About this WINE
Champagne de Sousa
De Sousa farms 9.2 hectares, mainly in the vicinity of Avize (there are old vine plots in Oger, Cramant and Chouilly for example) but also in the Montagne de Reims (Ay and Ambonnay mainly) and finally a small holding in the Vallée De La Marne (Mardeuil).
The key features of this Champagne House are old-vine cultivation (the vineyards are ploughed by horse and the oldest vines date back to 1932), extensive lees ageing, full malolactic fermentation and the aging of reserve wines in wood.
The De Sousa philosophy adheres to late ripening, allowing the vines to benefit from the mineral rich soils (potassium/magnesium) and to develop palate profiles that are both rich and pure, with most impressive length evidenced across the Champagne range.
Blanc de Blancs
In Champagne, the term Blanc de Blancs designates Champagnes made only from Chardonnay grapes. The vineyards located between Cramant and Mesnil-sur-Oger in Cote de Blancs yield the best examples of the style.
A classic Blanc de Blancs is restrained and elegant when young, yet with ageing it develops a mouth-coating brioche richness that overlays an intense expression of fruitiness. Blanc de Blancs are endowed with longer ageing potential than a typical Blanc de Noirs.
Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world. It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.
Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.
It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.
Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.