2018 Philippe Lancelot Champagne Grand Cru Le Fond Du Bateau Chouilly$89.99
The Champagnes from Phillippe Lancelot are incredibly rare, and this is the first time we have been able to offer anything from this small Cramant-based producer. Phillippe took over his family, Domaine Y. Lancelot-Wanner, established in 1961 by Phillippe's grandparents. The two had extraordinary holdings in the great villages of Cramant, Chouilly, Oiry, and Avize, as well as in Epernay and Aÿ. Phillippe was born into a world of Champagne and, from a young age, was part of the family tradition, and in 2008 at the age of 28, he assumed complete control. Phillippe was fascinated by Biodynamics and was set on converting the Domaine after trying the Champagnes from Fleury in the Cote des Bar, saying they showed an added energy that regular farming didn't have and began converting in 2012. He is now a complete disciple of Biodynamics, using all of the preparations required, and following the lunar calendar.
Biodynamics has unlocked the family parcels that Phillippe works with, many of which have old vines amplifying their individual expression. One such bottle is the Le Fond du Bateau, a Blanc de Blancs sourced from the village of Chouilly from the lieu-dit Montaigu. Grapes are picked on the more mature side and are vinified in a combination of oak, and stainless steel vats, finished with no dosage or sulfur to show Champagne's innate elegance and purity. While this is a zero-dosage Champagne because the fruit is picked on the riper side if it provides the richness and fleshiness needed. A golden color refined bubbles, this reveals delicate aromas of citrus fruits, lemon and grapefruit, pear, and a slight touch of brioche. On the palate, it offers a silky roundness with an intense and mineral finish. These Champagnes follow the path of producers like Marguet and are even more challenging to source, but if you like serious grower Champagne with impeccable farming practices, this is the bottle.