Champagne De Saint Gall Orpale Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs
WHY WE LOVE IT
- Orpale is without a doubt the most complex, accomplished wine of the Champagne De Saint Gall portfolio.
- Grapes here come from De Saint Gall’s most sought-after holdings in the Côte des Blancs crus of Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger, Clamant, and Avize.
- Always a vintage Champagne, it is the result of what is an unusual practice in Champagne in that a good portion of the grapes used to make this Blanc de Blancs do not undergo malolactic fermentation – This preserves the mineral character of these chalky soils and also allows the wine to comfortably spend an shocking 12 years on lees while being hand-riddled in the deep recesses of the De Saint Gall cellar.
Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
Elaboration: Hand picked grapes, fermentation in stainless tank, 144 months on lees, 7g/L dosage from a solera that goes back forty years.
Tasting Notes: Orpale 2004 Vintage is a champagne with the pale, golden robe that is typical of great Chardonnays. A full-bodied and fresh champagne with a bouquet of acacia blossom and white fruit (peach) that develops on notes of white tobacco. The mouth is delicate with a generous and drawn-out finish.
2004: 93 pts – Wine Advocate
Champagne De Saint Gall is the flagship label of Union Champagne, an Avize-Based “new-generation” cooperative on a meteoric rise to stardom. Historically most of the company’s wine has been sold to the region’s iconic houses to be blended into their top luxury brands, a practice which still accounts for a sizable proportion of Union Champagne’s business. As far as cooperatives go this is without question the wealthiest of its kind in the world let alone the wine trade, with a staggering 615 hectares of Grand Cru vineyard land, 615 hectares of Premier Cru vineyard land, and 135 hectares of “mere mortal” unclassified vineyard land. Most of the firm’s acreage lies in the sought-after Côte des Blancs zone, where they farm more Grand Cru acreage than all other Champagne houses combined. Now banded together, Union Champagne’s member/farmers can be considered the kings of ultra-premium Champagne, as no other firm in Champagne holds close to this amount of elite-level acreage. Union Champagne’s recent shift, a commitment to producing and selling finished wine on their own, is the most interesting thing to happen in Champagne during our forty years covering the region. With pride (and a healthy dose of astonishment, really…) we offer you these new releases from De Saint Gall – Reference points in classical, terroir-driven Premier Cru and Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Champagne.