Olivier Horiot, Champagne Sève Rosé de Saignée (2016)

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  • $79.99
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In the southern-most part of the Champagne region, the Côte des Bar in the Aube department, there is the town of Les Riceys, where the slopes are blessed with the portlandian formation of Kimmeridgian chalk, that same great stuff that is the foundation of the finest Chablis and Sancerre. Except here the idea was to plant Pinot Noir on these chalky slopes, do a long maceration, often using whole bunches, and then age it a few years (at least three) before release — not exactly your average deck wine.

Olivier Horiot took over the estate of his father Serge in 1999; though it bears his name due to inheritance, his wife Marie is essential to day to day operations and runs the cellar. Together they work seven hectares of vines and immediately started using organic and biodynamic practices. From the beginning, the Horiot have championed highlighting specific parcels in the effort of being more terroir-focused.

The Pinot Noir grapes for Sève come from the En Barmont parcel. Four days of semi-carbonic maceration, vinified and aged in oak barrels. The wine goes through malolactic fermentation. Sève is always released as 100% vintage wine and without dosage.