Ahead of the 180th anniversary of Champagne Deutz in 2018, the house has released two new vintage cuvées. Fabrice Rosset, the maison’s chairman and CEO, visited London to launch the new vintages, highlighting a stronger on-trade focus for the brand – particularly targeting top sommeliers and restaurateurs.
For fans of vintage champagne, Deutz 2012 (RRP £57.50) represents an opportunity to see one of the first showings from the grandes maisons of the 2012 vintage. Made from a small but exceptional year for Pinot Noir (one of the very best since 1952), the cuvée plays to the house’s strengths in Äy.
The Blanc de Blancs 2010 (RRP £67.50) a rugged challenging year, best for Chardonnay, relies on the great grands crus of the Côte des Blancs – Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Avize and Chouilly – plus 10% Villers-Marmery Chardonnay from the Montagne de Reims for extra strength and vigour.
Rosset also hosted a vertical of its William Deutz cuvée. This epic wine is a blend of up to 65% Pinot Noir from top vineyards (Äy, Verzenay, Bouzy, Ambonnay), around 30% Chardonnay and a soupçon of Meunier from the maison’s vineyards in Pierry. The latest vintage, the 2006 (RRP £115), is a delicate wine of impressive freshness and finesse, very much in the looked-for pure, no-oak, style of William.
However the outright stars of the vertical were the 1988 – in full health at its vigorous peak, with scents of coffee/mocha – and the glorious 1995, a near-perfect wine, generous yet exquisitely detailed and subtle.
The Homage à William Deutz parcelles d’Äy 2010 is pure Pinot Noir from the original vineyards Cöte Glacière and Meurtet behind the house. The 2010 is a brave attempt in a difficult year for Pinot, quite Puritan and austere just now but needs to be revisited in 2018. The follow-on will be the 2012, a surefire investment.
Champagne Deutz was founded in 1838 by two Germans from the Rhineland: William Deutz and Pierre-Hubert Geldemann. The former built a stylish mansion for his family – still the company HQ today – with a prized Pinot Noir vineyard behind the house. In 1882, Deutz was one of the first houses to join and be closely involved in the Syndicate des Grandes Marques; in its heyday, Deutz was a favourite champagne of Queen Victoria.
Right up to the 1980s, Deutz was one of the most discreet great houses, its formidable reputation later resting on the peerless quality of William Deutz, the first Vintage the fabulous 1959. In the early 1990s, following a global financial downturn, the Lallier-Deutz family, rather than split up the company between family shareholders, decided to sell a large number of shares to the Rouzard family, which also owns Louis Roederer.
Since his appointment in 1996, Rosset has tripled production from 500,000 bottles to 2.3 million. The keystone of Deutz quality is William Deutz and its newer prestige cuvee, Amour de Deutz.
Gonzalez Byass UK, 01707 274790