We announced it in the first part of our series dedicated to the winegrowers of the Aube. Ten of the most beautiful and promising champagne houses of the Côte des Bar and Montgueux came to celebrate at the Elysée Pavillon the 20thanniversary of the Hôtels and Préférence group, an international French group with one of the most impressive collections of 4- and 5-stars hotels in France. In this second gustatory stage, we share with you four beautiful discoveries of the Côte des Bar.
Let’s start our second gustatory stage with two discoveries held by two talented entrepreneurs.
First, the winegrower from Montgueux: Hélène Beaugrand.
The only representative of the town of Montgueux present that evening, she has also chosen to exploit, in her name, three hectares of vines belonging to the family estate, which no longer produces champagne. The company specializes in Chardonnay and its aromatic complexity, a particularity specific to Montgueux, an atypical village that depends on the Côte des Blancs (Marnes).
On the advice of this wine merchant and expert, rather than her cuvée, an “unvarnished” ode to the region’s terroir – “Grand Carré non dosé Blanc de Blanc” – I let myself be seduced by her most exclusive UFO cuvée: La Belle Hélène by Hélène de Troyes NV. It is a blanc de noir without dosage. Its case, of the most beautiful effect, contains freshness and a floral bouquet. The interior reveals a silky golden color and fine bubbles. On the palate, it is a concentrate of flavors that evoke cherry, plum, baked apple, violet, acacia, or almond.
Here I am now in front of the Lionnel Carreau domain, specialized in vegan and organic viticulture and whose family business – based in Celles-sur-Ources – exists since the 16th century. Intrigued, I ask Orianne, its CEO, about this vegan production which is nonetheless “a high-level certification.” She tells me that “to nourish the soil, the family estate uses algae and bark rather than dung.” She then introduces me to her 2018 extra brut vintage: the Blanc de Vrai cuvée.
A product usually reserved for the international market that I have the chance to taste. The cuvée uses pinot blanc, a very rare grape variety in Champagne, “which only concerns 0.2% of the production“. The nose reminds me of a green apple. The palate is acidic on notes of lime. A subtle fruity aromatic that stimulates the taste buds to the verbena aroma. The whole gives a straight and tense wine. A product that is suitable for both seafood and fine fish.