Production Methods at Jacques Selosse
Jacques Selosse is known for their unique production methods that set them apart from the traditional approach of Champagne houses. They have implemented several innovative techniques and adaptations to create Champagnes with a truly unique character and expression. Here are some of the key production methods that contribute to the exceptional Champagnes of Jacques Selosse:
Jacques Selosse is dedicated to biodynamic cultivation of their vineyards. They practice a natural farming method focused on preserving and strengthening soil health and biodiversity. By applying biodynamic principles, they seek to create a harmonious connection between the grapevine, the soil, and the cosmos to achieve wines in perfect balance.
Low Yield and Selective Harvest:
To ensure the quality of their grapes, Jacques Selosse chooses to keep the yield low in their vineyards. This involves limiting the number of grape clusters on each vine to maximize the concentration and quality of the grapes. Additionally, they practice high selection of grapes during harvest, hand-picking them over multiple passes to ensure optimal ripeness and quality.
A notable difference at Jacques Selosse is their use of natural fermentation. Instead of adding cultured yeast to the fermentation, they allow it to happen spontaneously with the help of naturally occurring yeast found on the grapes and in the wine cellar. This contributes to creating Champagnes with more complex aromas and characteristics.
Use of Oak Barrels:
Jacques Selosse utilizes oak barrels in their production process, which is unusual for a Champagne house. They use small oak barrels instead of traditional steel tanks for maturing their Champagnes before bottling. This adds an extra dimension of flavor, texture, and complexity to the wines and contributes to the more oxidative style for which Selosse is known.
Extended Lees Aging:
A crucial part of Jacques Selosse's production method is the extended lees aging, also known as sur lie. This involves letting the Champagne rest on the yeast sediment after the second fermentation in the bottle for a longer period than usual. This prolonged maturation contributes to the Champagnes achieving even greater complexity, creaminess in texture, and the development of complex aromas over time.
Jacques Selosse combines these production methods with meticulous care and a commitment to expressing the terroir and the potential of the grapes in the best possible way. Champagne from Selosse carries a truly special expression, characterized by pronounced fullness and concentration, yet with a highly refined minerality and elegance. The high mineral content and nutrient-rich soil in Côte des Blancs give the Champagnes a unique freshness, especially in the finish. This freshness, therefore, comes much less from high acidity compared to most other Champagne producers.
Jacques Selosse Champagne Cuveés
Jacques Selosse produces several different cuvées, each with its unique characteristics and expressions. Here are some of their most well-known cuvées:
Initial is the house's entry-level Champagne and represents an excellent expression of Jacques Selosse's style. This Champagne is made with a combination of grapes from different vineyards and vintages. Initial is characterized by its fresh fruitiness, complexity, and soft mousse.
Substance is a cuvée produced in very limited quantities and is a tribute to Anselme Selosse's vision and craftsmanship. This Champagne is made from grapes from selected vineyards and matures for a longer period than Initial. Substance possesses impressive depth, intensity, and complexity. It has a full body, creamy texture, and a long, persistent finish.
Millésime is a cuvée created in vintages of exceptional quality. It showcases Jacques Selosse's ability to capture the essence of a particular year and craft a champagne that reflects the unique characteristics of that year.
Exquise is a demi-sec (semi-dry) Champagne that stands out with its sweeter profile. This cuvée is perfect for those who prefer Champagnes with a bit more sweetness and roundness. Exquise has complex aromas of ripe fruits, honey, and spices. It balances the taste elegantly between sweetness and freshness, offering a rich and delicate flavor experience.
Jacques Selosse Champagnes are characterized by their precision, complexity, and depth. They express the terroir in a unique and authentic way and have a remarkable ability to age and evolve. They are both elegant and powerful, providing exceptional tasting experiences.
With Selosse's commitment to quality, innovation, and respect for terroir, Jacques and Anselme have solidified themselves as one of the most respected and sought-after Champagne houses in the world, despite their microscopic size. Jacques Selosse Champagne is a true bucket-list wine for any Champagne lover. Here on ShareWine, you often find these rare Selosse Champagnes for sale on auction from private collectors.