Among all the producers in the village of Avize in Champagne, the brightest shining star must be Jacques Selosse.  To many people, Jacques Selosse is certainly among the best grower champagnes in the whole of the Champagne region.  However, there are still some very good producers in the village Avize that should not be neglected.  They are also producing very high quality champagne and selling at a fraction of price of Jacques Selosse.  The most famous are Franck Bonville, Agrapart and de Sousa.

The champagne I tried this time is a bottle of non-vintage champagne from de Sousa.  To judge if a champagne producer is good or not, I normally start with its non vintage champagne.  First of all, a non-vintage champagne should be representing the producer desired wine style.  In addition, non-vintage champagne is less subject to vintage variation.  Furthermore, given the fact that vintage champagne is normally only produced in good vintage, it is fairly safe to assume that if a bottle of non-vintage champagne is good, the vintage one would be even better!

By classification, Avize is a grand cru village in Champagne and is famous for the planting of Chardonnay.  Unsurprisingly, most producers in the village of Avize mainly produce only Blanc de Blancs champagnes.

De Sousa was established in 1986.  Annual production is about 80,000 bottles.  It now has about 9 ha of vineyards not only in Avize, but in Cramant and Oger as well.  Average vine age is an impressive 35 years.  All the vineyards are managed using biodynamic principles.  Comparing to Selosse,  although de Sousa also practiced deliberate oxidation, the wine has less developed nose than Selosse.  All the wines are barrel fermented of which 15% are new oak.  Even with the use of new oak, the wine is very balanced and will not have any obvious oak induced flavours.  All the wines undergone 100% malolactic fermentation.

This bottle of  NV de Sousa Blanc de Blancs Reserve Brut has an impressive nose which is very open and forward even without any breathing or decanting.  Although the nose is very intense, it still retains the elegance and lightness of a Blanc de Blancs champagne.  Very good intensity and very smooth in palate.  This is undoubtedly a very good non-vintage champagne that worth recommendation.

Langham Hotel Ming Court Restaurant – About HK$800

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