Vincent Couche Champagne ADN Montgueux Brut Nature 2009
About the wine:
Organic/Biodynamic - a somewhat rare thing in Champagne. ADN is also un-sulfured and non-dosage, but its most important distinction is that it spends nearly 8 years on the lees after Couche barrel ferments 100% Chardonnay sourced from 7.35 acres in Montgueux The total output of Montgueux in 2009 was a mere 188 cases.
About the producer:
Vincent Couche was one of the first producers to work biodynamically in Champagne, starting back in 1999 (certified as of 2008). While the scientific connection between biodynamics and good wine is not always clear, we do know this: vignerons who practice biodynamics pay very careful attention to their vines, and this is essential for producing the best grapes. Vincent Couche loves his vines and cares for them obsessively.
Those vines are marvelously located. He grows Pinot Noir in the part of the Aube where the soils are kimmeridgian, just like you find in Chablis. He grows Chardonnay in the intensely chalky (and flinty!) soils of Montgueux, an isolated corner of Champagne that wouldn't ring a bell with anyone if it weren't for Jacques Lessaigne, who has become famous for his non-interventionist Champagnes.
Couche is similarly non-interventionist. He picks late so that his grapes are properly ripe and no chaptalization is required and so that he can keep dosage to an absolute minimum. He ferments his wines with natural yeasts in large neutral barrels and then allows the malos to occur naturally. No pumps are to be found in the winery—everything is by gravity.