Winemaker Morgann Trebutien talks to Malcolm Jolley about his family’s grower Champagne.
Third generation winemaker Morgann Trebutien was in town recently to to promote his family’s wines, Domaine Willian Saintot. Two William Saintot Champagnes are available at the LCBO: the Cuvée Seduction ($82.65, LCBO# 100197), a 100% Chardonnay Blanc de Blanc, and the Blanc de Noir in a half bottle, or ‘Chopine’ ($38.65, LCBO# 554944). The other wines discussed in the interview with Trebutien below, including a rosé, a Premier Cru made in the Solera method, as well as Vintage and a single vineyard, can be ordered directly through the Domaine’s Ontario agent, Riverdale Wines.
Domaine William Saintot is a ‘grower champagne’, a term of art in the region that means the wine is made by the person or entity that grew it, rather than one of the large houses that act as négociants, buying wine from many growers. One aspect of the grower Champagne movement that hadn’t occurred to me until Morgann Trebutien brought it up is that most growers who make their own Champagne also sell to the big houses. This creates two factors that might explain why in the wine trade grower Champagne is often favoured and praised. The first is that, one would at least hope, the grower who reserves some of her grapes for the bottles with her or her family’s name on it is likely to choose the best ones for the allotment. And the second, as Morgann explains below, is that unlike the big houses the grower-winemaker does not have millions of tons of grapes from scores of vineyards to choose from. With only three vineyards to choose and blend with, the Trebutien family must exercise that much more care in the field. In the case of William Saintot it shows. At a tasting before the interview I found Morgann’s wines to be both racy and crisp and round in fruit; even the wines made from older vintages were very much alive. We go through them in the video below.
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