Champagne village profile: Celles-sur-Ource in the Barséquanais with quite a lot of Pinot Blanc

Diagram Celles-sur-Ource 201505Key facts

Located in subregion/area: Côte des Bar / Barséquanais
Vineyards and grape varieties: 307.8 hectares (760.6 acres), of which 82% Pinot Noir, 11% Chardonnay, 2% Pinot Meunier, and 6% other, mainly Pinot Blanc.
Classification: ”Autre cru” (80%)
Noted for: Several varietal Pinot Blanc Champagnes originates from this village.

Maps

The map is linked from Wikimedia Commons, and the geographical information originates from OpenStreetMap. The dotted white area corresponds to the vineyards, light yellow is other open terrain, orange is built-up areas, and green indicates forest.

Google Maps view with the villages in the Barséquanais highlighted.

Clicking on a village opens a field to the left with a link to the village profile (if it exists).

Neighbouring villages

Northeast: Ville-sur-Arce
East: Landreville
Southeast: Neuville-sur-Seine (a small strip of that commune)
South: Buxeuil
Southwest: Polisy
West: Polisot
Northwest: Bar-sur-Seine
Northnorthwest and north: Merrey-sur-Arce
Comment: the remaining link will be added when the profile of that village has been posted.

The village

Celles-sur-Ource is located along the Ource river, on its left bank, which means south of the river. Ource empties into the Seine river just downstream of Cells-sur-Ource, on the border between the neighbouring communes Bar-sur-Seine and Merrey-sur-Arce. Celles-sur-Ource is counted as part of the Barséquanais area, which simply means the “Bar-sur-Seine area”. Barséquanais is part of the Côte des Bar, which is the southernmost part of the Champagne wine region, and is located in the Aube department.

Vine growing in the upper Seine Valley is supposed to have a history back to Roman days, but the founding of the Cistercian monastery in Mores (in the Celles-sur-Ource commune) in 1156 was of importance for the Medieval wine production in the area.

The Celles-sur-Ource commune covers 959 hectares and has 492 inhabitants (as of 2012), referred to as Cellois and Celloises.

A bridge over Ource in the Celles-sur-Ource commune, in Mores which is upstream from the village itself. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Philippesalv, 2013).

Vineyards

The vineyards in Celles-sur-Ource are located on both sides of the Ource river, both the right bank (north) and the left bank (south). Pinot Noir dominates greatly.

The current vineyard surface in the Celles-sur-Ource commune is 307.8 hectares (760.6 acres). There are 251.8 ha Pinot Noir (81.8%), 32.5 ha Chardonnay (10.6%), 6.1 ha Pinot Meunier (2.0%), and 17.4 ha others (5.7%). Most of “others” is likely to be Pinot Blanc. Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 239 ha. There are 162  vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

Pinot Blanc

Pinot Blanc, though in this case grapes growing somewhere in Germany (where the grape variety is known as Weißer Burgunder). Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo ANKAWÜ, 2004).

Celles-sur-Ource is the source of several of the Champagnes produced entirely or mainly from Pinot Blanc, which is one of the four unusual but allowed grape varieties of the wine region, together with Arbane, Petit Meslier, and Pinot Gris. At 86 ha (0.25% of the total vineyard surface of the appellation), of which 78 ha in the Aube department (1.0%), Pinot Blanc is after all less unusual than the other three varieties. Many growers in Celles-sur-Ource use 5-10% Pinot Blanc in their cuvées without branding them as any kind of “special Champagner”.

Pinot Blanc can be rather similar to Chardonnay, but tends to go more in the purely fruity direction, sometimes with slightly sweeter fruit notes such as melon or tropical fruit. The character of flowers or mineral tends to be less developed than in Chardonnay, but when it comes to minerality, it may play a role where the grapes are grown.

Pinot Blanc is also the most common grape variety in Crémant d’Alsace, the sparkling wines from Alsace, so also in other locations it is known as a variety suitable for sparkling wines.

Single vineyard sites

  • Beauregard, a vineyard with north- and northwest-facing slopes. Comte de Cheurlin produces a vineyard-designated Champagne from here, from 100% Pinot Noir.
  • Le Champ du Clos. Charles Dufour (in Landreville) has Pinot Blanc in this vineyard. Most of it is used for the cuvée Bulles de Comtoir, which contains 10% Pinot Blanc, but a smaller part is used for a vineyard-designated Champagne, Le Champ du Clos Blanc de Blancs. Also Comte de Cheurlin produces a vineyard-designated Champagne from this vineyard site, from 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Blanc.
  • Les Proies. Pierre Gerbais has a plot of Pinot Blanc in this vineyard planted in 1904, which is the main source for the cuvée L’Originale, from 100% Pinot Blanc.
  • Le Suchot. Comte de Cheurlin produces a vineyard-designated rosé Champagne from this vineyard site, from 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir.

Other vineyard sites include:

  • On the right bank of Ource (north): La Côte Bricard.
  • On the left bank of Ource (south): Les Bodonnots, Le Bruyant, Les Caurois, Presle, Le Val d’Eviée, Les Vignes Basses.
  • Unknown part of the commune: Les Côtes, Sainte-Marie.

