Champagne R. H. Coutier a Ambonnay Cuvee Tradition Brut Grand Cru, France

Champagne R. H. Coutier is located in the grand cru village of Ambonnay, one of the top wine-producing sectors of the Montagne de Reims. The Coutier family has been in the village of Ambonnay since 1619, with fifth gneration vigneron Antoine Coutier currently at the helm. While Ambonnay is generally regarded as Pinot country, the family’s nine hectares of vineyards are planted with one-third Chardonnay and two-thirds Pinot Noir. Vineyard: 80% Pinot, 20% Chardonnay and all is estate-fruit from Ambonnay, one of the largest Grand Cru villages. The Coutier family was the first family to plant Chardonnay in this famed Pinot-centric village. Vineyards in Ambonnay face due south, producing a warmer microclimate for the grapes. Ambonnay soils have more clay, coupled with the strong influence of the chalky limestone subsoils. The Coutiers began organic conversation in 2019, after years of employing organic fertilizers and avoiding the use of herbicides. The vineyards on the Montagne de Reims shift exposure as one arrives in the village of Ambonnay, facing south and southeast, and producing a warmer microclimate for the grapes. There is also a bit more clay, coupled with the strong influence of the chalky limestone, which gives Coutier’s sumptuous wines both richness and freshness. This is not a large domaine by any stretch of the imagination, only producing 60,000 bottles in any given year. Vinification: 60% 2014 base vintage, with reserve from previous vintages. Stainless steel; 100% malolactic. Disgorged 12/2020. Aging: Sur lattes for 48-60 months; 6.0 grams dosage; Disgorged 12/2020. Notes: An excellent and racy bottle with the signature red fruit characteristics of Ambonnay. Aromatically expressive, powerful on the palate, with a bright and fresh finish.