Frederic Savart

Fredric Savart— Small but Perfectly Formed

Although small isn’t always beautiful, in the case of Frederic Savart Champagne it definitely is. That smallness is demonstrated by the business having only four hectares (around ten acres) of vineyards and producing a mere 2,500 cases a year, which makes the wine a distinctly scarce commodity.

The business started in 1947 when Daniel Savart, father of Frederic, bought some vines. He moved into winemaking in the 1970s, added further vineyard holdings in the 1980s and handed over the management of the business to Frederic in 2005.

Best Wines from the Best Grapes

Of the current four hectares, three are in Ecueil, and the other is in the neighbouring village of Villiers-aux-Noeds, both in the Montagne de Reims area of Champagne. These vineyards have different characteristics that influence the final taste of the product. Many parcels in Ecueil are sandy soil, with some relatively chalky and some clay on the slopes, while Villiers-aux-Noeds tends to be chalkier.

Believing that the best wine always comes from the best grapes, Frederic puts a lot of time and effort into tending the vines. The work depends on the nature of the vineyards, with the vines in his grandfather’s old vineyards being planted too close together to allow a tractor to be used while the newer ones enable the soil to be fully worked or at least worked under the vines.

All the vines are now grown organically, with no pesticides used and the emphasis being on preventing disease. With that aim, a holistic approach is adopted so that an environment is developed where the plants are better able to resist diseases and other threats. Any new vines that have been planted were cuttings taken from Frederic’s grandfather’s oldest plants so that the quality and characteristics of the grapes are continued.

The emphasis is on producing the wine close to the place where the grapes are grown, and the process involves fermentation in steel or, more frequently lately, in oak barrels. The latter are generally new so that they don’t have the microbial residue from previous vintages and so the wines have less sulphur. To preserve electric acidity, most wines don’t go through malolactic fermentation and battonage is not practised.

Individual and Vibrant Flavours

The outcome of all these efforts is wines that have a sappy, sour and tangy quality, taste that many consider a hallmark of Savart’s wines. They tend to be vibrant and full of flavour, individual, well-balanced and full of finesse.

One of the best known and most popular offerings is a Frederic Savart blanc de noir under the name of ‘L’Ouverture’. This pale gold champagne includes 50% reserve wine from the previous two vintages and has aromas of crisp apple and pear and a bright citrus taste with a chalky edge.

Many of the wines are a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay although L’Ouverture is 100% Pinot Noir from clay-based soils in Eceuil. All, however, are truly exceptional and, due to the limited 2,500 cases annually from this small producer, are always in great demand. So if you find any available here, snap them up because they’re unlikely to last for long.

Vintage

Region

Price

Frederic Savart L'Ouverture Premier Cru

Frederic Savart

Frederic Savart L'Ouverture Premier Cru


Blanc de Noirs

Base 2014

Club Price $93.10 (?)