Champagne producers

Major Champagne houses, members of the Union des Maisons de Champagne

  • Veuve Cheurlin (NM), also J. Arnoult, which has 3 ha of their own vineyards in Celles-sur-Ource, Landreville, Loches-sur-Ource, Chacenay, and Saint-Usage. The vintage Champagne is composed of  80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Blanc, where the latter is from old vines and is oaked.
    History
    Edmond Cheurlin planted his first vines in 1898, the son Raymond started his own “RM production” in the 1930s, and his son Alain Cheurlin created the brand Veuve Cheurlin in 1978. In 1985, the Champagne house Jean Arnoult was bought; it had been founded in 1919 as the first Champagne house in Aube.

Other Champagne houses/négociants

The producer status NM = négociant-manipulant means that purchased grapes can be included in the Champagnes. NM producers can be anything from small producers that supplement their own grapes with some that they buy in, to large Champagne houses that primarily rely on purchased grapes. ND = négociant-distributeur, which means that they at least partly sell Champagnes produced by someone else, but under their own name.

  • Brocard Pierre (NM), with two varietal vintage Champagnes in their range: a Chardonnay and a Pinot Noir.
  • Thomas Cheurlin, with the company name Le Suchot, sells Champagnes under the names:
    • Cheurlin-DanginCuvée Origance is composed of 80% Pinot Blanc from old vines, 10% Pinot Noir, and 10% Pinot Meunier.
    • Comte de Cheurlin (NM). The upper part of the range is made up of three vineyard-designated Champagnes: Blanc de Blanc Champs du Clos from 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Blanc, Rosé Célébrité Le Suchot from 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir, and Blanc de Noir Beauregard from 100% Pinot Noir.
  • Paul Dangin & Fils (NM). The vintage Champagne is 100% Chardonnay and is oaked (refers to the 2005 vintage). The range includes a 100% Pinot Blanc named Cuvée St Cyr. Champagnes are also sold under the brand:
    • Dangin-Fays
  • Daniel Deheurles (NM)
  • Pierre Gerbais (NM). The range includes the cuvée L’Originale from 100% Pinot Blanc, which mainly originates from a plot in the vineyard Les Proies planted in 1904.
  • Didier Langry (NM). Réserve is composed of 80% Pinot Blanc from old vines and 20% Pinot Noir.
  • Marcel Vézien (NM), has about 20 ha vineyard in Celles-sur-Ource, Landreville, Ville-sur-Arce, and Les Riceys.

Champagne growers

Producer status is indicated where known: RM = récoltant-manipulant, or grower-producers. RC = récoltant-coopérateur, growers that are cooperative members but sell Champagnes under their own name.

