio he wanted to show us… we cleared the calendar immediately. You can never have too much fantastic Grower Champagne, and one sip into the Goulin-Roualet line-up – we knew. This is going to be a new favorite producer, with a simply astounding level of quality across the portfolio.

Goulin-Roualet is a small father/daughter operation based in Sacy – a small Premier Cru village a couple miles south of Reims, contained within the northern reaches of the Montagne de Reims. Today, Christophe Goulin and his daughter Marine work alongside one another in their small cellar, with only a handful of barrels and some half dozen stainless steel tanks, producing a robust portfolio of 11 different cuvees. Most of these never leave France, but we tasted four, and grabbed three of our favorites. We’re notoriously picky – especially when it comes to Champagne, so 3 out of 4 is very impressive…

As is this wine. The 2017 ‘Sous-Bois’ will be our first from this portfolio, and you’d be wise to snag a few of each over the next few weeks… trust me! ‘Sous-Bois’ translates literally to ‘undergrowth’ which speaks to the woodland accents that develop over aging and fermenting in wood – in this case, 205 liter Champagne oak barrels. Christophe and Marine allow this wine to develop over 7 months in these vessels, with a weekly batonnage stirring to build texture, creaminess, and that signature expressive flavor.

The blend is half each pinot noir and chardonnay, with each grape hailing from a single plot – Les Hatons for the pinot noir, and Les Belons for the chardonnay. The grapes are allowed to go through a partial malolactic fermentation in barrel, before blending and bottling for a full five years on the lees. Following disgorgement of the lees, this batch was corked without any dosage – making this a Brut Nature, even though labeled as Brut (and possessing a miniscule 2.7 g/liter of unresolved sugar from the fermentation in bottle). At the end of it all,  a total yield of just 168 cases was made, now ready to make its way into the world! 

The wine expresses tremendous depth – no doubt as a result of the prolonged treatment and elevage behind this wine. Myriad spice and woodsy notes, with a lightly oxidative style, yet a remarkable freshness that showcases sour berries and cherries, salted plums, plus an herb garden bounty of tarragon, fennel, sage, and lemon verbena. The nutty, toasty elements of the barrel aging and batonnage allows for a roundness to complement the zip and verve of the fruit sensations, and the marriage of the two is profoundly harmonious – almost surprisingly so. This is delectably intense, and the sort of Champagne that demands your attention – not a simple sipper to be lightly forgotten.

In a word, I absolutely LOVE it. I’ll be getting a few of each of these coming offerings, assuredly, and I can’t recommend them enough. Only about 20 cases total, so do what you must to make a few yours today!

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Technical Details

Country: France
Region: Champagne
Appellation: Montagne de Reims
Varietal: Champagne Blends
Blend: 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay
Winemaker: Marine Goulin
Oak: Oak Basrrels from the Montagne de Reims
Alcohol: 12%
Production: 169
Pair it with: Tonkotsu Ramen with Jidori egg

Champagne Goulin-Roualet Cuvée Sous-Bois Brut Nature Premier Cru 2017




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