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Champagne Chavost Blanc d'Assemblage Brut Nature NV 1.5L


Founded in 1946 by an original group of around 20 growers, the co-op is now comprised of the holdings of over 70 multi-generational growers. Until Fabian started, the winery resembled many co-ops in Champagne: its growers largely sold fruit to larger houses, the winery processed some grapes and sold off juice, and they produced some conventional wines for longtime customers. On a basic level it was a volume business, providing for its members by returning a modest income each year.

However, with Fabian in charge, all of that changed. He convinced the co-op's members to take all 5.5ha of their collective organic holdings and embark on a new journey: he would create a range of wines made entirely without additives or sulfites. This feat of persuasion shouldn't be overlooked: convincing many older growers to go in a completely new (and some would say, risky) direction was a bold decision on his part. The winery still produces a range of conventional wines, but for a cooperative in Champagne, this was a big and unprecedented step towards natural winemaking in a region that has often been highly resistant to change.

Chavot-Courcourt is located in the Côteaux Sud d'Epernay, which lies at the confluence of the northern tip of the Côte de Blancs and the eastern extreme of the Vallée de la Marne. The area is distinct in that it has patches both of chalky-limestone terroir - best suited for Chardonnay -  as well as plenty of richer, clay-limestone soils - in which Pinot Meunier is known to thrive. This unique melange of soil types allows for ideal growing conditions of different varieties just meters away from each other.

Beginning with the 2019 vintage, Fabian crafted a range of zero-sulphur wines intended to highlight the terroir and varietal flexibility seen on the hillside of Chavot. There is an Assemblage, which is a blend of primarily Chardonnay and Meunier, a 100% Blanc de Blancs, a 100% Pinot Meunier, a Rosé de Saignée, and a Coteaux Champenois comprised of direct press Chardonnay. All the wines are made from a single vintage, but given their short time on tirage, they don't receive official vintage status. In addition to not adding sulphur, the wines are not acidified (or deacidified), do not receive dosage, are not chapitalised, and go through both alcoholic and malolactic fermentation without the use of commercial yeasts, enzymes or any other additives. Only the juice of the cuvée (not the taille) is used in production.

Champagne is often seen as one of the French wine regions most resistant to change. Champagne Chavost is a historic winery undertaking a revolutionary project of reinvention, and is very much pushing the envelope about what is possible in Champagne today. The intention is not to go against the past simply for the sake of it, but to better honor the past generations who farmed this hillside with a true and honest reflection of its unique terroir.

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