Vincent Couche’s story is perhaps a familiar one, especially in Champagne where the past two decades have seen a small but real revolution against conventional agriculture. Vincent’s parents were vignerons in the Aube. 20 years ago he made his first vintage, and in the 2000s, he began working the soil. As of 2008, Vincent has been certified in biodynamics, and is obsessed (to say the least) with farming living soils and making living wine. His cellar work is marked by long, slow élèvages for the base wines, fermentations with native yeast, as well as both low dosages and low sulfur additions. His wines see as little manipulation as any Champagnes we’ve come across. 10 of Vincent’s 13ha are in Buxeuil, in the Aube. This terroir is marked by kimmeridgian limestone soil that is more akin to the terroir of Chablis than to the terroir of the Marne. In fact, Buxeuil is not more than an hour’s drive from Chablis. Like the majority of vineyards in the Aube, Vincent’s Buxeuil vines are Pinot Noir. Vincent’s other 3ha are in Montgueux, the isolated chalk outcropping 5km from the city of Troyes, and are planted to Chardonnay. This diversity of terroirs and duality of grapes, combined with Vincent’s obsession with responsibly incorporating oxygen into winemaking (“wines are like people; if they don’t have oxygen, they die”) results in wines that are broad and vinous in style, with with a rigid spine of mouthwatering acidity.
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