Varnier-Fannière NV Rosé Brut, Champagne
Winemaker: Valérie Varnier
Varieties: 92% Chardonnay and 8% red wine of Grand Cru Pinot Noir
Vineyards/History: Valérie Varnier has taken over the mantle at this estate after the death of her husband and 3rd generation producer, Denis Varnier. After Denis’ passing, Valérie said that there was “no question” about whether she would continue making the wines and she completed her first solo harvest in 2017. 2019 marks her third harvest and the wines on offer this year are finished and disgorged by her, but remain a living part of Denis’ legacy. The estate is small, but formidable. With four hectares of vines, averaging 45 years of age, in Avize, Oger, Oiry and Cramant, this estate has been producing outstanding wines for the last 30 years.
Denis was a believer in old vines and work in the vineyard, something which his wife continues. With young vines “You think the flavors are rich, but in the final wine they’re not.” Grapes are pressed with a traditional basket press and fermented in steel without temperature control. The wines are bottled early and with a lower than average atmospheric pressure, emphasizing their vinous nature. “I prefer the wine to evolve in the bottle rather than in tank, so I try to get as much time in the bottle as possible” said Denis.
Vinification: The Rosé Brut is a blend of 92% Chardonnay and 8% red wine of Grand Cru Pinot Noir from Ambonnay. The assemblage is 50% of 2014, 50% of 2013, sourced from Avize Grand Cru, Cramant Grand Cru and Oger Grand Cru equally, with a small part from Oiry Grand Cru. The red wine from Ambonnay Grand Cru is from the 2012 vintage. Malolactic occurs, and élevage happens in Stainless steel, 36 months sur latte