Christophe et Fils is basically a one man show. There’s no sign post chez Sébastien Christophe. He doesn’t need it. His wines aren’t to be found in the local restaurants and no bottles are spared for the expert reviewers. Every year – his entire production is completely pre-sold – mostly to well-heeled private collectors in Britain and a few of the top restaurants in the world.
To hear Sébastien tell it, you don’t even get the impression that he fashions himself a winemaker – he might be more comfortable with the moniker – ‘winegrower’ as he’s really more of a passionate farmer.
Perhaps that’s just in his blood. For the record, Sébastien is an incredible winemaker but he also has a bit of luck on his side. He was lucky enough to inherit some extremely valuable parcels (some his grandfather himself planted back 1959!) located behind the Grand cru slope and Premier crus of the Serein river’s right bank.
This 1er cru comes from Montée de Tonnerre, a micro region that is so good these days, it seems to be challenging the Blanchot Grand Cru vineyards right across the way. The shallow soil is underlain with Kimmeridgian limestone, and reveals veins of blue clay, which gives the wines both minerality and energy. Sebastian’s 1er Cru is full-bodied, round and revealing with lots of structure and pent up energy that suggest it’s a very cellarable bottle of wine, if you have the patience.
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