“Garage wines - “vins de garage” - are wines produced with very high quality standards by very small wine-growing estates. Typically, garage wines are distinguished by low yields per hectare, high maturity and strict selection of the grapes, as well as, of course, naturally concentrated must.”
The term “Garage wine”was created in Saint-Emilion in the nineties to describe small, exclusive Cuvees, cultivated almost like gardens. If this definition is applied to the Champagne, it can be said without any doubt that the Clos l’Abbé of Hubert Soreau is an authentic “Garage champage”!
This wine is made of 100% Chardonnay in three different plots, with a total area of only half an acre south of Épernay. Moreover, two of the vineyards actually were gardens before, as witness the tulips and daffodils sprouting in the vineyards in spring. When fully ripe, grapes are pressed and the must is fermented in wooden vats from Hautvillers. Until the second fermentation in the bottle, the wine is not stored in a garage but in the cellar of Hubert’s wife Nathalie, a talented wine-maker that produces some champagne that look like jewellery under the brand Champagne J.Vignier in selected vineyards of the Côteaux du Sézannais and Côtes des Blancs. In spring the Clos l’Abbé is bottled to carry out the second fermentation under natural cork. It then rests for at least seven years on fine lees before being disgorged and hand-labeled.
In the glass, behind the glittering veil of fine, golden bubbles, an impressive, gradually evolving bouquet developes: citrus fruit, dried flowers, quince and ripe apples, hazelnuts and roasted aromas, a touch of smoke... In the mouth le Clos l’Abbé shows straight, mineral acidity, fine bubbles and a muscular body and an angelic smile. Not only champagne, but above all a very impressive wine, imposing and generous. Awesome!