Simplicity, good humour and love of the terroir... I think this is what best sums up Frédéric Savart. Frédéric (“call me Fred”) is a wine producer in Ecueil in the Petite Montagne de Reims area who describes himself as a "creator of wines, activator of sensations". So, naturally, we had to check that out!...
Just like our host for the day, the welcome is warm. We arrived at his premises early in the morning, and straightaway he took us to one of his plots, located not far from the domaine.
We arrived at "Les Noues" entirely planted with Pinot Noir. There, Fred talked about his vision for the terroir and the wine.
And you can feel this love of the terroir, the work lavished on the soil and the land. It is rare to feel such loose soil underfoot in a vineyard! With each step, you sink into it (OK ‘sink’ is a bit strong, but you get the idea). Here, the soil is definitely living.
There was a strong, cold wind blowing that day, but we had a truly genuine and rewarding experience. Fred explained why his soil is so supple and malleable: it is worked in a way that forces the roots to dig down deep to draw out the terroir character and produce wines influenced by the subsoil.
Back at the domaine, we visit the vat room which is, of course, essential if you want to really understand the Savart wine philosophy. Fred strives to preserve the essence of the grapes in order to craft unique, distinctive and aromatic wines.
We taste his wine from Les Noues. The logical thing to do after visiting the vineyard.
Originating from a single plot, this first vintage in 2015 is a reflection of the Savart style: "less interventionist wines but of higher quality". Indeed, these Pinot Noir grapes, fine Pinot Noirs, are grapes with great flavour. Nature expresses itself and you can feel the emotion.
12.30 p.m and it's time for a break.
Fred has invited his winemaking and restaurateur friends for lunch, so along come Arnaud Lallement from L'Assiette Champenoise, Stéphane Arion from The Glue Pot, Alexandre Chartogne from Champagne Chartogne-Taillet and Philippe Lentrebecq from Vins Identitaires.
The tone is quickly set and the enjoyment of good wine and good food is the order of the day. Surrounded by his fellow “bon vivants” and wine enthusiasts, the discussion about wines and champagnes is naturally very lively. The wines are served and tasted blind and everyone must try to work out the AOC or the wine producer!
This group of friends share the same philosophy as our winemaker host. They are ambassadors for champagne and the Champagne region, who love to share enjoyment!
So, if there’s one thing we will remember about this day, it is this shared enjoyment! Sharing enjoyment, and love of the terroir, are what inspire this very likeable and entertaining wine producer.
Cheers to you Fred!