Anselme Selosse lives in Avize. A terroir that is right in the heart of the Grand Cru of the Côtes des Blancs. The particularity of this terroir is the soils: very steep, east-facing and made of porous chalk with a high proportion of limestone, which regulates water supply and temperatures. Definitely an outstanding terroir. Jacques Selosse domain is made up of 47 vineyard plots mainly located in Avize and a couple of Pinot Noir parcels in Aÿ, Ambonnay and Mareuil. A small domain compared to most Champagne neighbours. It is in 1974 that Anselme took over the family domain aged only 20. The development of the domain has been a slow process with main lines like coherence and reflexion. They are constantly bringing their work into question and trying to improve their practices. In 1988, everything was reexamined from every angle: yields, ploughing and the worforce. In 1993, Claude Bourguignon-a soil expert- made a positive contribution to the success of the project. 1996 and 1998 were 2 important dates regarding the turn to biodynamic principles and today Anselme works along these lines without resorting to the whole range of biodynamic tools for all that. Having said that, minerality remains the main creed. “ the vine roots absorb mineral the salts that have been made soluble by microorganisms”. As always, perfect ripeness remains an essential prerequisite.
And yet, it’s not always the case in the Champagne region ! As you may have noticed Anselme Selosse is a perfectionist both in the vineyard and the winery. He spares no effort to produce wines which have their own style. He also goes so far as to add spoonfuls of indigenous yeasts to start the second fermentation that takes place inside the bottle. All the parcels are vinified separately in old Burgundy barrels. Fermentation starts on its own and the lees are stirred regularly. After 8 to 10 months in barrels, the wines are matured in tanks or big oak barrels still on their lees. Finally bottle’s ageing will last from 8 to 10 years ! For Anselme Selosse, each wine must have its own style. At the time of blending, selecting the wines for homogeneous cuvees is what is done in the first place. 12 cuvees in all produce 70,000 bottles. Guillaume, the son, joined the domain in 2012. It looks as if the transition period has started ! Tasting a Champagne from Jacques Selosse is quite an emotional experience. What we have here is a gastronomic Champagne improving with some time in a wine decanter. The sparkling is not detrimental to the wine because indeed it ‘s WINE we are talking about ! Is this Champagne ? No, rather a unique wine second to none in the world.