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Back in 2019 we excitedly selected Vincent Couche's 1999 Brut "Sensation" Dégorgement Tardif as our top Champagne of the year. It was truly a remarkable Champagne that managed to combine a lively fruit core with two decades of savory cellar magic. 1999 was also the year that Vincent embraced biodynamics and started a wholesale restructuring of the domaine’s farming and cellar practices. He first started off by replanting his thirty-two acres of vineyards under the direction of noted terrior specialist Claude Bourguignon who has consulted for the like of Domaine Romanee Conti, Domaine Leflaive and Jacques Selosse. Certification takes a lot of time, and it wasn’t until 2008 that his vineyards and cellars were Demeter Certified Biodynamic. Vincent Couche is, in fact, the first producer in Champagne to have the Demeter Certification for both his vineyards and cellar! He has spent nearly every waking hour over the past two decades ensuring his wines are free of additives. He eschews unnatural methods at every step of the process including banning chaptalization or sulfur during fermentation while only using gravity flow to move the wine. Of course, these methods are labor intensive and expensive, yet the prices of Chouche’s artisanal bubbles are less than those charged by the region’s mass market Champagne houses.

Based mostly on the 2016 harvest with reserve wine from 2014 and 2015, this Brut relies heavily (80%) on Pinot Noir from Couche's home base of Buxeuil in the Côte des Bar where the soils are composed of limestone and clay marl. This red fruit component is evident in the bubbly's attractive overtones of Mirabelle plums and Queen Anne cherries. There is also a significant dollop of Chardonnay from the family's holdings in Montgueux, a village famed for its ancient Turonian era chalk deposits. The slopes of Montgueux face the south and its Chardonnays get quite ripe, displaying lush fruit as well as a deep-seated minerality which in this case is expressed with hints of key lime, white peaches and wet stones. Neither fined or filtered, this Champagne was finished with a nearly Extra Brut dosage of dosage of 6 grams per liter. Silky and expansive, Eclipsia is configured to please the casual drinker while thrilling dedicated Champagne fans.
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