  • Baroni (RM), has 3.47 ha of vineyards in five villages in the Côte des Bar including Celles-sur-Ource andLes Riceys. The vintage Champagne is a varietal Pinot Noir (refers to the 2004 vintage).
  • Cédric Bouchard is one of the new generation of high-end small growers, and runs his company under the name Roses de Jeanne, and earlier (before 2014) also Inflorescence for some part of the range. The entire range consists of varietal wines (all except two are Pinot Noir) that all are vineyard-designated. Vinification is performed entirely in steel tanks or enameled tanks, i.e., no oak is used, and the Champagnes are sold with less pressure than usual (4.5 instead of 6 atm). Before the two ranges were fused, the annual production was about 6000 bottles of Roses de Jeanne and about 9000 flaskor of Inflorescence, so the bottles aren’t too easy to find. The entry wine is called Côte de Val Vilaine and is in a slightly lighter style than the rest, but has good concentration and often shows so much minerality that it could be taken for a Chardonnay-dominated cuvée despite its 100% Pinot Noir. The vineyard is located in the neighborhood of Polisy. (It is common to see this Champagne referred to as Inflorescence, but when that label was used its full name was actuallyInflorescence Blanc de Noirs Côte de Val Vilaine.) Côte de Béchalin, which is a bit more powerful, was also part of the former Inflorescence range, initially under the name La ParcelleLes Ursules from Pinot Noir was the first Cédric Bouchard Champagne, and it was followed by Le Creux d’Enfer, a rosé saignée, La Haute-Lemblée from Chardonnay and La Bolorée from Pinot Blanc, all from the Celles-sur-Ource area. Presle is produced from Pinot Noir. The vintage is specified by a code on the label: V + the last two digits of the vintage, for example V12 = 2012.
    History
    Cédric Bouchard started in 2000, then 1.09 ha, under the name Roses de Jeanne which is taken from his grandmother Janika and her roses. The first vineyard used was Les Ursules, and it was launched in 2002. The three other Champagnes in the original Roses de Jeanne range followed 2004-2005. The vineyard Val Vilaine near Polisy was leased by him from his father starting in 2003, and the brand Inflorescence was created for those Champagnes. In that case, Cédric Bouchard had the status of négociant-distributeur (ND). Côte de Béchalin was purchased in 2007 from a friend of the family, and some bottles from older vintages were also taken over. From 2014 all Champagnes are sold under the name Roses de Jeanne, after Cédric took over ownership.
  • Jean-Claude Bouchard et Fils, has 5.4 ha of vineyards with 80% Pinot Noir, 19% Chardonnay, and 1% Pinot Meunier. The annual production is about 48 000 bottles.
  • Michel Brocard (RM), has 8 ha of vineyards. The vintage Champagne consists of 70% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay, and 5% Pinot Blanc (refers to 2008). The cuvée 100% is composed of 100% Pinot Blanc.
  • Lionel Carreau (RC)
  • Arnaud de Cheurlin (RM), has 6 ha of vineyards. The vintage Champagne is composed of 45% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir, and 10% Pinot Meunier (refers to the 2009 vintage).
  • L&S Cheurlin
  • Richard Cheurlin (RM)
  • Marcel Deheurles & Fils (RM), has vineyards in five communes. The range includes Céleste, a 100% Pinot Blanc.
  • Maurice Delot (RM), sometimes M. Delot, just Delot or Delot Père et Fils, has 8 ha of vineyards. Of the two vintage Champagnes, La Champenois is composed of 100% Pinot Noir and L’Orée du Bois is a 100% Chardonnay which is oaked. The range also includes Montre Cul, a vineyard-designated 100% Chardonnay, and Cuvée Légende from 100% Pinot Blanc.
  • De Lozey. The vintage Champagne is composed of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay (refers to the 2004 vintage).
  • André Fays & Fils (RM), has about 5 ha of vineyards.
  • Philippe Fays (RM), has 5 ha of vineyards.
  • Fumey-Tassin (website not active in Oct 2015)
  • Michel Furdyna (RM), member of Vignerons Indépendants with vineyards in Celles-sur-Ource, Gyé-sur-Seine, Landreville, Loches-sur-Ource, Neuville-sur-Seine, and Plaines-Saint-Lange. Of the two vintage Champagnes, Cuvée Préstige is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and La Loge from 100% old vine Pinot Noir.
  • Gautherot (RM), which has several Champagnes including Pinot Blanc in their range: Carte d’Or (non-vintage) with 25% Pinot Blanc and 75% Pinot Noir, Grande Réserve (non-vintages) with 5% Pinot Blanc, 20% Chardonnay, and 75% Pinot Noir, and the top cuvée Exception composed of Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir from the best vines. The vintage Champagne is composed of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay.
  • Gyéjacquot Frères (RM), has vineyards in four villages.
  • Huguenot-Tassin, has 7 ha of vineyards. The vintage Champagne is called Cuvée Noire Spéciale Millésimée and consists of 100% Pinot Noir from old vines. The rage also includes Cuvée Les Fioles Rosées Friandise, which is something highly unusual, a rosé demi-sec.
  • Robert Jaillant
  • Jean Laurent  (RM, website not active in Oct 2015; Facebook page), has about 16 ha of vineyards with about 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay. Older labels are simply labelled Laurent.
  • Raymond Laurent (RM), can also be labelled Laurent.
  • Marin-Lasnier (RM), has 5.3 ha of vineyards and an annual production of 40 000 bottles.
  • Eric Legrand (RM), also Legrand Frères, has vineyards with 50% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Blanc, and 5% Pinot Meunier. The vintage Champagne is 100% Pinot Noir.
  • Eric Maître (RM)
  • Eric Patour, has 7 ha of vineyards in Polisy, Polisot, Landreville, and Viviers-sur-Artaut.
  • Michel Patour (RM)
  • Petit-Camusat (RM) has an address in Noé-les-Maillets but the labels also specifies “elaboré á Celles-sur-Ource”, so they obviously have a facility in this village. The range also includes a non-vintage Blanc de Blancs produced from Pinot Blanc from old vines of at least 50 years.
  • Gérard Pilloud
  • Julien Prélat (RM)
  • Jean Sandrin (RM)
  • Simon-Devaux (RM)
  • Benoît Tassin (RM), has 4.75 ha of vineyards in Essoyes and Celles-sur-Ource.
  • Emmanuel Tassin (RM), member of Vignerons Indépendants.

Comment: It is not certain that the list is complete.

Former Champagne producers

A list from 1975, published in the brochure of the 4ème Fête du Champagne in Essoyes, includes 30 “manipulants”, of which the following names are not found above. I list them the way they are written in this source, generally surname first name. Several of these could be former names of current producers, before change(s) in generation.

  • Baroni Ovidio
  • Brocard Henri
  • Brocard Marcel
  • Carreau Maurice
  • Cheurlin André
  • Cheurlin Daniel
  • Cheurlin Raymond
  • Dangin Etienne
  • Gautherot André
  • Gerbais Ulysse
  • Joffroy Pierre
  • Joffroy Maurice
  • Langry Louis
  • Marteret Etienne
  • Prélat Maurice
  • Sandrin Pierre
  • Tassin Bernard
  • Tassin Jean-Marie
  • Tassin Marcel
  • Tassin Raymond

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2015, last update 2016-08-01

This entry was posted in Champagne villages, Pinot Blanc. Bookmark the permalink.

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