Champagne Countdown: The Alternate Side – Wine & Spirits Magazine

Champagne Countdown:
The Alternate Side


Francis Orban (Photo courtesy of North Berkeley Imports)

As we count down to a new year, here are some Champagne picks from critic Joshua Greene’s December issue tastings to pop as the ball drops (or beforehand if you don’t feel like waiting)!

Francis Orban, who introduced this Extra Brut in 2015, finds that pinot meunier benefits from the Marne Valley’s mix of green clay, limestone and sand, along with some marl in the soils. And it thrives on his south-facing slopes in Leuvrigny. He allows this meunier to spontaneously ferment in stainless-steel vats, then includes reserve wines for half of the blend; the dosage in the end is minimal. The wine is tangy and plump, with an austere plum-tomato note that yields to brioche scents and vinous complexity as the flavors open. An alternate side of Champagne.

Imported by North Berkeley Imports, Berkeley, CA

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Francis Orban Champagne Extra Brut

Every week, our editors highlight a wine that intrigued them in our blind panel tastings, expanding on their tasting note in this space. These are entirely editorial choices; there are no paid placements. Subscribers can also access the original tasting note by searching here.

Joshua Greene is the editor and publisher of Wine & Spirits magazine.


This story appears in the print issue of December 2021.
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