The vignerons of Champagne grow Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Blanc de Noirs cuvées are blends using the two Pinot varietals, whose skins are dark but whose juice is clear – Blanc de blancs cuvées come from Chardonnay.
Today’s wine is a blanc de blancs: the Cuvée Topaze from our small grower Champagne source Jacques Robin. But where most blanc de blancs cuvées are drier and lighter, Robin’s vines are in the Côtes des Bar, a southern subregion of Champagne with particularly clay rich soils.
We think this wine strikes a beautiful balance between the finesse and elegance of chardonnay, and the richer, fuller style of a Côtes des Bar cuvée.
The soils of the Côtes des Bar are the same Kimmeridgian mixture as nearby Chablis — a blend of chalk, limestone, and clay, rather than the chalk-limestone of the rest of Champagne. The addition of clay gives the wines a broader mouthfeel than those from northern Champagne — Robin’s cuvées may not be the subtlest of Champagnes, but they’re chewy, full bodied, and delicious.
The Topaze is a delicate blend of earth and citrus — refined and elegant but with juicy notes of lemon and baked apples. The nose will remind you of white Burgundy, and the bubbles add a festive, playful energy. Pair this with fish or shellfish, or with gougères on a classy Sunday afternoon.
Robin Champagne “Topaze” NV
bottle price: $49
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