Jacques Selosse Initial Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne

Produced by Anselme Selosse (who was named France's best winemaker in every category by Gault-Millau), this Champagne earned a score of 94 points from Wine Advocate.
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In 1980, Anselme Selosse inherited his father's domain in the grand cru village of Avize. His father, Jacques Selosse, had gradually assembled just over 16 acres of land (in 35 separate parcels) over the course of nearly thirty years. At the time, the Champagne industry was famously, and pervasively, indifferent to fruit quality. Rather, Champagne houses purchased fruit as a commodity, with the origin of the fruit as the sole determinant of price.

While studying oenology at the Lycée Viticole de Beaune in Burgundy — not in Champagne — Selosse learned the commitment needed to produce profound wines from great terroirs. Upon inheriting his father's domain, Selosse reinvigorated the soil, drastically reducing yields in order to improve the quality of the remaining grapes. "Every grape that enters my cellar has been cultivated with my own hands," he says, holding up his well-worn hands. Inside the winery, Selosse defies convention by minimizing the use of sulfur dioxide (his wines don't need makeup, he quips) and fermenting his grapes in oak casks (most Champagne producers use stainless steel).

Selosse likens himself to the Cistercian monks who planted many of Burgundy's great vineyards in an effort to make the most of their terroir. While they were motivated by religion, Selosse says, "my religion is the vineyard."

Jacques Selosse Initial Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne is a blend of 2001, 2002 and 2003, the last year producing a harvest of rich concentrate which contributes to the wine's weight. Made from plots on the lower slopes of the vineyards in Avize, Cramant and Oger, where a component of clay is more common, this champagne is soft on the palate, with a creamy, textured fruit framed by silky tannins and notes of salinity on the finish.

"The difference between artisanal and industrial is not one of size," says Selosse. "The difference lies in the approach — an artisanal approach seeks to express identity and individuality, whereas an industrial one produces mass objects, all of the same type." Try an artisanal Champagne today!

More Information
Distiller/Bottler Name Asbury Park Distilling Co.
Size 750mL
Delicate feel, with notes of citrus, hazelnuts, almonds, lemon and brioche that are intricately wrapped around a complex and well-structured body.
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