Champagne Gounel Lassalle, geo-sensory analysis with Geoffrey Orban

May 11, 2021 • 2 mins
Brand & Content manager

Champagne Gounel Lassalle in Chigny-les-Roses cultivates plots of Premier Cru classified vines that are fairly fragmented. They therefore have various soil types and characteristics as a result. As they wished to get to know their terroir even better, Arnaud and Sophie Gounel called on the services of Geoffrey Orban (a consultant and taster) for a very original tasting of their soils!

Geoffrey looks for sensory links between a specific plot of land and the wines derived from it. His approach provides a better knowledge and understanding of the nature of the soils of this unique and rich terroir.

We head for one of Champagne Gounel Lassalle's plots, lying between Chigny-les-Rose and Ludes, where a pit has already been dug out. A brown limestone soil can be seen.

The composition is clayey-silt and soft white chalk dating from the Campanian period. The further down you go, the finer and lighter the soil becomes. Trace elements are present and this is due to the 15 years of grassing on this plot.

Then it's time to taste the different layers of soil!

Yes, you read that right. We'll start at the bottom of the pit, in the subsoil, and work our way to the top, to ground level.

First step: the nose

The principle is first to examine and smell the earth. We are not very experienced in this type of exercise, but when we pay a little more attention, and with the help of Geoffrey Orban, we can pick out some interesting notes and say something other than "it smells of earth!".

In the deepest stratum, we find a soft and milky, yet rocky and slightly nutty, chalk. The second stratum is light, the third can impart honeyed, gingerbread notes and the fourth, notes of fleshy white fruit.

Second step: decoction

Water accelerates the diffusion of the aromas. Lemon and pomelo notes come through more strongly.

Third step: tasting

Not really, only for those who want to! An odd but interesting experience. For this, you need a more experienced palate.

The real tasting is that of the vins clairs (still wine). Wines from the 2020 vintage, from the same plot, in which we detected the same exotic notes. Surprising (but logical)!

Chardonnay Brut Nature

Harvested on 28/08/20 at 10.6 degrees.
Ripe fruit: pineapple, passion fruit
Acidity and chalkiness
Nice freshness with exotic notes on the finish

Pinot Noir Brut Nature

Harvested 26/08/20 at 9.8 degrees
Same exotic overtones: pomelo, pineapple and redcurrant
Acidity, tension, forthright character.

This amazing experience was repeated over the day with the exploration of other Champagne Gounel Lassalle terroirs. Thank you for this extremely instructive day!