In 2010, at the age of 26, Etienne decided to take control of his grandparents’ 2.8 hectares of vineyards scattered in and around Avize, which had previously been sold off to the grandes maisons. Stewardship of the terroir is the basis for great Champagne, so Etienne set out to ensure that all the vineyards (all the vines are at least 30 years old) are planted with grass cover crops, plowed (mostly by horse), and farmed following lutte raisonnée methods (they are farming organically since 2013 but aren’t certified).
Etienne himself had overseen the pressing of the grapes before they were sent off to the big houses, and he decided to maintain the strict quality controls already in place while adding a few personal touches. Each parcel is vinified separately, with a small percentage of the Rosé de Craie and Infiniment Blanc aged in old barrels. All bottles are aged on the lees for 36 months, and an additional 3 months is given after disgorgement before the wines are released.
Calsac has an eye for experimentation, so expect to see new releases over the next few years, including Pinot Noir from family vineyards in the Aube and an extremely limited bottling from the monopole Clos des Maladries in Avize, planted by Etienne’s grandfather. His potential is unlimited - though his highly sought-after wines are not.
Infinement Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru
100% Chardonnay mainly from Avize (80%) and Bisseuil (20%) from vineyards of limestone & chalk facing south & southeast. Direct pressing of whole bunches. Mostly stainless steel but 15% of the wine is fermented and aged in barrels that are several years old. The wine is kept on the lees for 7 months before bottling and then is aged a minimum of 26 months before disgorgement. Bottled with a dosage of 6 g/l and aged an additional 3 months before leaving the winery.
95% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Noir. The L'échappée Belle spends a minimum of 34 months on the lees before disgorgement, full malolactic takes place, and it is bottled with 2g dosage.
Rosé de Craie
86 % Chardonnay and 4% Pinot Noir. The Chardonnay is sourced from Chardonnay mainly from the terroirs of Bisseuil (80%) and Avize (20%) with the Pinot Noir coming from the Montagne de Reims. Average vine age of 30 years. Limestone and chalk with south and southeast exposure. Direct press of the entire harvest with only the coeur de cuvée kept for the vinification. Wine aged on the lees for 7 months with natural malo before bottling. 10% of the wine is fermented and aged in used barrels purchased from Bereche, unfiltered and not cold-stabilized. 24 months minimum on the lees. Dosage 7 g/l (MCR). 72 cs produced.