The Aube - Champagne that thinks it's Burgundy (and that's a good thing!)
Ten or so years ago, rumblings started coming out of the Aube (Champagne's southernmost region, also known as the Bar) that something was up. Not just something, but a whiff of revolution. That's all it took to for me to hound-dog my way down there (it is a long way from anywhere - over 2 hours from most of the Reims-Épernay axis). Several visits and a couple of years later, I emerged with agreements to import the Champagnes from Jérôme Coessens. Vincent Couche and Pierre Brigandat. They are indeed doing cutting-edge stuff, making dazzling Champagnes that have something of the heart of Burgundy in them, to be sure.
There is a lot of envelope-pushing winemaking going on in the rest of Champagne, no doubt (including our guys Laherte Frères and Georges Laval, for example) - but the distance away from Reims and the semi-obscurity of the Aube fostered a different mindset down there. All of this is captured beautifully in Jon Bonné's new article in Punch - a must-read if you have even a passing interest in Champagne.
Enjoy the read. Shameless commercial mention - we do have some of the Pierre Brigandat bubbles available now - details here...