Champagne Réauts: Fine Champagnes from the Côte des Bar

Alain and Thérèse Réaut inherited their family vineyards in the 1980s. The families had traditionally sold their grapes to the local cooperative (they still sell some to the cooperative Union Auboise). But Alain wanted to make his own Champagne, which he began doing in 1990. Inspired by neighboring vintners, he also decided to begin converting the family’s 10 hectares of vines to biodynamic viticulture (certified by Demeter in 1992). Now, 32 years later, the high quality grapes from these vines are making refined Champagnes.  I recently met with Alain’s son Alex, who took over management of the Réaut estate in 2018, to taste Champagnes from their portfolio.  My tasting notes follow below.

The 10-hectare Réaut vineyard includes parcels in four different communes in the southern portion of the Côte des Bar, each with different exposures but all sharing Kimmeridgian clay and limestone soils.  While soil depths vary, a typical cross-section would look like the picture here—about 40 cm of topsoil above 80 cm of clay, which lies above limestone bedrock.  Biodynamic viticulture combined with these soils produces wines with striking acidity, minerality and purity.  At harvest time the grapes are gently pressed to retain acidity, partly matured in oak barrels, and later blended with a contribution from a ten-year-old solera.

The Wines

Champagne Réaut NV Brut Tradition Côte des Bar 91 Very pale rosé color. This Blanc de Noirs is all Pinot Noir from the 2021 vintage. The bouquet reveals light red cherry fruit with toasty lees notes. It’s an easy drinking, fruit rich wine of red currant and pastry cream with a sappy finish and a hint of salinity. RS 2.8 g/L.

Champagne Réaut 2018 Mercí Nature Extra Brut Côte des Bar  93 This blanc de blancs is an unusual but very successful 58/42 blend of Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. Pale in color with light green flecks, it opens with lively scents of pastry dough and a hint of toast. Very dry, clean and precise in the mouth, it reveals subtle but incisive flavors of almond and white peach with a tropical accent. Finishes with mineral driven persistence. 42% of base wine aged in foudres. RS 1.3 g/L

Champagne Réaut 2011 Prestige Millesime Extra Brut Côte des Bar 93  Pale gold color. Opens with nuanced scents of hazelnuts and toasted grain. Shows textural finesse and richness in the mouth. Markedly dry with excellent depth and purity. A blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay with 40% of the base wine matured in oak barrels.

Source : https://i-winereview.com/blog/index.php/2024/06/11/champagne-reauts-fine-champagnes-from-the-cote-des-bar/