« the Sthlm Selosse tasting » nov'14

I’ve mentioned the name of Anselme Selosse on several occasions earlier in this book, partly because he’s my favorite grower, and partly because he’s the most original winemaker in all of Champagne. The charismatic Anselme is influenced by his time at the Lycée Viticole in Beaune, where he studied together with several famous winemakers from Burgundy.

Anselme was determined to attempt to make a great champagne using Burgundy methods

His father Jacques already owned some of the best strips of land in the Côte des Blancs, full of old vines, so Anselme did have some excellent basic materials to work with. Today Anselme owns four hectares in Avize, one in Oger, one in Mesnil, one in Cramant, 1 in Ambonnay, 1 in Mareuil and one in Aÿ. The land in Aÿ is right next to Bollinger’s Côte aux Enfants Anselme has made an oak-fermented Blanc de Noirs from these grapes.

All of Selosse's thirty-five Chardonnay locations are vinified separately in small Burgundy barrels bought in from different barrel makers.

The old vines—average age thirty-eight years old—are pruned to the maximum in order to minimize the yield. The grapes are harvested later than most and are individually picked. After the pressing, the juice is tapped into 225-liter barriques (20 percent new barrels), where it stays for a year. Once a week Anselme lifts up the sediment with a steel rod in order to further enrich the wine, in a traditional Burgundy process called “bâtonnage.” Selosse categorically rejects malolactic fermentation, which means his rich wines have a bite that is unbeatable.

Anselme, the perfectionist, does almost everything himself.

The wines are then stored up to eight years in the bottle before being disgorged. Just as with Krug, all Selosse’s well-kept wines need at least six months’ bottle age after being disgorged in order for them to be accessible. The dosage is always very low, and only fruit sugar is used to maintain the wine’s natural balance. Selosse’s wines have given Champagne a new dimension, with their unique, vinous, Chardonnay style. The magic man from Avize has swiftly become Champagne’s cult grower number one, after having been chosen as France’s top winemaker in all categories by the magazine Gault Millau in 1994. Despite the fame, the price is resonable. All wines are magical.

Thanks for existing Anselme!