An Expressive Fizz

On the palate, Champagne Etienne Calsac exudes a nervous energy like a racehorse locked in the starting gate

Review by Kyle Ridington

I met Etienne Calsac, owner and winemaker of Champagne Etienne Calsac at the ‘Des Pieds et des Pieds’ champagne tasting Le Printemps des Champagne at the Hotel Ponsardin in Reims. Etienne runs a small domaine located in the grand cru village of Avize. His vineyard holdings are a mere 2.8 hectares to produce a minute 10,000 bottles annually from four different bottlings. These are clean and expressive champagnes that are simply beautiful, much like a profound perfume that utilizes four natural, well-sourced ingredients that are so unique and complex that there is no use for anything else.

On the palate, the champagne exudes a nervous energy like a racehorse locked in the starting gate. If you want to feel alive and alert this champagne will do it to you. This is considered a blanc de blancs house meaning that most of Etienne’s champagnes are made from solely chardonnay with the exception of one champagne rosé.  The range sees a relatively low dosage that falls in the extra-brut (dry) category so if you think the sugar in champagne gives you a headache, well think again. I’ve never been the biggest fan of the somewhat elusive word ‘terroir’ but if you would like a prime example these champagnes bring it front and center.  Although rare, Etienne brings forth champagnes of tremendous value and worth. riddle_stop 2



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