Jacques Selosse _ NV - Substance _ 750 ml.
Subregion: Côte des Blancs
Size: 750 ml.
Anselme Selosse is one of the pivotal figures in the modern history of Champagne. Selosse’s meticulous attention to detail in the vineyards and bold wines inspired a whole generation of younger growers, some of whom spent time working alongside him, and others who were captivated by a vision of Champagne as a wine that is, first and foremost, born in the vineyard. This recent tasting, hosted by Mannie Berk and the Rare Wine Co., provided a remarkable opportunity to check in on a number of disgorgements of Selosse's flagship Substance going back to the early days. All of the wines in this article were tasted over dinner at Jardinière in San Francisco. Wine Director Alan Murray did a fabulous job handling the wines, while the food was absolutely brilliant. It was a tremendous evening all around. Much of the historical background for this article is taken from a conversation I had with Selosse prior to the tasting itself. Anselme Selosse’s Champagnes are coveted the world over for their unique, bold personalities. Over the years and decades, Substance has arguably become Selosse’s most sought-after Champagne. A rabid core of fans snap up the 3,000 bottles produced annually upon release, while the wines disappear from restaurant wine lists just as fast as they appear. For that reason, very few people have a chance to taste these wines with years of post-disgorgement age. But Substance is also a controversial wine that is often cited as an example by those who believe the Selosse style is too oxidative. I, too, was curious to see how Substance develops in bottle across multiple disgorgements. Moreover, I was intrigued by the concept of a retrospective of a wine whose sole purpose is to negate the effect of vintage. At the end of the night, I could only marvel at how well these wines have aged. With a few exceptions, most of these Champagnes still have a lot to give.