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Paul Déthune, Grand Cru “Princesse Des Thunes”Ambonnay, Champagne, France MV (750mL)

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Paul Déthune, Grand Cru “Princesse Des Thunes” Ambonnay, Champagne, France MV (750mL)

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For three years running, we’ve pounced on just about every tiny Grand Cru batch of “Princesse Des Thunes” that trickles overseas because each sensational release has the specs, look, and textural feel of the world’s most sought-after and expensive luxury Champagnes. Put your nose in the glass and you’ll understand why we’ve taken such a bullish position: this has the powerful allure and depth typically reserved for hyper-expensive “window-shopping” labels.


By extracting extraordinarily ripe fruit from their mature Grand Cru Ambonnay vines, adding reserve wines from a perpetual blend started in the 1980s, and allowing it to rest six years minimum on lees, Paul Déthune’s prestige cuvée flaunts the hard-to-master combination of richness and precision. But let’s not overlook one of the most thrilling aspects of all: Paul Déthune is a genuine micro-producer. In any given year, this rare bottling tops out at a few hundred cases, and a small fraction of that is divvied up for our market. As always, it’s a first-come, first-served ordeal. Today’s small parcel is the newest disgorgement, and its extreme emphasis on precision, elegance, and calculated opulence is guaranteed to dominate a conversation. Grand Cru Champagne hardly gets better in this price range!



Paul Déthune is a Récoltant-Manipulant (“RM” can be seen on the label), or grower-producer, which means they own, farm, and craft wines solely from their estate. While major Champagne houses, or Négociant-Manipulants, typically make wines by purchasing grapes from many different farmers, a “grower-producer” controls every aspect of farming and winemaking; 95% of the fruit must be from their own vineyards (if a grower who only has Chardonnay vines wants to make a rosé, he can purchase some Pinot Noir/Meunier with that remaining 5%). The Déthunes have been farming and crafting Champagne in the Grand Cru village of Ambonnay since 1889, but their winemaking lineage can be traced to 1610. Today, Pierre Déthune and his wife, Sophie, tend to seventeen organically-tended acres throughout Ambonnay. It is here that Pinot Noir reveals its most intense expression, delivering signature minerality and terroir that translates to opulent, perfectly balanced Champagnes.


They are adamant about sustainability—natural fertilizers are used, cover crops are planted, solar panels have been installed, and a rainwater collection system has been implemented. Grapes are hand-harvested at ripe levels and fermented (both alcoholic and full-malolactic) in 205-liter French oak barriques. This cuvée incorporates 30% reserve wine from a unique blend of vintages first started nearly 40 years ago. It is “topped up” every year, much like a Sherry solera. After bottling, the wine then ages for many years—a minimum of six—in their chalk cellars that were hand-carved in the early 1600s. It was given a dosage of five grams, thereby qualifying it for extra-brut. 


“Princesse Des Thunes” displays a brilliant yellow core with silver reflections and an ultra-fine mousse. As always, it is incredibly concentrated and the nose sports wonderfully taut layers with astounding precision and a concentrated mineral core. You can also expect all the usual suspects of Grand Cru Ambonnay: Ripe red and yellow apple, pineapple core, Rainier cherry, honeysuckle, white flowers, crushed chalk and river rock, brioche, Meyer lemon, fresh cream, and citrus blossoms. Like that of Krug or Bollinger, this is a full-bodied Champagne with rich textures and ample acidity that shine throughout—it’s a serious wine, and about as complex, full throttle, and ‘intelligent’ as you can get in this price range. Be sure to drink this special bottle in all-purpose stems around 55 degrees. Enjoy now and over the next five years. Cheers!




Paul Déthune, Grand Cru “Princesse Des Thunes” Ambonnay, Champagne, France MV - SommSelect

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionChampagne
  • Sub-RegionGrand Cru Ambonnay
  • SoilClay, Limestone, & Chalk
  • FarmingSustainable w/ Organic Practices
  • BlendPinot Noir 50%, Chardonnay 50%
  • Alcohol12.5%
  • OakFermentation in French Barrels

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionChampagne
  • Sub-RegionGrand Cru Ambonnay
  • SoilClay, Limestone, & Chalk
  • FarmingSustainable w/ Organic Practices
  • BlendPinot Noir 50%, Chardonnay 50%
  • Alcohol12.5%
  • OakFermentation in French Barrels
  • Temp.Serve at 55° F
  • GlasswareAll-Purpose Stem
  • DrinkingNow-2030
  • PairingJapanese-Style Deep Fried Chicken