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Cuvee a l'Ancienne Brut, Paul Dethune, Ambonnay 12.5%

No more than 1,000 bottles of this are produced in any given vintage, and only then in exceptional years. The first fermentation takes place in oak and the finished wine is rich, complex and long. A rare and very high greade treat.

The Déthunes started as growers in the early 1800s and began to make their own Champagne in the 1930s. The vineyards are planted in the ratio of 70% Pinot Noir to 30% Chardonnay and are farmed on organic principles - and hold the highest level HEV (High Environmental Value) certificate for sustainable viticulture. The Champagnes are vinified in a mix of stainless steel cuves, foudres and 205 litre barrels, the oak all being sourced from local forests. Their wines are deep, rich and full, but with lovely freshness and elegance. They also put the date of disgorging on the back of each bottle, which is never less than three years prior to release, which again underlines their attention to detail.

This is fine Champagne indeed and as Michael Edwards says, "Pierre Déthune intelligently adopts tradition to craft wines of exuberance and vinosity."

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