Look out, Moët, Pol Roger and Lanson … there’s a ‘new’ champagne on the scene that’s determined to win its share of the spotlight. You may not be as familiar with Champagne Castelnau as some of the more famous houses, but this hundred-year-old Reims vineyard is in fact one of the Champagne region’s best-kept secrets.
Castelnau was created in 1916 by a group of entrepreneurial growers who named their new venture in honour of the celebrated French First World War general, Vicount Curières de Castelnau. The house cultivates 900 hectares of premium vines located in the heart of Reims, using their own unique methods to create a selection of truly outstanding champagnes.
Currently headed up by Cellar Master Elisabeth Sarcelet, Champagne Castelnau has established a reputation for exceptionally fine vintage and NV champagnes, characterised by unusually lengthy lees aging (that may sound a little technical, but lees are quite simply the yeast particles left over from the fermentation stage, known for adding creaminess and a whole host of deeper flavours to a cuvée). You can expect Castelnau’s classic Brut NV to spend six years on lees, whilst both their Blanc de Blancs and Brut Vintage spend a rather mind-blowing twelve years with all that lovely yeast.