Ambonnay, Champagne, France

Champagne and took over the vines of his former tutor. In 1969, Alain, the eldest son, joined the business and together they traded under the name of Soutiran-Pelletier. Today, it is Alain’s eldest daughter, Valérie and her husband, Patrick - also from Champagne stock - who together own six hectares of vines and manage a further four, centred on the Grand Cru village of Ambonnay.

Soutiran’s main point of difference is the amount of age the wines enjoy in bottle before they are disgorged. These are very much gastronomic Champagnes, designed more for the table than as a celebratory drink. Of the four examples we hold as UK stock, the current assemblage of the Cuvée Signature is base wine from the 2008 vintage. It’s a blend of 60% Pinot Noir with 40% Chardonnay and is 100% Ambonnay fruit. The Blanc de Blancs could be classified as a vintage, since it is solely from the 2006 harvest. One-third of the base wine aged in barrel and foudre before blending and bottling. The Perle Noire is 100% Pinot Noir and again, sourced from Ambonnay and could also claim to be a vintage Champagne. Finally, the Rosé de Saignée is 100% Pinot Noir, with grapes from Ambonnay and Bouzy. It too is from a single vintage. The fruit was macerated on the skins for 3 days prior to the juice being drawn off, resulting in a colour as deep as a light red Burgundy. The result is vinous and something of a curiosity. A Champagne that is perhaps best served with food.

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