Traditionally, Champagne wines are "blended". This means that the wines of the year, from several vines, are mixed with reserve wines from previous harvests. This traditional technique allows the winemaker to ensure that his wine has a stable taste from one year to the next. Otherwise, the champagne may change in taste and quality depending on the year and the climate.
But not all vines are created equal, however, nor do they necessarily produce grapes of equivalent quality. Some plots have unique characteristics that directly influence the development and aromatic concentration of the grapes. These are usually natural conditions specific to the vineyard location, such as its orientation, the presence of a forest or a mineral outcrop on the surface. For clos, it is the human intervention, combined with these natural factors, that will help the vine to develop its own identity.
A "clos" is usually a vineyard of a few ares (remember that it takes 100 ares to make 1 hectare), identified by a winegrower for its natural potential and surrounded by a wall approaching 2 metres in height. This artificial barrier around the vines creates a "microclimate" specific to this plot which will, over the years, develop its own aromatic identity. Given these specificities, one can better understand why many of the winegrowers who are lucky enough to own such plots of land decide to produce cuvées that are parcel-based and very often vintage wines.
What is the difference between a "classic" and a "parcel" champagne?
Contrary to what one might think, plot-based champagnes are not exclusively reserved for connoisseurs.
Champagnes referred to as classic are usually convivial wines, ideal for sharing a glass with friends, but the same applies to plot-based champagnes. These rather rare wines are typically more subtle than the Champagne BSA (Brut Sans Année). More pronounced with floral or mineral aromas, they are perfectly suited to aperitifs served with fine foods such as foie gras or verrines. Culinary adventurers and gourmets can also enjoy these wines with refined dishes during the meal.
As you can see, the parcel-based champagnes are above all a unique gustatory experience that invites you to rediscover the Champagne wines that you mistakenly thought you knew all about!
To explore them, there is nothing like trying several cuvées from the same winemaker to see the influence of a terroir on the wine. And if you still have doubts, ask us for advice by opening the chat window at the bottom right of your screen! Our team of enthusiasts will be happy to guide you in your choice.