William Saintot, Champagne Extra Brut 1er Cru Blanc de Noirs
William Saintot, Champagne Extra Brut 1er Cru Blanc de Noirs

William Saintot, Champagne Extra Brut 1er Cru Blanc de Noirs

Champagne, France MV (750mL)
Regular price$45.00

William Saintot, Champagne Extra Brut 1er Cru Blanc de Noirs

Champagne William Saintot’s history goes back five generations in the Vallée de Marne, beginning just as WWI ended. Yet, somehow, it is brand spanking new to the U.S. market. So new in fact, that we are one of the only places in the country that has it. This is a tremendous opportunity to get in on the ground floor of what will no doubt become another impossible-to- keep-in-stock grower Champagne. For now though, you can get pure, vinous excellence for a mere pittance in Champagne dollars. 100% Pinot Noir from three Premier Cru vineyards, aged 30 months on the lees and bottled extra-brut, all for just $45! And no, this is not some one-off private label or co-op production, this is the flagship wine of a tiny estate, and just 800 or so cases are produced for the entire globe. Deals like this never last, and certainly become impossible to find around the holidays, so stock up now and become the envy of all your Champagne-loving friends!

The history of Champagne William Saintot is really a story of viticulture. Firmin Saintot was hired as a farmer shortly after returning from soldiering in WWI. His son, Clément, established a small négociant label and then his grandson, William, was able to finally purchase their own vines and the legacy of a small grower Champagne house began. Today, it is Firmin’s great-great grandson, Morgann, who is at the helm working closely with his mother, Nathalie. The estate’s 10 hectares are split among three prized parcels on the eastern edge of the Vallée de la Marne: Avenay Val d’Or, Mutigny, and Bisseuil. Pinot Noir is the dominant variety here, comprising 82% of the plantings, and each vineyard site lends a distinct stamp of terroir to the final blends. Vinous is often used to describe the wines produced here, which means that the wine characteristics of top notch Pinot—red berries, earth, and structure—really shine through.

When Morgann joined the family business in 2008, he knew that their estate had the terroir and all the raw materials to make top-tier Champagne; it just needed a final push into the 21st century. So he sought, and received, sustainable certification and began converting all the vineyards to organic farming. Today they’re even experimenting with using drones to apply the organic treatments to the vines. In the cellar, he is all about both innovation and using as natural, and non-interventionist, methods as possible. Barrels, mostly neutral, have long been the standard for fermentation and aging at Saintot, but Morgann has recently introduced concrete eggs to add a more refined, elegant texture to the barrel- and tank-aged wines. Only native yeasts are used, and sulfur additions are kept to a minimum, as is dosage, again with the goal of transmitting precise snapshots of fruit and terroir.

The first thing you’ll notice when you pour a glass of the William Saintot is its brilliant, rose-gold color. It is not a rosé, but the exuberance of the perfectly ripe Pinot Noir just won’t be held back! Serve chilled at around 40-45 degrees in an all-purpose stem (a Burgundy glass would be fun too) and enjoy the delicate effervescence and fine mousse while flavors of black cherries, wild blueberries, bitter marmalade, porcini, and brioche mingle with aromas of red and black berries, rose petals, and blood orange zest. I would serve this with a whole range of options, from tuna sashimi to crispy duck legs, and given its vinous structure it will work well with heartier dishes, too. If you’re looking for a top notch Blanc de Noirs Champagne that checks off all the boxes of small production, naturally made wine, at a price where you can stock up for the rest of the year then there really is no better option, go for it!

William Saintot, Champagne Extra Brut 1er Cru Blanc de Noirs

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