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  • Country ranking ?

    1 707
  • Producer ranking ?

    16
  • Decanting time

    10min
  • When to drink

    Now-2030
  • Food Pairing

    Sauteed veal, Poulet Rôti & Grilled swordfish

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The Story

Collection HORS CATEGORIE is so named to demonstrate Champagne Castelnau’s absolute mastery of the heights
to which great Champagnes can rise.

Every release of a Collection HORS CATEGORIE will be a limited edition of a unique blend. It won’t become a set model: instead, each cuvée will be put together to bring out the best of the very individual components selected from only the most exceptional wines in the cellar.

CONSTANT AND SPECIFIC WINEMAKING GUIDELINES:
• A selection of young wines from the current vintage plus reserve wines from top class previous years from the most successful crus in each vintage.
• Barrique ageing for the majority of the blend, partly in Argonne oak, the specific local timber traditionally used in Champagne.
• Limited addition of sugar with the yeast at bottling to produce a very fine, gentle effervescence.
• 5 years’ ageing on lees.
• Disgorging at least 6 months before release.

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Wine Information

Because this winemaking frame brings us new surprises and pioneering oenological challenges, we have named this series HORS CATEGORIE in honour of the top classification of the legendarily tough mountain passes. Since it was climbed in 2012, the same year as this cuvee was bottled, we named this second release after the Col de la Croix de Fer – altitude 2067 m.

Origin: Best wines were selected for the blend, mainly from Trépail, Villers-Marmery, Montgueux, Vitryat, Riceys and Montagne Ouest, with 15% from 2011 and 85% of reserve wine from 2010, aged for almost a year in oak barrique.

Blend:  15% de Chardonnay, 40% de Pinot Noir, 45% de Pinot Meunier, each brings the best of their natural characteristics.

Production: 3 600 bottles and 300 magnums were made on June 2012 and were disgorged in May 2017.

Comments of Cellar Master Elisabeth Sacrelet (Jan 22, 2018):

«To embark on the creation of a cuvée illustrating both the spirit of the House of CASTELNAU and the spirit of a new collection is a real challenge for a team. Inspired by the world of taste and sense where we work and reflect we have to know how to leave our imagination free and unfettered. While remaining in a universe that we know well, should we not when tasting HORS CATEGORIE also be looking for new emotions and feelings? For this second edition, the spirit of HORS CATEGORIE is ever present. As its fine bubbles burst we are transported to a universe of spice and vanilla notes. A gentle signature of oak is conferred by ageing for 10 months in Burgundy barrels made from wood from the local Argonne forest, and it is this that gives some smoky notes to the blend. An aromatic complexity develops as the wine opens up with scents of toast, candied lemon and delicate minty notes. If this aromatic range is huge, it is remarkable that with 85% of the wines spending time in barrel we lose none of the complexity that each village and grape variety brings to the blend. We can sense an almost tactile presence of these woody notes which develop a rare finesse. This forms a real symbiotic relationship with the lemony characters of the Chardonnay. Even if this variety is not the dominant one in the blend it makes its presence felt with gently roasted notes. And then, how audacious, to find that during this voyage of discovery, some animal flavours have been invited to the party! These slightly rustic overtones of leather offer some depth and are balanced by the lightness and zest of the radiant citrus notes. A hint of chocolate and the delicately creamy mousse allow us to appreciate the harmony of the wine and its long finish. The dosage which is extra brut gives a final elegant flourish.»

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Information

Origin

Reims, Champagne

Drinking temperature

7-9C
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