I met Charlotte De Sousa from Champagne De Sousa at her family winery in Avize in late June 2018. Watch the full interview above.
Avize is in the heart of the Côte des Blancs area of Champagne, the homeland for chalky, fresh, crisp chardonnay dominant champagnes.
The chalk in the soil in and around Avize runs deep… and the roots of the Champagne De Sousa vines grow 40 metres down into the chalk, imparting a minerality and clarity to the wines that I immediately fell in love with. A small producer, the family makes about 85,000 bottles of champagne a year, and it is one of a tiny number of certified biodynamic champagne producers in the entire region. I’ll write more about biodynamic champagnes… it’s an interesting topic that cynics might say is more about marketing than wine making. But when I asked Charlotte why they chose to become biodynamic, the answer was so honest, authentic and passionate, I have no doubt about her philosophy.
So let’s talk about our Champagne De Sousa tasting 🥂!
In my interview and tasting with Charlotte we tried three different Champagne De Sousa blanc de blancs (100% chardonnay) champagnes that were all amazing and utterly distinct. You can watch and hear all about them in the video.
Now if you’ve been hanging out with me for a while, you will know I have a preference for high pinot noir champagnes. But I walked away from my tasting with Charlotte with three new fave blanc de blancs.
We tried the:
Champagne De Sousa Grand Cru Reserve…
- The tech stuff…
- 100% chardonnay, blend of two or three different years from Grand Cru villages of Cramant, Avize, Oger, Mesnil sur Oger and Chouilly. 30% reserve wine. 7 g/l dosage. Of course, organic and biodynamic.
Champagne De Sousa The Mycorhize
- The tech stuff…
- 100% chardonnay, the viticulture is organic, biodynamic and uses horse ploughing. Markedly different wine with 100% oak barrels vinification (the Grand Cru Reserve was in tank), 25% perpetual reserve and dosage of 4g/l.
Champagne De Sousa Cuvée des Caudalies
- The tech stuff…
- 100% chardonnay, the viticulture is organic and biodynamic. This cuvee is vinified again 100% oak barrels, with 50% perpetual reserve and dosage of 5g/l.
Such a fascinating comparison to try three blanc de blancs from one producer and see how the smallest change in techniques and blends produces such diverse wine.
I have tried (and loved!) all of the wines in the Champagne De Sousa range (with the exception of a vintage). I actually wrote about the Champagne De Sousa Brut Rosé in my Top 5 Spring Rosés, and a group of girlfriends had the Brut Rosé at an event we all attended recently where it was the resounding pick of the day from my friends. (But they all got into BIG trouble when they asked me if I’d tried it before – the moment you discover your BFFs don’t actually read your blog!)
In Australia, you can get your hands on most of the Champagne De Sousa range from Emperor Champagne. Emperor currently stocks the Grand Cru Reserve, the Mycorhizes Grand Cru, the Brut Rosé as well as the 3A (Aÿ, Ambonnay & Avize) and their entry level NV Brut Tradition.
I haven’t gone into too much detail in this post deliberately… because I want you to watch the tasting video and hear about it directly from Charlotte… why listen to me when you can hear it from the winemaker directly???? And Charlotte’s knowledge and her passion are incredible and she was an equally generous and kind host.
And having the chance to hear from a female winemaker is special. It breaks my heart because there should be nothing unique, rare or special about female winemakers but there is. Just like female CEOs and Prime Ministers… they shouldn’t be special achievements but they still are.
And I will be back with more from Charlotte on exactly that topic! Charlotte is one-seventh of Les Fa’Bulleuses, a group of amazing young female winemakers. I got to meet with three of the seven on my visit in 2018 and I hope I’ll meet the others on future trips.
As always I want to know if you have tried any wines from Champagne De Sousa? If you have, post a pic and tag @bubbleandflute or #bubbleandflute #happychamper
Bubble & Flute promotes the responsible consumption of alcohol for individuals of legal drinking age in their country.