De Sousa is one of the few biodynamic producers in the Champagne region. Full certification was given in 2013 and will show in their wines in the next 2 to 3 years.
Michelle and Eric work with 9.5 hectares in the villages of Avize, Chouilly, Cuis, Cramant, Mesnil sur Oger and Grauves in the Cote des Blancs and Ay, Ambonnay, Mardeuil and Epernay further afield.
Having reached maximum production capacity in 2000 they have commenced a NM project under the name: Zoemie de Sousa.
De Sousa has entered the 21st Century with a bang! With their brand new reception facilities and a set of wines that speak for themselves, they are a wonderful place to visit if you are travelling through Avize. Add to that their biodynamic ethos and you know you are in for a real treat.
Their strive for concentration and minerality in their wines. In the vineyards this is gained by forcing deep root growth by destroying surface roots. Their cuvee Mycorkize is produced from a single vineyard that is worked by a horse that also provides the manure for the vines! They feel this helps to keep the pH low. This really shows beautifully on the palate. Elsewhere they strive to keep sulphur contact to a minimum as well as using indigenous yeasts.
Their range is littered with great wines but they do produce one of the most dependable oaked NV wines on the market: Cuvee des Caudalies Extra Brut. Along with Vilmart Grande Cellier, it is my go to Chardonnay dominant NV with some weight. Lovely notes of pineapple, grape and vanilla are encased with a rich saline and mineral backbone. The mid to late palate hits you with grapefruit, lemon and a touch of quince and pastry. A superb wine.
The range kicks off with their Brut Tradition, a Chardonnay dominant blend of all three grapes. It is a plump, fruity style with good bite to the finish.
Brut Reserve Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs, with vineyards in Cramant, Avize, Oger and Mesnil sur Oger, is understandably a step up. A lovely toasty nose greets you at the door and that minerality that De Sousa strive for really shows it’s presence. You are left with a beautiful buttered, brioche note at the finish.
Cuvee 3A is a fascinating blend of three villages, the 3 As; Avize, Ambonnay and Ay. It is a lot bolder on the nose with a lovely broad, rich palate. Notes of liquorice, raspberry and a hint of blackberry sit nicely on the midpalate. The pieces of this particular vineyard jigsaw fit together perfectly!
Cuvee des Caudalies is also produced in a slightly more serious format in: Grand Cru Millesime and Le Mesnil. Both wines show a huge oak presence although the former appears a touch more integrated in their youth especially with the 2005/2006 vintages. Le Mesnil 2005 shows beautiful vegetal notes with a classic Mesnil bite. Salty with great grip. Grand Cru Millesime 2006 shows a touch of mushroom, starfruit and melon and a fabulous length.
De Sousa have taken the commendable step forwards into a production method that I am sure many will follow. Their wines are crisp, fruity and playful. I cannot recommend the Cuvee des Caudalies highly enough. A cracking wine that brings a smile to my face whenever I drink it!
Region: La Cote des Blancs
Contact: Charlotte De Sousa
Cuvée De Prestige: Cuvee des Caudalies Le Mesnil
Bottles produced: 75000
Style: Crisp, fruity, playful
Terroir: Avize, Cramant, Ay, Ambonnay, Mesnil sur Oger, Oger, Cuis, Chouilly, Epernay, Grauves, Mardeuil
Vinification: Reduced sulphur contact, Indigenious yeasts, new press, batonnage used in certain cuvees, oak used in a number of cuvees.
Viticulture: Ceritified Biodynamic in 2013, Uses horsedrawn plough for certain cuvees, animal waste for fertilizers and other organic fertilizers used, doesn't like surface roots
Recent Tasting Notes from De Sousa
De Sousa Cuvee des Caudalies Brut 2006
Tasted:April 21, 2013
Bold oak flavours. Beautiful length and incredible dried fruit. Something lingers on the palate for so long.read more…
De Sousa Caudalies Rose
Tasted:April 21, 2013
Lovely rose colour. Very restrained but the oak.read more…
De Sousa Brut Reserve
Tasted:April 21, 2013
Nose nicely restricted. Decadent palate. Creamy, yet retrained. Stem granny smith apple. Dried fruit. Burnt.read more…
De Sousa Cuvee des Caudalies Brut
Tasted:July 13, 2014
In Magnum. Starfruit, beeswax. Waxy. Toast and orange skin. Smoke, vanilla, creamy and zesty. Lovely typical Avize. Orange an …read more…
Base Vintage: 2008
De Sousa Umami Cuvee Grand Cru 2009
Tasted:April 13, 2014
Zoemie de Sousa Oak Barrels. Lovely mouthfeel with good freshness and lemon drop notes. Good minerailty and bite! Bristles on …read more…