Grower Champagne Club – November 2012

NV Camille Savès, Grand Cru Carte d’Or, Brut
There are records of exceptional wines from the Montagne de Reims region of Bouzy dating back to the sixth century. Wines from Bouzy were regularly served at banquets crowning the kings of France in Reims and they even appear in the cellar inventory of Louis the Sixteenth. The history of Bouzy producer Camille Savès dates back merely to 1894, when Eugène Savès began bottling Champagne here. Today the estate is run by his great-grandson, Hervé. All of Savès’ Champagnes are fermented in enamel-lined steel tanks then aged in a combination of steel and neutral oak, and all receive a minimum of four years on the lees. This provides the characteristic richness and depth that their wines are known for. But none go through malolactic fermentation, the process that softens wines by converting the tart malic acid into creamier lactic acid. Savès believes that avoiding “malo” helps preserve the crisp, fresh minerality and bright fruit flavors of their wines. The balance of deep, rich texture and sleek, elegant freshness is a hallmark of Savès’ style. We featured their Premier Cru Carte Blanche in the March, 2011 club. This month we present their Carte d’Or, also a blend of 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay, but all from their Grand Cru Bouzy fruit. The most distinct and intriguing of their non-vintage wines, it starts with rich, toasty, biscuity flavors and aromas, and evolves in the glass, developing fresh fruit notes and hints of warm baked apples. The importer is only able to get a small amount of Savés Champagne each year and, because of their “cult-like” following, it disappears quickly. This one is $75 and perfect for the holidays, or to make any day special.