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Champagne Paul Dethune Blanc de Noirs Les Crayeres Extra Brut Grand Cru 2015  - First Bottle

Technical Details

  • BlendPinot Noir
  • WinemakerPierre Dethune
  • CountryFrance
  • RegionChampagne
  • AppellationAmbonnay, Champagne
  • VineyardLes Crayeres
  • Oak205-Liter Champagne oak barrels
  • Residual Sugar5 g/L
  • Harvest Date42261
  • Alcohol12.5%

Champagne Paul Dethune Blanc de Noirs Les Crayeres Extra Brut Grand Cru 2015

Pinot Noir  |  France

14% off retail!

If you know high-end Champagne, 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, in this vintage, extra brut, Grand Cru Blanc de Noir at an incredible value – easily competing with similar wines that fetch two to three times this price (or more…looking at you, Krug Clos d’Ambonnay!).

100% pinot noir, aged in 205 liter Champagne barrels and bottled without filtration… this is both a beauty and a beast! Powerfully rich, impressively intense, and playfully elegant, this Champagne is exceptional even in its youth! 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. Just wow!

Seriously, this wine is a steal! Paul Dethune makes 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! That’s the same year Galileo discovered three moons of Jupiter, folks. 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, but high-end Champagnes at a price like this tend to move quickly, so do what you must to grab a few before they’re gone!

PAIRING IDEAS: Steak. Seriously. Get yourself a beautiful Hanger steak (or filet, if you must), simply season with good salt, and sear in a cast iron skillet. While it rests, make this classic bearnaise sauce…slice, season with some flaky salt, and be amazed.

MUSIC SUGGESTIONS: This is probably the closest thing to a Taylor Swift song you’ll find here… Country legend Ryan Adams covered every song from Taylor’s “1989” album… giving each song his own unique twist. Here’s “Wildest Dreams”.

About the Producer

Pierre Déthune learned to walk in the vineyards alongside his father Paul, who came from a long line of vintners that goes back to 1610. Like his great-grandfather Léon, his grandfather Henri and his father Paul, Pierre is tracing his own path… in the heart of the grassy wine country of Ambonnay. They do the demanding job of Grower-Producers, following a stringent sustainable development approach. As regards the line that came before them and the one that extends ahead, the couple considers themselves to be a generational relay of a timeless heritage. With quality and respect for people and the environment, they produce a range of seven champagnes that are 100% Grand Cru.