Why is this Wine so Yummy?
This is very serious fizz. The nose is quite arresting, with evolving layers of citrus, orchard and red berry fruits, blossom florals and rich toasty autolytic notes. The palate is broad and intensely toasty, with umami notes of mushroom and smoke that are indicative of the high proportion of reserve wine in this cuvée. This is also felt in the richness and depth of flavour coming through on the palate, which is balanced by ripe citrus and orchard fruit characters as well as an energetic bead and creamy mousse. The finish long with lingering flavours of red apples and pastry. Serve this champagne in a large glass – it has wonderful vinosity and is still exceedingly enjoyable after the fizz has faded.
Coutier’s Instagram profile is revealing. All pic’s of the vineyard and visits to exceptional vignerons in Champagne. No marketing guff just the search for constant improvement!
Champagne R. H. Coutier is located in the grand cru village of Ambonnay, one of the top wine-producing sectors of the Montagne de Reims. The Coutier family has been in the village of Ambonnay since 1619, with Antoine Coutier currently at the helm. While Ambonnay is generally regarded as Pinot country, the family’s nine hectares of vineyards are planted with one-third Chardonnay and two-thirds Pinot Noir. In fact, in 1946 Antoine Coutier’s grandfather father was the first vigneron in Ambonnay to plant Chardonnay in the village, which has flourished ever since and is now as highly regarded as the Pinot Noir from this grand cru village.
The vineyards on the Montagne de Reims shift exposure as one arrives in the village of Ambonnay, facing due south and producing a warmer microclimate for the grapes. There is also a bit more clay and a bit less limestone in the soils of Ambonnay than is typical throughout the region, which tends to produce more sumptuous styles in the wines, such as Coutier’s, which rely solely on Ambonnay fruit. This is not a large domaine by any stretch of the imagination, only producing 25,000 bottles in any given year.
Coutier, a small grower in Ambonnay, makes wines of real distinction and class. As one might expect given their Ambonnay origins, these Champagnes tend to be quite rich and creamy in feel, but they also have a sense of brightness that keeps the wines from being overly heavy. The NV wines are especially strong here. I am also a very big admirer of the Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru, a rare 100% Ambonnay Chardonnay. Best of all, these wines remain very fairly priced.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous
In the Vineyard
Coutier holds around 8.5 hectares of vines, composed of 37 different plots with an average age of 38 years. Their vineyards are two-thirds of Pinot Noir and one-third of our Chardonnay.
Practicing “lutte raisonnée”, a method of viticulture which encourages biodiversity and soil health. Coutier ploughs, uses no herbicides and grows grass between rows.
100% estate-fruit from Ambonnay, one of the largest Grand Cru villages.
Vineyards in Ambonnay face due south, producing a warmer microclimate for the grapes.
This area consists of pure Belemnite chalk originating from Bouzy and continuing throughout most of Champagne. This unique soil allows the vines to root deeply, retaining the ideal amount of moisture while allowing the excess to drain away thoroughly.
In the Winery
The Coutier house style is accentuated by vinification and cellar techniques that seek to marry the traditional richness of Ambonnay fruit with the racy and pure style that the family cherishes. In this regard, only half of the Coutier wines go through malolactic fermentation, as Antoine feels this balances opulence with raciness in the finished wines.
Where in the World is R.H.Coutier?
R.H.Coutier operates out of the fabled village of Ambonnay.
The map below shows the main sub-regions of Champagne
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From left to right Champagne vineyards by Soil Type, Aspect and Dominant Varietal
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