Champagne Marie Courtin

Champagne Marie Courtin is located in the village of Polisot in the Cote des Bars, in the southern part of the Champagne region. With its slightly warmer temperatures, this area is particularly prized for its Pinot Noir grapes. Combined with the Kimmeridgian limestone sub soils, the champagnes retain freshness similar to Chablis.

Dominique Moreau created the estate in 2005 with a vision to produce a series of single-vineyard, single varietal, single vintage Champagnes from biodynamically grown grapes that are farmed with meticulous care.

Dominique named her estate after her grandmother, Marie Courtin, whom she describes as a “woman of the earth”. Her wines come from a hillside vineyard of 35-40 year old, massale-selection Pinot Noir.The combination of low yields, clay-limestone soils (with bands of Kimmeridgian) and an east/southeast exposure gives the wines both power and cut, with an intense brininess and minerality at their core.

The estate makes two cuvees, “Resonance” and “Efflorescence”, the former fermented in stainless steel, the latter in used barriques. The grapes for Efflorescence tend to come from the bottom of the hill, which she says “has greater power and potential”. At harvest, the grapes are all harvested by hand. The wines are fermented with natural yeasts that have been selected from their vineyards and cultivated separately. These native yeasts are used for both the primary and secondary fermentations. Lastly, there is no dosage added upon disgorgement.

Dominique embraces a spiritual philosophy in her production and viticulture. In one particular technique, she uses pendulums (often used in energy healing practices) in both the vineyard and cellar to aid in evaluating both the evolution of the grapes on the vine as well as the wine during elevage. She explains that the pendulum changes its natural rhythm and swing based on the energy emitted from a living being, whether person, vineyard, or wine.

The names of the wines carry spiritual significance for Dominique as well. “Resonance” refers to the balancing energies of earth and sky that affect the creation of a wine from its surrounding terroir. For Dominique, “Efflorescence” refers to “something that evolves in perpetuity”. Starting with the evolution encouraged by the small oxygen exchange in barrel, she feels that this wine in particular will show a very different face at each stage of its development in bottle. She recommends that both wines be served in traditional white wine glasses to allow for their development through increased aeration.

The Wine Advocate on Marie-Courtin, Issue #192, Dec 2010:
“These are the first wines I have tasted from Marie Courtin, a small grower based in Polisot, in the Cote des Bars. The vineyards have been farmed biodynamically since 2007. These wines represent the height of vinosity in Champagne. It will be fascinating to see what develops here in the coming years.” — Antonio Galloni

Champagne Resonance Extra Brut NV [2007]

Certified Biodynamic Grape(s): Pinot Noir Vintage(s): 2007

Vineyard(s): Hand-harvested, 35-40 yr old vines, massale selection; single parcel located in Polisot (Cote des Bar); clay-limestone soils with east/south-east exposure. Vinification: Fermented in stainless steel; native yeasts used for both

fermentations; non-dose; 9,000 bottles produced.

Champagne Efflorescence Extra Brut NV

Certified Biodynamic Grape(s): Pinot Noir Vintage(s): 2006

Vineyard(s): Hand-harvested, 35-40 yr old vines, massale selection;

single parcel located in Polisot (Cote des Bar); clay-limestone soils with east/south-east exposure; grapes sourced from bottom of hill

Vinification: Fermented in used barriques; native yeasts used for both fermentations; non-dose; 6,000 bottles produced.