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  • Writer's pictureJohn Paul Kaminga

Champagne is Wine: Vincent Couche

"Vincent Couche is part of the upwelling of talent (and awakening to terroir) taking place in the extreme South of Champagne, and like a number of those growers most responsible, he farms biodynamically.... Primary vinification is in a combination of tank and barrel, and Couche is one of increasingly many Champenois (especially among the young) to believe that one should render a complete as well as complex still wine before bothering to champagnize it."

-David Schildknecht

The quote above says so much, not only about the talented and dedicated team at Champagne Vincent Couche, but also about Champagne in general. I have never tasted a vin clair, that is a still wine destined to become Champagne, but the word on the street is that they are mostly unpleasant, and certainly not "complete" wines like the luxurious beverages they will take part in creating. That a wine critic felt the need to mention that an up and coming producer took the time to make a "complete as well as complex still wine" is quite remarkable, but what about the phrase that follows, "bothering to champagnize it".... bother? Should we imagine that Champagne can be a great wine without bubbles? YES. Should we expect our bubbly Champagne to be made from great still wine? ALSO YES

Champagne is always going to be expensive. Take the time to find the good stuff.

Finding worthwhile Champagne is not an altogether straightforward endeavor, as good and great Champagne is made by multinational luxury mega corporations and small growers alike. We say focus on the little guys. We have no doubt that their wines are more interesting and, believe it or not, better values. When you buy Champagne from a grower, you're paying for the work in the vineyard and the cellar. What do you think you're paying for when you buy wine from a company that has a massive marketing budget?

To our point today (finally): consider buying some Vincent Couche. We just tasted two of their wines and they are fabulous, as well as superb values.

Couche's 'Eclipsia' is made of certified organic fruit from vineyards outside the family holdings. It is mostly Pinot Noir and it shows in its gracious and flowing ripe fruit. Their 'Chardonnay de Montgueux' comes from certified biodynamic estate vines, and it is a classic example of blanc de blancs: cutting, grippy, chalky, very dry. A side by side comparison of these two wines is an education as well as a pleasure.

Vincent Couche Champagne 'Eclipsia' NV - $50

Fresh apple, pear, citrus, a little white smoke, brioche and honeysuckle. Fresh and juicy on the palate, dense layers of fruit here, this does not rely on its time sur lattes to have complexity, it is obvious that this was a serious wine on the vine. Long and vivacious, with fresh ripe fruit lingering alongside floral and subtle toasty nuances.

Vincent Couche Champagne 'Chardonnay de Montgueux' NV - $75

Toast, beeswax, fresh cream, citrus candy, a little vanilla, mint and tarragon. Zippy and cutting on the palate, classic Blanc de Blancs. Long and very dry, with chalky mineral notes lingering with tart citrus, herb and toasty nuances. Lovely!

Order one of each of from Vincent Couche and we'll knock 10% off your order. Please email to place an order or ask a question.


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