Grower Champagne Club – October 2019

Camille Savès, Grand Cru Carte d’Or, NV, $68
There are records of exceptional wines from the Montagne de Reims village 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 met and fell in love with Anaïs Jolicoeur, whose wine-growing family had been in Bouzy since the 16th century. He founded Champagne Eugène Savès in 1894 and began bottling his own Champagne. His grandson Camille changed the name along the way, and the house is now in the hands of great grandson Hervé, who oversees ten hectares of vineyards, mostly in the Grand Cru villages of Bouzy and Ambonnay. Hervé eschews the use of pesticides and herbicides and strictly controls yields in order to maintain utmost quality. He ferments his Champagnes in enamel-lined steel tanks then ages them in a combination of steel and neutral oak, and all receive a minimum of four years on the lees which provides the characteristic richness and depth that Savès wines are known for. He does not let them go through malolactic fermentation though, because he feels fruit from Bouzy has enough power and richness on its own and doesn’t need any addition weight. It also preserves the fresh minerality and bright fruit flavors of the wines. The balance of deep, rich texture and sleek, elegant freshness is a hallmark of Savès’ style. We’ve featured several of their Champagnes over the years, including a previous version of the Carte d’Or. It is a blend of 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay, all from their Grand Cru Bouzy vineyards, and gets 8 grams dosage. The wine is bottle-aged on the lees a minimum of four to five years before disgorgement giving it beautiful texture and complexity. It opens with rich, toasty, biscuity flavors and aromas, and evolves in the glass, developing fresh notes of stone fruits and hints of warm baked apples. This one is perfect for any special occasion.