If you would have predicted in 1986, that Buxières-sur-Acre, nestled in the hills south of the medieval town of Troyes, […]Keep Reading
If you would have predicted in 1986, that Buxières-sur-Acre, nestled in the hills south of the medieval town of Troyes, would be home to one of the most heralded récoltants in Champagne you would have been greeted by two possible reactions: a blank stare or derision. A blank stare because few would know where to place Buxières on a map, and derision from those who could. It wasn’t necessarily Bertrand Gautherot’s plan either, as initially he continued to farm conventionally, and sell his grapes to large Champagne houses. With an evolving respect for his terroir and concern for his young family, Bertrand set about declaring independence from the outdated echelle system and the negative pressure it places on growers. He converted his vineyards to biodynamics, gaining certification from Demeter in 1998 and started bottling his own wine in 2001.
Located in the Côte des Bar, Bertrand’s estate is named after two of his lieu-dits: Vouette & Sorbée. Unlike the vineyards in the north of Champagne with their fine chalky soils, the Côte des Bar is more like Chablis – dense, rocky, Kimmeridgian and Portlandian clays. Historically Pinot Noir was the dominant variety in this region but Bertrand has been slowly expanding his plantings of Chardonnay. He makes three wines from grapes that are harvested by hand, and fermented with indigenous yeasts in French oak barrels. Nothing is chapitalized, filtered or acidified. There are no cold macerations and a small amount of SO2 is added right after the grapes are pressed. Bertrand prefers to make wines as transparent as possible so he doesn’t use liqueur de l’expedition. Fidèle is 100% Pinot Noir from sites of Vouette and Sorbée made with 5% reserve wine and showing the vinous and muscular style of these terroirs. Blanc d’Argile is 100% Chardonnay from Briaunes, a young parcel of Chardonnay vines on Kimmeridgian clay showcasing the piercing and mineral qualities of this site. Finally there is his rosé, Saignée de Sorbée sourced from the lower slope of Sorbée where the Pinot ripens a few degrees higher. Vibrant in color and intensely flavored it is a rare example of this style of rosé in Champagne.Close