From: Champagne, France
Varietal: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
Stéphane Coquillette is just the latest in a grand line of family tradition in Champagne. Under the tutelage of his late father Christian, who for a staggering seventy years ran the amazing Champagne house Saint-Chamant, Stéphane has continued the practice of hand-crafted, small-production Champagnes with extreme vinous character and undeniable terroir. With that in mind, we’re proud to present their fleeting “Inflorescence” cuvée.
In Champagne, the conventional wisdom of classic grapes follows a different script. For instance Chardonnay, rather than contributing the typecast “oaky” or “buttery” additions, adds a racy, green-apple streak of brightness and linear acid, while the two Pinots (Noir & Meunier) add fruit richness, aromatic depth, and body.
This “Inflorescence” is a new addition to their already-amazing lineup: with a higher percentage of red grapes Pinot Noir & Meunier, it shows a glorious coppery-rose gold color in the glass, with bountiful aromas of cherry pit, raspberry, cut flowers, warm spice (think vetiver and cardamom), and Stéphane’s trademark lean-and-mean streak of mineral-driven cut and definition. This all contributes to an almost paradoxical combination of richness, lush body, and searingly, tongue-tingling minerality. Simply, utterly, fantastically delicious!
Coquillette is based in the prestigious village of Chouilly, located in the Côtes des Blancs subregion of Champagne. The Côte des Blancs, as the name suggests, consists mostly of Chardonnay, the main white grape of Champagne. What makes this release all the more special is the higher proportion of red grapes.
Coquillette’s dedication to organics makes the house stand out amongst his peers – not only is it incredibly laborious, but difficult in the unforgiving northerly climate of Champagne, where rain, hail, and overcast skies are a constant threat. Nevertheless, he avoids herbicides and man-made chemicals at all cost, an intuitive extension of his philosophy of “nothing added, nothing taken away.
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