R. Dumont & Fils Coteaux Champenois "La Voie Chanay" 2017

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This week is one of great importance: a time of transition, change, unity, and learning. With every Presidential Inauguration, our city and our country are renewed and reenergized, a spirit we crave and look forward to celebrating! While wines of Champagne are the global go-to for celebration, many wine enthusiasts would never imagine Champagne without bubbles. But it does exist, both white and red produced in minuscule quantities and rarely seen outside of the region. And thanks to Wine Traditions' Ed Addiss and Barbara Selig, we get to experience it locally for less than $40 per bottle:

R. Dumont & Fils Coteaux Champenois "La Voie Chanay" 2017 

The Champagne house of the Dumont family is situated in Champignol-lez-Mondeville, a village in the southern Champagne region of the Aube, some 90 miles southeast of Reims and Epernay. Characterized by forested hills, streams and vineyards, it is a natural and reflective environment that has attracted people such as Saint Bernard (Clairvaux) and Renoir (Essoyes). The Dumonts have owned vineyards in this area for over two hundred years and today three Dumont brothers work together to produce champagne exclusively from their own 22 hectares. The soils are a geological extension of those in Chablis, namely kimmeridgian chalky clay. The vineyard is planted with 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay. Bernard Dumont’s comments are insightful. “We grow grapes on the same soils as the vine growers in the Chablis region. There, they produce white wine from white grapes and here we produce white wine from red grapes.”

The Coteaux Champenois AOP, or appellation, is for non-sparking wine from Champagne and is traditional in the region of the Côte des Bar. Bernard Dumont’s “La Voie de Chanay”comes from a single parcel of very old Pinot Noir vines situated at the highest altitude in his village with an exposition that allows the grapes to become very ripe, resulting in beautiful ruby colored wines. The grapes are whole-cluster fermented, then rest on their lees in stainless steel vats for 10 months before they are bottled, unfiltered. The resulting style leads with an expression of place. As the northernmost region for viticulture, this is cool climate wine growing that delivers lightly hued Pinot Noir, so fresh and vibrant with tangy red fruit and crunchy minerality you can't wait to share it with a fellow wine nerd. Pair with all forms of seafood, restorative soups, and rotisserie chicken. Or keep it casual and throw together a simple board with fresh goat and cow's milk cheeses and some thinly sliced Jamon de Bayonne. 

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