One of our favorite finds in recent years is the tiny Champagne producer Jacques Robin. They’re a small family outfit located in the Côtes des Bar, a sub-region of Champagne located near Chablis and known for its Pinot Noir-heavy cuvées. It’s an up-and-coming region these days, and one taste of this wine will explain why.
Robin’s cuvées are terroir-driven wines, not mass-produced fizz. They’re humble, complex, and delicious. Today’s cuvée is 100% Pinot Noir, grown in soils with a higher percentage of clay than the more famous corners of Champagne. The resulting wines sport a broader, richer palate, and a delightfully refreshing finish.
Robin’s non-vintage cuvée is called Secret de Sorbée, pure Pinot Noir from a single terroir. It’s fermented partially in barrel and left on the lees for over two years. In the glass this wine is toasty and fresh with lovely apple fruit and floral notes. The Guide Hachette awarded a star, and called it “at once round and tart,” with a “pleasant, intense fruit expression.”
At a bottle price under $50, this is true grower Champagne that won’t break the bank. The French require much less of an excuse to open Champagne than Americans — the start of a weeknight dinner is often enough. Keep a bottle or two of this in your fridge for the next time you feel particularly français.
Robin Champagne “Secret de Sorbée” NV
bottle price: $49
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