Varietals: Pinot Noir & Chardonnay
Christian Etienne is a traditional man trying to do what it takes to keep his tiny 9 hectares producing extraordinary fruit. Located in Meurville, Southeast of the Valle Marnes in Aube / Côtes de Bar, he works his land ecologically, while his six children grow up among the vines, keeping alive the family tradition of many generations. It is testament to their endurance, to survive despite two wars in the region and near bankruptcy in between. The vines are as sturdy as Christian themselves, digging deeply into the pure limestone and chalky soils surrounding the house. They are meticulously cared for, as they are as much part of the family, with proper selection while harvesting. Although the cellar is tiny, Christian vinifies his wines separately, producing several cuvées, charting the expression of each varietal and parcel soil type. These are hand-crafted wines by the best definition. Christian has much to do to keep the family tradition alive. Now, with his popularity climbing in the US, he will secure that continuity for the future.
Christian Etienne is 75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay. A mixture of 2012-2013 harvests, both vinified in barrels separately. All grapes are hand-harvested from vines aged around 25 years old and planted on superficial clay-limestone soils. The alcoholic fermentations are made in thermo-regulated stainless steel vats and after the malolactic fermentation both wines are matured in one year in casks aged over 3 years. Then in 2013 the secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle with more than three years of aging before being disgorged three months prior to sale with a dosage of 8.5 grams.
Pairing ideas for a timeless classic like Champagne include yet are not limited to snack items like potato chips, french fries, & for special occasions caviar. Anything salty and or crunchy is a preferred pairing. Fried chicken is a winner (be that homemade or takeout). Don't limit Champagne to just the above ideas. I pair Champagne with ribeye on the regular with my husband and let me tell you it's delightful. I've even enjoyed tofu and mushroom dishes with Champagne and was happy as clam. Cheers, KellySOMM X