Champagne Jean Josselin tells the story of the terroir of the Aube in every sip of their top class wine. Of all the properties that I have visited in the Cotes de Bar, none have wines as transparent and so clearly of a place as Josselin. I am very excited to offer them, and due to the strength of the dollar and the direct nature of our purchase proud to say that they are and incredible value in fine Champagne.
While the northern, Marne area of Champagne is famous for its chalk, the southern, Aube part of Champagne is famous for having the same sort of soil as Chablis. This soil is called Kimmeridgian clay, and is very rich in limestone. While all of the wines of the Aube have at least subtle hints of Chablis like flavor, none that I have tasted express this characteristic as clearly as Josselin. If you love the clean earth character that one finds in the best Chablis, you will love this range of Champagne.
The Josselin family began making wine in the 1950’s, and they now have 30 acres of vineyard in the village of Gye-Sur-Seine. That being said, they have been growers for as long as anyone can remember. They only use estate fruit in their Champagne and have small enough tanks in their modern winery to ferment parcel by parcel. Jean-Felix Josselin makes the wine with his father using a traditional Coquard press, stainless steel tanks and full malolactic fermentation in the winery.
After tasting with Jean-Felix and Sharona, I bought nearly every wine that they make. Here is what we have:
Jean Josselin "Cuvee des Jean" Brut Champagne $29.99: This all Pinot Noir Champagne is a blend of many small plots on the Josselin estate in Gye-Sur-Seine. It is aged for three years on the lees and contains fruit from a minimum of two harvests. This is pure, clean, driven Champagne that still maintains the signature cool black Pinot Noir fruit. It is balanced in every way, and perfect for a refreshing aperitif. Cinnamon and I enjoyed this bottle with some “duck sushi”- sliced cooked duck breast served over risotto shaped into sushi rice shape this past weekend. While this wine is clean and refreshing enough to have on its own, the clean earth and Pinot power really came on with the food. At this price, I will be drinking a lot of this flexible, delicious Champagne and I will no doubt have more pairing suggestions soon!
Jean Josselin "Alliance" Brut Champagne $39.99: This is composed of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. This Champagne has pin point bubbles and a seamless, perfect texture, but the real excitement comes with the wine underneath… This has the minerality and clean earth flavors of the very best of Chablis! It is aged for four years on the lees and has fantastic length and effortless balance. If you are looking for an oyster Champagne look no further! This dry, balanced Champagne has the perfect salinity for a trip to the oyster beds. I love it with any kind of shellfish from scallops to crab to lobster.
Jean Josselin "Audace" Brut Rose Champagne $49.99: This big, vinous rose is made entirely from estate grown Pinot Noir and given a full maceration with all of the skins in contact with all of the juice. The maceration is about 18 hours give or take depending on the harvest. This rose is a little darker than most and much more full bodied and full of flavor. That being said, it is still an elegant wine and one glass of it is never enough. The initial strawberry fruit quickly turns to Pinot savor and the finish is dry and refreshing. We don’t have many Champagne’s that have this sort of excitement and complexity. The big red fruit of this rose is an ideal partner for salmon, especially if you like Pinot with it!
A toast to you!