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Marie Courtin, Champagne, France

Marie Courtin
Cote des Bars, Champagne

“Single Variety, Single-Vineyard, Single-Vintage, No Dosage, Natural”

  • Est. 2005 in Polisot, Cotes de Bars
  • Owned by Dominique Moreau, named for her grandmother, “a woman of the Earth”
  • Uncompromising expression of terrior, some of the most exciting wines of the Aube
  • Sourced from a single 6 acre south-facing hillside parcel planted in the 1970s by her father-in-law
  • Certified Organic in 2010, practicing biodynamic and seeking certification
  • Almost solely Pinot Noir, but a small amount of Chardonnay is planted
  • The wines are further defined by extended lees aging up to 3 years

 

Champagne Marie Courtin is located in the village of Polisot in the Cote des Bars, in the southern part of the Champagne region. With its slightly warmer temperatures, this area is particularly prized for its Pinot Noir grapes. Combined with the Kimmeridgian limestone subsoils, the champagnes retain freshness similar to Chablis.

Dominique named her estate after her grandmother, Marie Courtin, whom she describes as a “woman of the earth.” Her wines come from a hillside vineyard of 40-45 year old, massale-selection Pinot Noir. The combination of low yields, clay-limestone soils (with bands of Kimmeridgian) and an east/southeast exposure gives the wines both power and cut, with an intense brininess and minerality at their core.

The estate makes several cuvees at this point, but the two original wines, “Resonance” and “Efflorescence,” carry most of the volume. The grapes for Efflorescence tend to come from the bottom of the hill, which she says, “has greater power and potential”. At harvest, the grapes are all harvested by hand. The wines are fermented with natural yeasts that have been selected from their vineyards and cultivated separately. These native yeasts are used for both primary and secondary fermentations. Lastly, there is no dosage added upon disgorgement.

Dominique embraces a spiritual philosophy in her production and viticulture. In one particular technique, she uses pendulums (often used in energy healing practices) in both the vineyard and cellar to aid in evaluating both the evolution of the grapes on the vine as well as the wine during elevage. She explains that the pendulum changes its natural rhythm and swing based on the energy emitted from a living being, whether person, vineyard, or wine.

The names of the wines carry spiritual significance for Dominique as well. “Resonance” refers to the balancing energies of earth and sky that affect the creation of a wine from its surrounding terroir. For Dominique, “Efflorescence” refers to “something that evolves in perpetuity”. Starting with the evolution encouraged by the small oxygen exchange in barrel, she feels that this wine in particular will show a very different face at each stage of its development in bottle. She recommends that both wines be served in traditional white wine glasses to allow for their development through increased aeration.

“These are the first wines I have tasted from Marie Courtin, a small grower based in Polisot, in the Cote des Bars. The vineyards have been farmed biodynamically since 2007. These wines represent the height of vinosity in Champagne. It will be fascinating to see what develops here in the coming years.” — Antonio Galloni

 

Resonance Extra Brut, Blanc de Noir – 100% Pinot Noir

  • Biodynamic Farming
  • 40-45 yr old vines, massale selection
  • Single parcel located in Polisot (Cote des Bar)
  • Clay-limestone soils with east/south-east exposure.
  • The fruit for Resonance comes from the top of the slope where there is little topsoil
  • Vinification: Fermented in stainless steel
  • Native yeasts used for both fermentations; non-dose
  • 9,000 bottles produced.

 

Efflorescence Extra Brut, Blanc de Noir – 100% Pinot Noir

  • Biodynamic Farming
  • 40-45 yr old vines, massale selection
  • single parcel located in Polisot (Cote des Bar)
  • clay-limestone soils with east/south-east exposure
  • grapes sourced from bottom of hill
  • Vinification: Fermented in used barriques
  • native yeasts used for both fermentations; non-dose
  • 6,000 bottles produced.

 

Concordance Extra Brut, Blanc de Noir – 100% Pinot Noir

  • Biodynamic Farming
  • 40-45 yr old vines, massale selection
  • single parcel located in Polisot (Cote des Bar)
  • clay-limestone soils with east/south-east exposure
  • grapes sourced from top of hill
  • Vinification: Fermented in used barriques
  • native yeasts used for both fermentations; non-dose
  • This no-sulfur cuvée is only made in certain years when conditions are perfect. First vintage released was 2009 and helped launch Dominique’s reputation for years to come.

 

Indulgence Extra Brut Rose – 100% Pinot Noir

  • Biodynamic Farming
  • 40-45 yr old vines, massale selection
  • Fermented in stainless steel, macerated 3-4 days
  • Aged 3 years on lies

 

Le Blanc du Tremble Coteaux Champenois – 100% Pinot Noir

  • Biodynamic Farming
  • 40-45 yr old vines, massale selection
  • single parcel located in Polisot (Cote des Bar)
  • clay-limestone soils with east/south-east exposure
  • Grapes are lightly pressed and native yeast fermentation occurs in two 5hl amphoras, one in clay and one in sandstone. Malolactic fermentation completes naturally.
  • Bottled still, unfined, and unfiltered.