In 2010, we learn that champagne bottles have been found after 170 years in the Baltic Sea. The analysis of these champagnes, the oldest ever tasted, shows that they were very sweet. This is not surprising because it was mostly enjoyed at dessert time until the apparition of “BRUT” champagne in the middle of the 20th century.

Today our consumption habits have changed with a desire to reduce sugar. But not only that. We appreciate more and more the purity of champagne and our tastes have evolved.

We then came up with the idea of creating cuvées with a lower sugar content, and this is when our extra brut champagne was born, the first of our cuvées inaugurating this adventure.

 

 

But what is extra brut champagne? Extra brut champagne is less sweet than brut Champagne. It must contain less than 6 grams of sugar per litre as opposed to BRUT which can be up to 12 grams.

Be careful, not all champagnes are suitable for this because the limited addition of sugar cannot hide a medium quality wine. It therefore requires a blend of very (very) high quality and a prolonged ageing in cellar, a speciality of our house.

The success of our Extra Brut encourage us to go further two years later and to take up an ambitious challenge with the 2009 vintage.

It’s not a coincidence we picked 2009 to be our vintage, it was a very sunny year with naturally sweet grapes, a true delight. At the time, we knew that it would be the perfect blend to make a champagne with no added sugars, which we call either Brut Nature or Zero dosage.

However, back then, Brut Nature champagnes represented barely 1 % of total champagne sales! 

We really tried to dissuade ourselves from undertaking such a project.

But today, it is more than trendy, it is an initiatory voyage. Its particular style, the naked wine, the one which we usually savour amongst professionals, out of sight in our cellars, is now available to you.

 

It is the quantity of added sugars which differentiate a Brut Nature from an Extra Brut, a Brut, or a demi-sec.

 

As you read this, a myth is about to fall, 99.9% of champagnes contain sugar which is added at the end of the ageing process…

When we embarked on this journey in 2008 with Ferdinand, people would have said that we were mad for wanting to create a champagne which was other than a Brut.

So why undertake the elaboration of a Brut Nature?

The sugar dosage is an important step in the creation of a champagne. It makes it an extraordinary wine, giving it a singular touch. If too much is added however, the authenticity and personality of the champagne can be lost.

 

 

Aside from a current trend favouring less sugars, the arrival of a Brut Nature stemmed first and foremost from the desire to share the way our terroir expresses itself with a naked wine.

When we think that Pierre Pérignon, also known as Dom Pérignon, drank champagne which had more than 100 grams of sugar per litter at the beginning of the 18th century, it seems fair to say that the customs, climate and technique of champagne elaboration have evidently evolved!

We now know that the less sugar is added to a bottle, the more its integrity and complexity are preserved. A lengthened ageing period and an exceptional harvest such as the 2009 one are however  necessities when it comes to producing a champagne with zero dosage.

The Brut Nature does not present the habitual taste of champagne, this is also what makes it so special, it is a unique experience.