• Champagne Equilibrium: 2013 Olivier Horiot Sève

    Champagne Equilibrium: 2013 Olivier Horiot Sève

    During the holidays, the staff was treated to a smorgasbord tasting of champagnes in the Kogod cellar. I wasn’t able to attend, unfortunately, but Max was kind enough to hand-deliver some of the highlights to my doorstep here in Los Angeles, including David L'eclapart and Marguet. But he insisted that I needed to try Olivier Horiot, a micro-producer in the village of Les Riceys. We revisited Horiot’s Champagnes last month, and they continue to indulge us.

    Les Riceys is a commune of three villages situated in the southernmost part of Champagne. The Kimmeridgian soil is the same you'll find Chablis and Sancerre, except these slopes are primarily planted to Pinot Noir. They produce champagne here, of course, but the village is also known for its Rosé des Riceys, a long-held tradition that’s now kept alive by a mere 15 to 20 producers.

    Following in his grandfather and father’s footsteps, Olivier is the third generation to pursue viticulture. They primarily sold their fruit to the local cave coopérative until 1999, when Olivier decided he wanted to vinify his own wines. The Horiots farm a total of seven hectares but keep just two hectares. Olivier jokingly calls it the Champagne equilibrium. “This balance [allows us] to have more fun with the stuff we vinify independently, to craft them more to our taste,” he told U.S. importer Louis/Dressner.

    Horiot produces four sparkling cuvées, though, they vinify each of the eight terroirs separately before blending. 5 Sens is the highlight of the lineup and has the most breadth; a blend of Arbane, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Noir planted on Kimmeridgian and chalk soils. However, the Sève Blanc de Noirs is the perfect middle ground for its fine bubbles and perfect composition of dense, yellow fruit, lively acidity, and just a touch oxidative; it's sourced from En Barmont, one of Horiot's prized Pinot Noir parcels, also used to produce Rosé des Riceys. The sparkling wines are bottled as Brut Nature.

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    Posted by Sydney Love