The influence that the small maison Jacques Selosse has exerted on the producers of Champagne, is an incontrovertible fact that testifies the importance of the charismatic Anselme Selosse 40 years of study and research. It all begins around 1974 when the young Anselme, once he had completed his studies in enology in Burgundy, joined the Maison founded by his father Jacques 15 years earlier. They are years characterized by an almost absolute monopoly by a few large producers, who impose a fairly standardized taste to their champagne, made from grapes often purchased based on the appellation of origin, without a real zonation of the appellation itself. Anselme, on the other hand, having studied the precision with which in Burgundy is defined the quality of the single Cru and, sometimes, of the single rows of the same vineyard, sees in this process the answer to the need to create a new and characteristic style for his wines.
His ideas become reality in 1980 when, at less than 30 years, he took over the house from his father and begins to experiment a style that in the vineyard is based on the exaltation of each of the 54 plots of the winery, distributed over 8.3 hectares of land in the most prestigious areas, almost all Grand Cru, in the north of the Côte de Blancs and the south of the Montagne de Reims. This meticulous zonation is accompanied by the harvesting of the grapes at full ripeness, produced, in very low quantities, from plants raised with natural viticulture principles that become progressively more and more radical, and which lead him to assert that the greatest disturbances to nature are the work of man and that, consequently, efforts must be made to interfere with nature as little as possible. Even in the cellar the conviction is that the vinification must be as spontaneous as possible, with the use of yeast strains obtained from its own vineyards and the drastic reduction of the use of SO2 and liqueur d’expédition, obtained only from pure grape fructose. A special mention should be made to the technique of bese wines refining, on fine lees, in barriques (new to 20%), a technique of clear Burgundian inspiration that allows Anselme to manage their oxygenation until obtaining a slight oxidation, a real signature of the House.
Since 2018 Anselme has handed over the company’s baton to his son Guillaume, also an enologist, who, in addition to working side by side with his father, since 2012, since 2009 produces his own champagnes branded “Guillaume S.”, with results that suggest that the paternal inheritance is definitely in good hands.
Among the wines produced one of the most interesting is Extra Brut Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru La Côte Faron, a 100% Pinot Noir that was originally known by the name of Contraste. Its originality lies in the fact that Pinot Noir is a very minority grape variety in this House, as it occupies only 12% of the area planted with vines (the other 88% is exclusively Chardonnay). The grapes, obtained from a small Grand Cru Lieu Dit in the municipality of Aÿ, after spontaneous fermentation give rise to a base wine which ages in barriques and, subsequently, ages on the lees in bottle for six years, before disgorging and re-ripening with a very small quantity of liqueur d’expédition with a dosage of less than 2 mg/l.
My bottle, with disgorgement date 2016 and then, presumably, with a base harvested in 2008 (an exceptional vintage in Champagne), has an intense golden color and a chiselled and persistent perlage. The aromatic range excites for the richness of references, with peach in syrup, cooked apple, date and sultana in the foreground, followed by fragrant croissants, salted caramel, dried tropical fruit, and marzipan, and a tail of strawberry tree honey, Toasted hazelnut, damp chalk and a touch of Sherry. The taste is broad, rich and creamy, with a smoothness well balanced by the good acid-sapid component, and with an olfactory return in which sultanas dominate the scene, accompanied by yellow fruit, croissants and the elegant hint of Sherry, on whose notes a sip of great persistence is extinguished.
Want to find out what I can do for you? Click here!