Paul Déthune, Grand Cru “Princesse Des Thunes”
Paul Déthune, Grand Cru “Princesse Des Thunes”

Paul Déthune, Grand Cru “Princesse Des Thunes”

Champagne, France MV (750mL)
Regular price$84.00
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Paul Déthune, Grand Cru “Princesse Des Thunes”

Fact: We’ve pounced on just about every Grand Cru batch of “Princesse Des Thunes” that’s trickled overseas, and if you put your nose in the glass, you’ll understand why we’ve taken such a bullish position. If this prestige cuvée was bottled by a big-ticket Champagne House with millions of marketing dollars at their disposal, it would be omnipresent and double the price. But instead, it’s in the hands of master boutique grower Paul Déthune, and it continues to be one of the great steals in all of Champagne.

Extraordinarily ripe Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Grand Cru Ambonnay, ample reserve wine from a perpetual blend started in the 1980s, and over five years of maturation on lees all combine to create a prestige cuvée of extreme richness and precision. But let’s not overlook the most urgent aspect of all: Paul Déthune is a genuine micro-producer. In any given year, this rare bottling tops out at several hundred cases, and a small fraction of that is allocated to our market. As always, it’s a first-come, first-served ordeal. NOTE: This limited parcel is the freshest disgorgement on the US market, so you can load up without hesitation!

The Déthunes have been farming and crafting their own champagnes in the Grand Cru village of Ambonnay since 1889, but their broader winemaking heritage stretches well beyond 400 years! Today, Pierre Déthune and his wife, Sophie, tend to seven organically farmed hectares throughout Ambonnay. 

It is here that Pinot Noir (and, secretly, small pockets of Chardonnay) reveals its most intense expression, delivering signature minerality and concentration that translates to perfectly balanced Grand Cru Champagnes. The Déthunes are adamant about respecting nature, too: organic fertilizers are used; cover crops are routinely planted; solar panels have been installed; and a rainwater collection system has been implemented, making them one of Champagne’s champions of sustainability. The Déthunes’ life commitment to intricate work—from natural farming of Grand Cru Ambonnay vines to a methodically traditional approach in the winery—is on full display in each handcrafted bottle. 

Today’s “Princesse Des Thunes” is an equal split of Grand Cru Pinot and Chardonnay based on the spectacular 2016 vintage. The grapes were hand-harvested at ripe levels and fermented, including malolactic, in a combination of steel and oak vessels. This special cuvée incorporates 30% reserve wine from a unique perpetual blend of vintages that started several decades ago (this is “topped up” with a fresh vintage every year, much like a Sherry solera). After blending the base vintage with the reserves and transferring it into bottles, the wine then aged for over five years in Déthune’s hand-carved, 17th-century chalk cellars. It was disgorged in the summer of 2022 and given a dosage of five grams. 

“Princesse Des Thunes” displays a brilliant straw-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, apricot flesh, 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”




Enjoying the greatest wines of Beaujolais starts, as it usually does, with the lay of the land. In Beaujolais, 10 localities have been given their own AOC (Appellation of Controlled Origin) designation. They are: Saint Amour; Juliénas; Chénas; Moulin-à Vent; Fleurie; Chiroubles; Morgon; Régnié; Côte de Brouilly; and Brouilly.

Southwestern France


Bordeaux surrounds two rivers, the Dordogne and Garonne, which intersect north of the city of Bordeaux to form the Gironde Estuary, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The region is at the 45th parallel (California’s Napa Valley is at the38th), with a mild, Atlantic-influenced climate enabling the maturation of late-ripening varieties.

Central France

Loire Valley

The Loire is France’s longest river (634 miles), originating in the southerly Cévennes Mountains, flowing north towards Paris, then curving westward and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean near Nantes. The Loire and its tributaries cover a huge swath of central France, with most of the wine appellations on an east-west stretch at47 degrees north (the same latitude as Burgundy).

Northeastern France


Alsace, in Northeastern France, is one of the most geologically diverse wine regions in the world, with vineyards running from the foothills of theVosges Mountains down to the Rhine River Valley below.

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