Champagne Jean Josselin, Les Blancs Millésime 2016, $58
The Josselin family acquired their first vineyard in 1854, on land near the village of Gyé-sur-Seine, in the Aube department of Champagne’s southern Côte des Bar region.
Decades later Jean Josselin, having inherited some parcels from his parents, began working to expand his holdings on some of the best hillsides in the region. In 1957 he created his own brand, Champagne Jean Josselin. Today his vineyards consist of 14 unique parcels, with varied exposures, planted on soils of clay and Kimmeridgian limestone. The diverse sites enable his house to create elegant, complex Champagnes.
Although Champagne Jean Josselin grows all three of the main Champagne grapes, this wine is 100% Chardonnay, hence the name “Les Blancs,” all from the 2016 vintage. It gets a modest four grams per liter dosage and is thus labeled Extra Brut, but complete malolactic fermentation and three years’ aging sur lattes adds a balancing texture and depth to what might otherwise be a much leaner Champagne. It has fresh floral aromas with notes of orchard fruit, spice, and a touch of butter, and soft, lively bubbles. Overall, it is crisp, elegant, and complex, with good minerality from the limestone soil and a nice long finish. Enjoy it anytime over the next few years, perhaps with tuna bites with coriander, shellfish, or white meat dishes.