N.V. Stephane Coquillette Carte d'Or, 1er Cru Chouilly, Champagne, France (750ml)
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Stephane is a 4th generation producer in the Cote des Blancs region of Champagne, and his Brut Carte d'Or is approximately 2/3rds Pinot Noir and 1/3 Chardonnay. All the fruit is from Premier Cru or Grand Cru rated vineyards. Stephane's grandparents established Champagne Saint-Chamant in 1930, and Stephane's father still runs that domaine today.
Stéphane Coquillette is the son of Christian Coquillette whose Saint Chamant Champagnes we' have often enjoyed. According to his web site, it was Stéphane's grandmother who was the first to produce Champagne in the Grand Cru village of Chouilly in the Côtes des Blancs. Besides Chouilly, Stéphane also owns Chardonnay vineyards in Cuis, Côtes des Blancs, as well as Pinot Noir vineyards in the Montagne de Reims villages of Äy and Mareuil-sur-Äy. While he can't say he farms his vineyards organically (a relative rarity in Champagne) this is what he says about his farming, "The vines grow on 30 centimeters of topsoil and rest directly on bedrock, chalk that acts as a giant sponge, absorbing water during rains and returning in drought periods. A part of the vineyard is plowed, and the other is covered with organic bark to curb erosion."