Hailing from a third-generation winemaking family, Vincent Couche took over the domaine in 1999, restructuring its farming and winemaking practices under the guidance of terroir specialist Claude Bourguignon. Claude has worked for a veritable who’s who of iconic French producers including: Domaine Romanée Conti, Dujac, Leflaive, Selosse, Dagueneau and Chave. Certified Biodynamic since 2008, Couche was the first Champagne house to receive Demeter certification. Today, Vincent farms a total of 32 acres in Champagne’s southern frontier, the Côte des Bar. His holdings include 25 acres of Pinot Noir (with some Pinot Meunier) in the village of Buxeuil; and seven acres of Chardonnay in Montgeux (just outside of Troyes), with chalky soils similar to those of Chablis. Vincent is one of a new generation of winemakers in Champagne pushing the boundaries; his approach to winegrowing is more in line with that of his neighbors in Burgundy, with small parcels harvested and vinified separately, and assembled with a focus on balance, rather than being blended based on a formula.
During harvest, the entire family picks the grapes, sorting by taste and touch. Because Vincent refuses to add sugar to the wines, he generally harvests more than a week after his neighbors in both villages. The wines are fermented and aged in oak and stainless steel without added yeast or nutrients, and the wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Couche’s Eclipsia Brut is a blend of 31% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 34% Pinot Meunier from 35-year-old vines. The wine spent 24 months on the lees before disgorgement, and saw a dosage of 6g/L.
Golden hue with a slight blush. Fresh aromas of both red and yellow apple skin, chalk and blanched almonds. The flavors burst from the glass: Rainier cherry, Meyer lemon, quince paste, and a touch of hazelnut mingled with chalky minerality. The palate is expansive, with a delicate mousse and a long, graceful finish.