Introducing Champagne Tribaut Schloesser

I had first heard of Tribaut Champange from Riccardo Gabriele of PR Vino when I was in Rome. I was unable to attend the tasting he was organizing then, but I told him that if they did a tasting in NYC to let me know. Two weeks ago I received an invitation from Riccardo and Elisa Bosco of PR Vino to a lunch and tasting of the Champagne.

Valentin Tribaut

Valentin Tribaut represented the winery. He said that the winery is located in Romery in France. Each year they vinify about 40 hectares from the family-owned vineyards and from outside sources. The family-owned vineyards are mainly in the communes of Romery, Cormoyeux and Fleury la Riviere. The slopes are south and southeast facing and the soil is limestone clay, located in a remote valley of the Marne backing onto the Montagne de Reims. They also have vines in the commune of Aÿ, a Grand Cru village in the Vallee de la Marne celebrated for its Pinot Noir.

He said they tie together tradition with technological advances in order to produce the best Champagne.

They have seven foudres large wooden vats) and about 20 barrels, for the aging of reserve wines. This he said ensures the wines mature in the Tribaut style in accordance with family traditions that have been perpetuated over four generations.

Valentin said the name Tribaut–Schloesser is the complete name of the winery because Schloesser was his great grandfather’s name and he founded the winery. His daughter, Valentin’s grandmother, inherited the winery and married a Tribaut.

The Champagne

Brut Origine made from 40% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay and 30% Meunier. Produced from 8 different terroirs. 10% of reserve wines aged in large oak barrels (foudres) goes into the blend. It is matured for 3 years sur lie before disgorgement and the dosage is 8g/l. This is a fresh, lively and fruity champagne with hints of plum, lemon and a touch of toast. It is perfect as an aperitif. $40

Valentin said this is their entry level champagne and it is half of their total production of 350,000 bottles.

Blanc de Chardonnay made from 100% Chardonnay produced from four terroirs: Romery, Fleury la Rivière, Aÿ and Bassuet. 20% of the grapes come from old vine Chardonnay in Aÿ. The wine is matured in large oak casks and spends four years sur lie before disgorgement. The dosage is 6g/l. This is champagne with fine elegant bubbles with hints of citrus especially lemon with a touch of brioche and honey.

Brut Millésime 2009 Made from 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. Produced from 3 terroirs: Ecueil, Romert and Fleury-la-Riviere The wine remains sur lie for 5 years before disgorgement. Dosage: 7g/l. This is a very complex Champagne with delicate bubbles. It has pastry aromas with hints of hazelnuts and almonds.

Brut Rosè made from 40% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay and 30% Meunier. Produced from 4 different terroirs: Romery, Damery, Fleury la Riviére and Ay. About 10% of red wine from the Damery terroir is incorporated into the cuvee. It remains sur lie for 3 years before it is disgorgement. Dosage 8g/l. It has hints of red fruit, raspberry, red currant with a hint of grapefruit.

Cuvée René made from 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir. Produced from two terroirs and parcelles, Romery (Crayere) and Ecueil (Crossats). Valentin said it is named in honor of René Schloesser, the founder of the Champagne house. It is blended with 50% reserve wines aged in large oak casks. The wine remains sur lie for 6 years before disgorgement. Dosage 6g/l. This is a very complex wine with very fine elegant bubbles with hints of brioche, candied fruits, hazelnuts and a touch of vanilla.

L’Authentique 2008 made from 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. Produced from 2 terroirs Aÿ and Romery. The wine is aged for one year in large oak casks. Aged sur lie for 5 years before disgorgement. Dosage 5g/l

This is a powerful and very complex Champagne with fine delicate bubbles. It is full flavored with great richness, hints of brioche and breadcrumbs and a touch of butter.

Valentin said only 4,837 bottles are produced each year.

This is an outstanding Champagne which ranks with some of the best Champagnes I have ever tasted. At $95 it is a real bargain.

Thibaut Schloesser is Champagne at its best. I was very impressed by the whole line, which runs in price from $40 to $95. Tribaut Champagne will be introduced into the US in about 2 months.

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