Grower Champagne Club – July 2020

2009 Camille Savès, Grand Cru Brut Millésime, $76
There are records of exceptional wines being made in the Montagne de Reims village of Bouzy as far back as the sixth century. Champagnes 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 the 1890s, when work as an agricultural engineer took Eugène Savès to Champagne. There he met and fell in love with Anaïs Jolicoeur, whose wine-growing family had been in the region since the 16th century. Eugène settled in and became a producer himself, founding Champagne Eugène Savès in 1894. 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, with holdings in a number of Premier Cru sites as well. Hervé eschews the use of pesticides and herbicides in his vineyards 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 stainless steel and neutral oak. All receive three to four years on the lees which provides the characteristic richness and depth of his wines. He blocks malolactic fermentation though, because he feels Bouzy fruit has enough power and richness on its own and doesn’t need any additional weight. Savès’ Champagnes are known for their fresh minerality, depth of flavor, and amazing finesse. The Brut Millésime is his highest level Champagne, made only in exceptional years and is sourced from his best cuvées of Pinot Noir (80%) and Chardonnay (20%), all from Grand Cru Bouzy vines over 35 years old. The 2009 has a gorgeous balance of lovely red fruit flavor, rich texture, elegance, and mouthwatering freshness.