Champagne Paul Déthune, Grand Cru “Cuvée à l’Ancienne”
Champagne Paul Déthune, Grand Cru “Cuvée à l’Ancienne”

Champagne Paul Déthune, Grand Cru “Cuvée à l’Ancienne”

Champagne, France 2014 (750mL)
Regular price$150.00

Champagne Paul Déthune, Grand Cru “Cuvée à l’Ancienne”

While it’s true that we’ve drawn many parallels over the years between Champagne Paul Déthune and Krug, the comparisons end when today’s cuvée makes an appearance. There’s simply no competition when dollars come into play: This 2014 “Cuvée à l’Ancienne” is Déthune’s top Grand Cru bottling, and it comes in well below anything Krug is putting out. For us, it’s among the most complex and traditionally crafted prestige cuvées on the market, and with just 83 cases (four barrels’ worth) produced each year, it’s also among the most cruelly limited.

Equal parts Ambonnay Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, this ultra-rare tête de cuvée slowly vinifies in Champenois oak; ages seven full years in their ancient cellar; and pays homage to the olden days with hand-tied twine securing the cork. It is, quite simply, an impeccable Grand Cru experience, one that deserves an honorary Master’s Degree in profundity, opulence, and precision. America was allocated less than half of the 1,000-bottle production and we carved out a small fraction of that solely for you! If this is your first encounter with “Cuvée à l’Ancienne,” listen closely: Savor every ounce slowly and closely guard your unopened bottles because this is among the most spectacular, kaleidoscopic, cellar-worthy Grand Crus out there.

The Déthunes have been farming and crafting Champagne in the Grand Cru village of Ambonnay since 1889, but their winemaking lineage can be traced as far back as 1610. Today, Pierre Déthune and his wife, Sophie, tend to seven hectares (that’s it!) of hand-farmed vines throughout Ambonnay. They are adamant about respecting nature: organic fertilizers are used, cover crops are planted, solar panels have been installed, and a rainwater collection system has been implemented, making them one of Champagne’s leading champions of sustainability. The Déthune’s life commitment to intricate work—from natural farming of Grand Cru vines in Ambonnay to a methodically traditional approach in the winery—is on full display in each bottle of their handcrafted wine. As of 2022, they are officially Certified Organic. 

For “Cuvée à l’Ancienne,” the best, hand-picked fruit from the 2014 vintage was selected from their top parcels in Grand Cru Ambonnay. In their cellar, varietal separate fermentations (including malolactic) of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay occurred in 205-liter Champagne oak. After a brief period of aging in these barrels, the resulting wine was then bottled without filtration. Following, it was sent to mature sur lie in their 17th-century cellar for seven years. This batch was disgorged in June of 2022, giving it a nice bit of time to settle in the bottle, and dosed with five grams of sugar before hemp twine was manually fastened to secure the cork. Called “ficelage,” this is a tribute to the Champagnes of yore, a tradition that long precedes the muselet (wire cages) and agrafe (metal staples). 

This is outstanding, best-in-class Grand Cru Champagne. When it comes to vinous, deeply intense styles like Déthune, we recommend serving it not too cold, around 48 to 50 degrees, in a Burgundy bowl or high quality all-purpose stem. Don’t rush through this bottle, it only becomes more complex and enchanting with air. Enjoy slowly for a magnificent experience that culminates with toasted hazelnuts, apricot, baked red apple, bruised pear, nougat, golden raisin, vanilla bean, cinnamon, and crushed chalk. It’s big and rich yet always hyper-focused with a dominant mineral core. It’ll age incredibly well, too, so buy six bottles, open them throughout this decade, and know you’re enjoying one of the very best Grand Crus in existence. Cheers!

Champagne Paul Déthune, Grand Cru “Cuvée à l’Ancienne”

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