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Vouette et Sorbée Fidèle Extra Brut
(R17, disgorged October 2019). Fidèle is a blanc de noirs (100% Pinot Noir) grown on Kimmeridgian limestone soils. This is from 2017, yet also includes roughly 5% reserve wine (from a perpetual blend started in 2001 stored in a giant old foudre). The vintage that makes up the majority of the blend is always stated on the back label with an “R” number (R being an abbreviation for Récolte, or vintage).
The Fonnet vineyard, located in a small, enclosed valley, provides the heart of this cuvée. Sorbée provides much of the balance, topped off by Châtel, a very rocky and limestone-rich vineyard with 20-plus-year-old Pinot Noir. Overall, the vine age for this wine averages 30 years.
Following pressing in a traditional, vertical Coquard press, Fidèle was vinified entirely without added yeast or chaptalisation, in used Burgundian barrels for 10 months (these barriques were purchased from Domaine Arnaud Ente in Meursault). The wine then spent 15-20 months on lees in bottle after secondary fermentation, and was disgorged with zero dosage.
Gautherot describes this as “a dangerous wine” —the bottle disappears so quickly. This certainly holds true for the R17, a wine loaded with red berry, straw and citrus pith notes as well as some Fino-like complexity, vibrant, punchy freshness and superb drive on the finish. The outstanding vintage shines through.
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