LASER DEF: NOUN PHYSICS.
“a device that produces a nearly parallel, nearly monochromatic, and coherent beam of light by exciting atoms to a higher energy level and causing them to radiate their energy in phase.”
BUBBLES DEF: VERB
“to move, issue forth, or exist in a lively, sparkling manner”
There are few wines in this world that exude such laser-like precision, finesse, delicacy, and power as the Champagnes of Marie Courtin. The Domaine is run by the feisty and energetic Dominique Moreau and is named for her Grandmother Marie Courtin. The estate covers about 2 ha in the Aube. This, the most southerly part of Champagne, has long been a sleepy backwater where growers have toiled for generations only to sell their fruit to the grand marquee in the north (who still look down on them) only to become a drop in the vinous bucket that is mass-produced Champagne. In recent years though, the Aube has become the hotbed for varietal/vintage and vineyard-designated champagnes – where dedicated growers can see their agricultural efforts all the way to bottle. Among Dominique’s neighbours are Vouette and Sorbee, Cedric Bouchard and Jacques Lassaigne to name but a few…
It was after a visit last year with Bertrand at Vouette et Sorbee (who sheepishly and admiringly admitted that sometimes Dominque makes a better, if not different wine than he does) that we found Dominique at Marie Courtin and experienced her wines for the first time. Needless to say, we were very impressed and secured a small allocation that only now has become available. The farming here is biodynamic, yields are low and ferments are natural with elevage in used French Barrique. They are bottled with no dosage and express both varietal and vintage with excruciating clarity. Production is minuscule: sometimes less than 1000 six-packs total with the majority being scooped up by restaurants in Paris and New York.
We were also fortunate to secure our allocation before these were scored by Galloni – as we no doubt would have been out of luck.
Galloni on Marie Courtin:
“Proprietress Dominique Morneau embodies all of the qualities of the artisan approach in Champagne. Hers are some of the most adventurous, cutting edges Champagnes readers will come across. Biodynamic farming, the use of natural yeasts, and low or no dosage are some of the elements that inform these wines. Above all else, the Marie-Courtin Champagnes are made with meticulously grown fruit that makes the above possible. Readers who want to explore the outer boundaries of Champagne should pay close attention to this tiny, emerging estate in the Cote des Bars, a previously under the radar part of the region that continues to produced a bevy of compelling wines.”