Grower Champagne Club – February 2023

Champagne Goutorbe-Bouillot, Reflets de Rivière Brut NV, $57

Goutorbe-Bouillot is a small, family-owned producer based in the village of Damery, west of Epernay in the Marne Valley.   

It was originally founded by Jules Goutorbe and Louise Bouillet, and today their grandson Bastien makes the wines and manages the estate. He has eight hectares of vineyards with 35 different parcels spread around the valley. Pinot Meuiner is traditionally the predominant grape in the region, and over half of his vineyards are planted to that grape, with the remainder planted to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The vines average around 35 years in age, although some are up to nearly a century old, and grow in clay and limestone soil. The winery is certified Viticulture Durable de Champagne, a standard specific to the region based on the principles of protecting biodiversity, managing water resources, and reducing carbon footprint.

Goutorbe-Bouillot produces their wines using a solera-type system, which they began in 1980, and each year they use about half of the reserve wine in their blends with the aim of adding more maturity and complexity to the finished wine. To help maintain the natural acidity of the fruit, they block malolactic fermentation. This Champagne is 60% Pinot Meunier, 20% Chard, and 20% Pinot Noir, blended (in decreasing proportions) from 30 vintages from their solera. The wine spends three years on the lees and gets eight grams per liter dosage. It is fresh and vibrant, with delicate bubbles, and aromas of orchard fruit and citrus. On the palate, it is medium bodied and expressive, with nice texture, a hint of toasted nuts, and a refreshing, lingering finish. It’s ready to enjoy now, perhaps with scallops with olive oil and lemon.