Most people in Champagne will tell you that you can’t farm organically or biodynamically in Champagne, it’s just too difficult in the cold and wet climate there. There are a handful who would tell you otherwise. One of those would be the dynamic and immensely talented Vincent Couche.
My research in French wine magazines, books, reviews and websites led me to the tiny village of Buxeuil, where Vincent is emerging as a major force in Grower Champagne. Certified Biodynamic since 2008, Couche farms a total of 32 acres in Champagne’s southern frontier, the Aube. He is one of the leading “young lions” of Champagne, pushing the boundaries of conventional thought and breaking through with wines of precision, intensity,and balance. His vines are in two villages, the majority in Buxeuil, and a small piece in Montgeux just outside of Troyes.
His range of wines is incredibly broad, and they are all good from top to bottom. There’snon-vintage Extra-Brut, Rosé, and Blanc de Blancs, plus a Brut Nature, a vintage Rosé, and several older vintages on offer – he chooses to keep the wines in the cellar for a very long time – and they are all beautifully complex and ready to drink upon release.
Couche’s approach to Champagne is more in line with traditional Burgundian thought and practices – small parcels kept separate, high-density plantings, with a focus on wines of terroir, a sense of place, rather than wines that are blended to a “formula”. The results are in the glass.