- BlendPinot Noir
- WinemakerPierre Dethune
- AppellationAmbonnay, Champagne
- VineyardLes Crayeres
- Oak205-Liter Champagne oak barrels
- Residual Sugar5 g/L
- Harvest Date42261
Champagne Paul Dethune Blanc de Noirs Les Crayeres Extra Brut Grand Cru 2015
Les Crayeres is a vineyard of exceptional status that needs to be on your radar. This 100% pinot noir plot in Ambonnay produces some of the most powerful Champagnes around. Here, in the hands of one of our favorite growers, this is vintage, extra brut, Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs at an incredible value – easily competing with similar wines that fetch two to three times this price!
100% pinot noir, aged in 205 liter Champagne barrels and bottled without filtration. Powerfully rich, impressively intense, and playfully elegant, this Champagne is exceptional even in its youth, but with the strength to thrive for years! Enticing aromas of honeysuckle, toasted brioche, spiced and roasted green apples, candied grapefruit, crushed oysters...and on, and on...this wine is nearly as much fun to smell as it is to taste. Luckily, you don’t have to choose, and the wine leads to a pure, expressive palate of lemon cream, cherry saltwater taffy, strawberries, toasted almonds, and more...all harnessed by rigid tension and penetrating minerality.
Pierre Dethune crafts this from one and a half hectares of pinot noir on Les Crayeres’ powerful, south-facing, chalky slope planted to over 50-year-old vines. The Dethunes are the second oldest Champagne family in Ambonnay, with an unbroken history of growing grapes in the region going back to 1610! History, pedigree, location…this wine has the resume that would rival any producer in Champagne. So yes, a $120 bottle of Champagne is a deal! Egly-Ouriet makes their non-vintage cuvee from an adjacent plot that goes for $260+ per bottle. We won’t even talk about the price of Krug’s Clos d’Ambonnay, just a stone’s throw away. Side note: the word “crayère” means chalk pit and is a common term throughout Reims, so beware of cheaper look-alikes that don’t actually hail from this tiny Grand Cru site!
Like each of his forebears, Pierre Dethune has created his own style of Champagne – rooted in tradition yet ever-evolving – the one constant being the grassy lands of Ambonnay. Over the past few years, the Dethune portfolio has gradually lowered the total dosage – moving below the 6g/liter allotment and transitioning the wines to Extra Brut or below (even when labeled as Brut). This bottling is a zippy 5g/liter. The shift has produced an enhanced freshness and verve to the finished wines without sacrificing the purely ripe fruit orchard characteristics that are definitively Ambonnay.
Neighbors of legends like Egly-Ouriet and Billiot, this is ground zero for the world's best Blanc de Noirs. The vineyard practices natural and organic techniques such as integrated pest management, solar power, and a complete lack of chemical use in the vineyard. Ambonnay is arguably the center point of the grower Champagne movement and host to numerous small farmers following the path laid forth by the Dethunes. We got as much as we could, so do what you must to grab a few before they’re gone!
PAIRING IDEAS: Steak. Seriously. The weighty bubbly is perfect for dinner! Get yourself a beautiful hanger steak simply seasoned with good salt, and sear in a cast iron skillet. While it rests, make classic bearnaise sauce...slice, season with some flaky salt, and be amazed.