Christian Etienne is a traditional man trying to do what it takes to keep his tiny 9 hectares producing extraordinary fruit. Located in Meurville, Southeast of the Valle Marnes in Aube / Côtes de Bar, he works his land ecologically, while his six children grow up among the vines, keeping alive the family tradition of many generations. It is testament to their endurance, to survive despite two wars in the region and near bankruptcy in between. The vines are as sturdy as Christian themselves, digging deeply into the pure limestone and chalky soils surrounding the house. They are meticulously cared for, as they are as much part of the family, with proper selection while harvesting. Although the cellar is tiny, Christian vinifies his wines separately, producing several cuvées, charting the expression of each varietal and parcel soil type. These are hand-crafted wines by the best definition. Christian has much to do to keep the family tradition alive. Now, with his popularity climbing in the US, he will secure that continuity for the future.
Champagne Brut, ‘Tradition,’ NV
From 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay, this wine is a blend of the 2009 and 2010 harvests. All grapes are hand-harvested, aged around 25 years-old and planted on clay-limestone soils. The Chardonnay is moved to 3-year old barrels for fermentation and ageing for about one year, while the Pinot Noir is moved to stainless steel tanks. Secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle with three years of aging before being disgorged three months before release with a 10-11-gram dosage.
Champagne Extra Brut, "Cuvée Millésime"
From 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay, grapes for this remarkable cuvée were hand-picked selectively and were vinified in a stainless steel tank. The wine completed malo-lactic fermentation and was bottled in the Spring of 2003, after which it was aged until disgorgement, in August of 2012. This cuvée received a dosage of 9 grams per liter.