Once upon a time, there was a group of people who shared the same passion for outstanding terroirs. This is no fairytale, this is our story!
It is made up of 15 men and women, most of whom have learnt their trade from their elders. They all keep a rich and complex legacy alive, they all love their land and they all champion community, communication and togetherness!
They have a clear vision: use the power of a group to promote their land.
Together – and that’s the key word here – they have achieved what their colleagues have failed to do: come together as an association. Together, they are the Grands Crus d’Exception de Champagne. They communicate and move forwards together, host events and design a unique vintage called C17 in tribute to the 17 Grand Cru villages that go into it.
Grand Cru villages
When it says “Grand Cru de Champagne” on the bottle, it means the champagne is made solely from grapes from one or more listed Grand Cru villages.
17 out of 317 vine growing towns and villages are listed as Grand Cru. The rating system was founded in the early 20th century when the towns and villages were assessed on the standard of their produce.
Out of the 17 Grand Cru villages, 11 are in Reims Mountain and 6 are in Côte des Blancs.
The C17 magnum
We had the bright and bold idea of creating our own vintage in 2017. We wanted to blend the 17 Grands Crus of Champagne in a never-before-seen and extraordinary feat for our region. What makes it even more unique is that the idea came from 15 vine growers providing fruit from their own production.
We blend the grapes from each of the outstanding terroirs once picked to make a 4000kg marc in a traditional press.
The wine is packed full of passion, love for the land, communication and discussion among our association’s fifteen members and made exclusively in limited numbers of magnums as vintages. This bottle was a natural choice as it helps the wine age and the aromas to come into their own.Technical sheet
The wine is aged in wooden casks, demi-muids and oak barrels. These containers were a natural choice for us to give our wine complexity, full-on aroma and a gentle oxidative touch.
Then we patiently age our wine for months before the association gets together to celebrate the bottling process.
The C17 vintages age for at least four years in our cool and dark cellars at between 10 and 12 degrees.
The bottles are regularly sampled to keep track of their slow progress and decide when they are at their best and ready to be enjoyed, with the perfect balance of fresh and rich aromas.
We meet up just before disgorgement to choose the right dosage to bring out the vintage’s personality.
Tasting a C17 magnum is an experience, it’s a magical moment.
The radiant buttercup hue gives you a hint of the aromas it has in store. It’s crisp and mature on the nose, bursting with juicy stone fruit, peach, quince, apricot and mirabelle plum with the indulgent nutty aromas of frangipane and hazelnut. It’s vibrant and full-bodied on the palate with ripe citrus reigning supreme before the soothing tropical yet spicy notes of vanilla, passion fruit and roasted almond wash over you. The heady, sharp and zesty finish lingers on the palate.
Wine and food pairing: squash soup with double cream, cardamom seeds and soft-poached egg, garnished with ground coffee beans and mimolette cheese shavings (recipe taken from Fûts et foudres de la Champagne by Philippe Mille, chef at the 2 Michelin-starred Les Crayères)