Vouette & Sorbée

Wines of Personality, Energy and a Sense of Place from one of Champagne’s Iconic Growers

Bertrand Gautherot is unquestionably one of the most iconic growers in Champagne. Parting ways with his local co-op due to his decision to embrace organics in 1993 (certified biodynamic since 1998), Bertrand Gautherot’s approach has always been at the cutting edge for his region.

Located in the hamlet of Buxières-sur-Arce, in the Aube’s Côte des Bar, Gautherot’s Estate is named after two of his key lieux-dits: Vouette and Sorbée. The vineyards lie closer to Chablis than to Épernay, both in distance and geology, with soils dominated by the same Kimmeridgian limestone for which Chablis is famed.

All his wines come from a single harvest (noted by the ‘R’ and number on the back label), with the exception of the Fidèle cuvée, which sees a small addition of between five and 10% reserve wine from a réserve perpétuelle started in 2001. Even this wine would be eligible to be called a vintage wine in any other region. These are all complex, textural, yet incredibly mineral wines made with low (or no) sulphur and without a drop of dosage. They are wines that result from low-yielding hillside vineyards, from intense, ripe fruit, from limestone-rich soils, and from a farmer whose heart lies in his vineyards.

A visit to Buxières-sur-Arce is always a lot of fun and yet so thought-provoking. It’s a Domaine that is always experimenting and pushing boundaries and Bertrand has a level of passion, single-mindedness and determinism that is seemingly insatiable.

A visit here is always a lot of fun and yet so thought-provoking. It’s a Domaine that is always experimenting and pushing boundaries and Bertrand has a level of passion, single-mindedness and determinism that is seemingly insatiable. Despite several years with terribly low yields (the 2021 harvest was down 80%, largely due to frost), Bertrand is full of energy and enthusiasm about what the future holds. Importantly, alongside the likes of Agrapart, Egly-Ouriet, Larmandier-Bernier and Selosse, this is another great grower where the next generation has returned. Bertrand now has his daughter Héloïse working with him, bringing fresh energy and new ideas. There is also so much innovation happening here (even some that we cannot speak about!) that it’s hard to keep up.

Aside from innovations in the vineyard and cellar and the quality of the wine, this is also a must-visit address for anyone wishing to think more deeply about biodynamics. In fact, there’s now a beautiful documentary on Vouette et Sorbée and biodynamics by Élie Séonnet called Le Champagne a rendez-vous avec la Lune, available to rent on Vimeo On Demand, for those who would like greater insight into this producer. All the better if you gave a glass or two of Vouette et Sorbée at hand.

The winemaking here abhors any kind of manipulation in the cellar. Gautherot uses the traditional Coquard press, and the juice is transferred into oak or amphorae via gravity rather than being pumped. Primary fermentations are always carried out with natural yeasts and riddling and disgorgement are all done entirely by hand. The wines are bottled without fining or filtration and without dosage. The results are some of Champagne’s most original and complex wines: wines of distinctive personality, energy and a sense of place.

The Range

Not seeing any wines? The wines from this producer are very limited and only available in small volumes, or they may be offered exclusively through our allocation program. Please contact your account manager or email us to register your interest in the next release.

“Like many artisan Champagnes, the Vouette et Sorbee are wines first and foremost. Bertrand Gautherot crafts gorgeous, handmade wine loaded with personality. Antonio Galloni

Country

France

Primary Region

Champagne

People

Winemakers: Bertrand & Héloïse Gautherot

Availability

National

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