Champagne Clandestin Les Revers Brut Nature

Champagne Clandestin Les Revers Brut Nature

Appellation: Champagne
Country: France
William Kelley 93+
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The most chiseled, electric wine in Doussot's range is the NV Brut Nature Les Revers, derived from north-facing holdings higher up the slope. Unwinding in the glass with scents of crisp Anjou pear, citrus oil, smoke, white flowers and oyster shell, it's medium to full-bodied, dense and incisive, with a tangy spine of acidity and a long, penetratingly saline finish. William Kelley  93+

Champagne Clandestin is a new joint project between Bertrand Gautherot of Vouette & Sorbée and his righthand man, the young, energetic, Meursault-trained Benoit Doussot. Needless to say, both Bertrand and Benoit have a lot of experience with the terroirs of the northern edge of the Côte des Bar, so much so that their neighbors in Buxières-sur-Acre have been turning to them for assistance in setting their vineyards to rights after years of neglect.

Clandestin means hidden or secret and it refers to the source of this Champagne: tiny, overlooked vineyards surrounded by woods and often having conventionally ideal orientation. Many are west-facing parcels of Pinot Noir on Kimmeridgian soils and Chardonnay on Portlandian soils all in rhw hills above Buxières-sur-Acre. Bertrand farmsa ll of these sites organically and Champagne Clandestin is certified by ECOCERT.

Having worked alongside Bertrand for many years, Benoît employs the same exacting standards for which Vouette & Sorbée has been praised. After pressing the wine is aged in French oak barrels following closely the training in Meursault that Benoit received before moving north to Champagne. The Champagnes appeal to purists with lovely minerality, cut, and precision.

When Clandestin started just a few years ago, the wines were incredibly sharp and racy. With time and experimentation, Benoît has arrived at a place where his brut nature wines can be mineral and textured. He picks later than almost anyone in Champagne, for starters. This later harvest pushes down the acid levels a bit, allowing more room for the elevage to step into view. He also focus on barrel work, including experimenting with barrel size and duration to achieve harmony without dosage. Judging from his success, this works for him but doesn’t work for everyone. Zero dosage is risky and, in our view, very hard to pull off.

Les Revers is the north-facing counterpart to Les Grandes Lignes coming from a small parcel of Chardonnay on Portlandian soils. Like everything at Clandestin, it is harvested by hand and fermented by natural yeasts in a French oak demi-muid. After 10 months it is bottled and aged sur latte for 15 months. To retain the purity of the terroir, Les Revers is bottled without dosage.


AGING 15 months sur latte, finished without dosage, unfined and unfiltered, 16g/L SO2

FARMING Certified organic (ECOCERT) with bidynamic practices

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