Champagne De Sousa
Visiting the Champagne region, part 7: an organic house making distinctive wines

Erick and Michelle De Sousa run the grower Champagne De Sousa, along with their daughter Charlotte. As the name suggests, De Sousa has a Portuguese origin, and was established by Erick's grandparents in the 1950s: his grandfather was Portuguese while his grandmother - whose name was Bonneville - came from the region.

Charlotte and Erick

They are based in Avize in the Cote des Blancs, and farm 10 hectares, as well as buying from a further 2 ha (which means they are not technically 'grower' Champagne). They source from 12 villages.

Their Taransaud Ovum 

Their speciality is Chardonnay, and they farm biodynamically (certified 2013, certified organic in 2010). There are just 100 winegrowers certified in organics in Champagne, which is low for such a large region.

Elevage is in a range of vessels, in addition to oak barrels

Production is 100 000 bottles, and there's quite a big range because of the terroir-driven approach. Fermentation is with indigenous yeasts and there is always malolactic, and never filtration or cold stabilization.


Champagne de Sousa Brut Tradition NV France
This is from base 2013, disgorged September 2015, dosage 7 g/litre. 50% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier, 10% Pinot Meunier. Lively and aromatic with citrus and white peach, as well as subtle toast. Lively palate has apple, herb and citrus fruit. Rounded and fruity with nice freshness. Subtle creamy notes. 90/100

Champagne de Sousa Brut Reserve Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs NV France
Based on 2011, disgorged December 2015, 7 g/litre disgorged. Creamy and quite bright with subtle toasty notes. Nice precision here with a bit of buttery richness, as well as bright citrus fruits. Linear finish with some lemony hints. 90/100

Champagne de Sousa Brut Rose NV France
2013 base, 92% Chardonnay, 8% Pinot Noir. Disgorged September 2015, dosage 7 g/litre. Apple and cherry nose. Lively, fresh and bright with focused cherry fruit and some lemony notes, as well as a bit of grip. 88/100

Champagne de Sousa Cuvee 3A NV France
From Ay, Avize and Ambonnay. 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir, with the grapes blended straight into the press. 2012 base, 20% reserve wines, disgorged January 2016, half barrels, half tank. Lively and intense with a pure citrussy nose and some grapefruit skin and some talcum powder. The palate is powerful and structured with vibrant fruit and a pure citrussy finish. 92/100

Champagne de Sousa Mycorhize Grand Cru NV France
This is 100% Chardonnay, mostly from Avize, with a bit of Oger. Old vines. This has been ploughed by horses for the last five years. 2011 with a bit of 2010. Disgorged July 2015 with 4 g/l dosage, base wine fermented in barrels. Very aromatic with lifted open citrus fruit and a hint of talcum powder. Ripe apples and citrus with lovely weight and fresh acidity. Finished bright and pithy. 91/100

Champagne de Sousa Cuvee des Caudalies Extra Brut NV France
Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru from Avize, Oger and Le Mesnil. 50% from reserve wine solera started in 1995. Aged 5 years in cellar – the base wine here is 2011, and it was disgorged in October 2015. Old vines, base wine fermented in barrels. Fragrant, lemony with nicely textured pear, baked bread and white peach fruit. On the palate there are some herb notes and some grip. Has some smoothness with nice weight. Rounded with some sweetness on the finish and a smooth mid-palate. 91/100

Champagne de Sousa Cuvee Umami Grand Cru NV France
From old vines, base wine in barrels, 60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir. Base wine 2009, disgorged February 2015. Very lively with spicy citrus and some subtle nuts. Very lively with spicy citrus and subtle nuts. Powerful and lively and quite rounded on the palate with some ripe apple characters. Has a bit of sweetness on the finish. 92/100

Champagne de Sousa Caudalies Rose Grand Cru NV France
90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir. 42 months on lees, disgorged December 2014. Lively, fruity and lemony with bright citrus and tangerine notes. Sweet rosehip syrup notes as well as herbs and spices. Complex and detailed. 90/100

Champagne de Sousa Caudalies Grand Cru 2006 France
Disgorged October 2015. Rich cedarwood, sandalwood and spice nose with some toast, lively citrus and apples. The palate is honeyed and nutty with some sweetness and fine spiciness. Broad pear, ripe apple and rich texture with a savoury, spicy edge. Distinctive and powerful. 92/100


Part 1, JL Vergnon
Part 2, Bruno Paillard
Part 3, Anselme Selosse
Part 4, Pierre Péters
Part 5, Ulysse Collin

Part 6, Gosset
Part 7, De Sousa

Wines tasted 04/16 
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