Grower Champagne Club – April 2018

François Dilgent, Trois Pinots, Brut Nature NV, $55
François Diligent is based in the village of Buxeuil, in Champagne’s southernmost sub-region, the Côte des Bar, also referred to as the Aube. As we’ve noted in the past, this region, while technically still a part of Champagne, is much closer in both proximity and terroir to Chablis. It has the same Kimmeridgian limestone soil as in that northernmost appellation of Burgundy, in contrast to the predominantly chalk and clay soils found in the heart of the rest of Champagne to the north. The Diligent family, together with the Moutard family, have been vignerons in the region for four centuries. In 1927 François Diligent founded his negociant house with 22.5 hectares of vineyards around Bar-sur-Seine, just north of Buxeuil, and began producing Champagne under his own label. Today the family carries on, with a particular interest in the old, rarer Champagne varietals, and they continue to grow all six, including Petit Meslier, Pinot Blanc, and Arbane. Their “Trois Pinots” is a roughly even blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Blanc. As a Brut Nature, it has minimal dosage, but five to six years lees aging adds richness and creamy texture to this fresh, expressive offering. Its flavors of dried fruit, peach, and almonds, are balanced by racy acidity and a long, pleasant citrusy finish. Perfect to start a meal, or to enjoy with shellfish, such as crab or lobster, or with richer white meat dishes.