JM Sélèque 'Solessence' Champagne AOC Extra Brut NV

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JM Sélèque 'Solessence' Champagne AOC Extra Brut NV
Country France
Region Champagne
Appellation/Sub-Region Champagne AOC
Grapes Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir
Vineyard/Cellar Practices Organically Grown, Low-Intervention/Natural Wine

Jean-Marc Sélèque and his wife Oriane have turned their little corner of the Côteaux Sud (south slopes) of Épernay into a haven of biodiversity and small-scale winemaking innovation. Since taking over his family’s domaine in 2008, Jean-Marc has moved away from chemical applications in the vineyard and embraced natural processes. He promotes grass growing between the rows and often uses horses for shallow plowing. None of his wines are fined or filtered, and he uses a minimal amount of sulfur at bottling. This ‘Solessence’—drawn from a handful of like-minded growers in the villages where Jean-Marc farms, as well as his estate vineyards—makes up about half of the domaine’s production and reflects the distribution of varieties that he grows: 50% chardonnay, 40% pinot meunier, and 10% pinot noir. Half of the cuvée comes from a perpetual reserve aged in foudre, while the other half ages in steel. Once blended, the wine sits on its lees in the bottle for up to two years. Crushed flower petals and firm peach shine through a toasty and nutty nose; the palate has some heft, cut nicely by a citrus and saline finish. Organically grown, low-intervention/natural wine.