CAZÉ-THIBAUT naturellement 2016
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“the wine shines a pale straw-gold with slight hints of copper and silver, with an ultra-fine mousse and perfumed aromas of preserved lemon, red delicious apple, red plum skin, wildflower honey, white mushrooms, brioche, crushed chalk, and baking spices. Whereas many Meunier-driven Champagnes have a broader, softer texture, this one is incredibly focused and finely etched, reminding me of some big-name blanc de noirs bottlings costing a lot more” – somm select
about the producer
maison cazé-thibaut is made from the history of 10 generations of dedication to the land and the profession of viticulture in the vallée de la marne. fabien cazé hand-farms just a few hectares of vines in the neighboring villages of châtillon-sur-marne and vandières, ferments his wines in barrels using native yeasts only, and gives all three champagne grapes their own cuvée in which to shine. despite his relatively recent arrival on the grower champagne scene, fabien cazé became a member of a selective, terroir-focused producers’ association called “terres et vins de champagne,” which counts superstar producers such as raphaël bérêche, aurélien laherte, and alexandre chartogne among its membership. and like all three of those elite contemporaries, cazé knows that pinot meunier is well-equipped for stand-alone stardom.
the parcels are worked without the use of any herbicides or insecticides. the ground is worked to support the growth of the vine and the ripeness of the grapes. from pruning to harvesting all vineyard work is done by hand and each parcel is harvested separately. harvesting occurs when the grapes are at optimal ripeness. after harvesting each parcel, the grapes are pressed slowly and gently and all juice is moved by gravity into steel tank. once each parcel is pressed, the juice is transferred from tank into a combination of 228, 350, and 330 liter barrels for a long, cold and slow native yeast fermentation. fabien has acquired an old underground cave which is very cold (and filled with bats). the cold cave allows for a long fermentation process lasting over a month. malolactic fermentation is not forced and with the cave’s low temperatures, rarely completes. during the warmer months of the year when fruit flies are an issue for many vignerons, fabien tell us that the bats take care of them for him. no filtration occurs and dosage levels are determined by blind taste testing before final disgorgement.