Highlights: Domaine de Hélène Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Vieilles Vignes Extra Brut NV

Descended from a long line of winegrowers in Cramant since 1891, Pierre Hugot has worked with highly respected domains in France including Comte Liger-Belair, Chavy-Chouet, Jean-Marc Roulot, and Vaccelli, before coming back home to the family estate and implementing sustainable, organic, and biodynamic viticulture. He now oversees the family’s small holdings in the Côtes des Blancs. This is the first release of his inaugural cuvée, and only 2000 bottles were produced. This cuvée, from vintage 2017, is from old vine vineyards in GC’s Cramant, Avize, and Oger, and was native fermented and vinified in a mix of tank and barrel. My bottle was disgorged October 2023 with 2 g/L. Structurally fine boned, with a striking lightness of being, this epitomizes the graceful power of the Côte des Blancs, weaving deep chalk, lemon, and ample salinity, with a whisper fine line of reduction drawing this through the lingering finish. Precise, finessed, and impressive, this is certainly a producer to watch. 94/100

Treve Ring

Treve Ring is a wine writer and editor, judge and speaker, and perpetual traveller. [She is also Correspondent Anorak.]