R.H. Coutier "Cuvee Tradition" Champagne Grand Cru
This cuvee is based around the 2013 vintage with the addition of 40% Reserve wines, and was disgorged with 6 grams per liter of dosage. The nose shows a fuller cream richness with some toast, nuts, apples and pear skins. The palate remains present and full with lemon, apples, pears, and a fun mix of cream and nuts. D&M Tasting Notes
The Coutier family has been in the Grand Cru village of Ambonnay since 1619, though it was only in the twentieth century that they began to make their own cuvees. In 1901, the grandfather of René Coutier (the current proprietor, at left with his son) bucked with longstanding tradition and bottled his own wine instead of selling it to Charles Heidsieck. The village of Ambonnay has always been known for growing the highest quality Pinot Noir. After WWII, René’s father was the first to plant Chardonnay in this village.
The Coutiers practice "lutte raisonnée," a method of vineyard management that encourages biodiversity and soil health, i.e. the use of a horse to plough, they do not use herbicides and grow grass between the vine rows. René has been involved with the family business since 1971, and fully took over from his father in 1983. In the cellar, René uses very little oak, and none for your cuvee, with aging on the lees for 36 months before disgorgment. The cuvee Tradition echoes the family’s vineyard holdings with 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay going into the final bottle, finished with 6 grams dosage. (It should be noted this is based largely on the 2012 vintage, which by all indications will be the first extraordinary vintage for Champagne of the 2010s.)