From the village of Hautvillers in France, Vincent Bliard is one of the best small grower Champagnes I have had in awhile. This family run estate became Bio in 1970 and has remained the only certified organic grower in the area. Not using chemicals and pesticides is not a new idea. Working alongside nature can be a difficult choice, but it shows how hard a farmer is willing to work to create a product that respects the land. These wines are typically more terrior driven and the love the vintner has for his vines, often show through in the taste. Like all Champagnes, their wines are made from the three typical grapes grown in the region; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Petit Meunier. The wine is aged in oak barrels for a period that depends on the year and type of cuvee. I don’t know much about this family of vignerons, except that they put all their love and passion into making their Champagne and it shows!
They make six different Champagnes from only 4.5 hectars. The one I tried was the blanc de blanc. Made from just the Chardonnay grape, it had a medium to dark gold color with numerous, small
fine bubbles. The floral and chalky characteristics danced in my nose, balancing well with the sweetness of the fruit. Hints of mature banana, pear, apricot and a variety of exotic fruits were all present. The minerality carried through to the palate and rounded out a toasty flavor found from the use of oak. It was a clean and full Champagne that reminded me a bit of winter. In fact, I think this would make for a great New Years toasting wine and I do look forward to drinking more of it this year.