Canard-Duchêne : Parcelle 181, the organic temptation

Sep 24, 2020 • 2 mins

Back in 2012, this brand owned by the Thiénot Group embraced the organic scene by launching Authentique Green on the market. That wine was made from supplied grapes (bought from other vineyards), but Parcelle 181 cuvee comes from 12 hectares of vines in organic conversion from the house’s own 45 hectares.

“We went from 90,000 organic bottles to today’s 150,000,” explains the colourful and sparkling Cellar Master, Laurent Fédou. This genius winemaker and blending magician had dreamed of making an organic wine with the House’s own grapes. “I’ve been considering it for quite a long time. Is it possible to make wine differently? We were helped by an organic vintner because it takes time to produce organic wine. The vines don’t work fast...More like a 2CV than a Formula 1 car!” This expertise and organic farming experience requires time, commitment and a great deal of conviction - something that Laurent Fédou has in spades.

Even if organic winemaking generates extra costs, 25 % for the vines and around 15 % for the fall in volume, the quality of the wine makes up for it. “There is undeniably more freshness, brightness and precision with organic grapes,” the Cellar Master continues. “Parcelle 181 opens up new horizons, encourages organic farming and continues to promote the excellence of our Champagnes with a completely original style.”

And the result is this sublime Extra Brut (40 % Chardonnay, 30 % Pinot Noir and 30 % Pinot Meunier). Primary fermentation in barrels for some of the Chardonnay grapes helps reveal the sweetness of the wine’s aromas. Parcelle 181 is dosed with Extra Brut then aged for nearly four years in the cellars. But it is on the palate that it most convincing, with its certain je ne sais quoi, a little something extra: depth and precision in its fruitiness. Its discreet bouquet, barely open, hints at notes of wood, acacia and delicately tasty white pear. In the mouth, an incredible framework contributes to the distinguished balance. A roaring success!