When talking about wine cooperatives in Champagne, alongside Nicolas Feuillatte and Esterlin, two famous cooperatives that we already tasted, we should also add de Saint-Gall in that list. Founded in 1966 as Union Champagne with the headquarters in Avize, it incorporates now 15 cooperatives (2350 grape producers) exploiting close to 1400 hectares of vineyards. It all started in 1966 with 3 cooperatives: les Grappes d’Or (Oger – Côte des Blancs, Grand Cru), la Coopérative Vinicole (Vertus – Côte des Blancs, Premier Cru) and la Coopérative Vinicole Louis Dupont (Cumières – Vallée de la Marne, Premier Cru). They used to process, store and sell their harvests together at the Union des Propriétaires Récoltants (founded in 1937 in Mesnil Sur Oger after buying some buildings and terrains from maison Henriot). In time, more cooperatives adhered to these three initial ones and Union Champagne is born. Now it gather 15 cooperatives with a production of around 10 millions bottles each year. Around 40% of these bottles are sold by the Union Champagne’s brand, Champagne de Saint-Gall, the rest are used by the producers for their own brands.
Champagne de Saint-Gall arises from the passion and knowledge of more than 2000 people, men and women, that represent all the 15 cooperatives. This exceptional joint venture between excellent professionals and the best variety of Grand and Premier Crus is the guarantee of the versatility of de Saint-Gall champagne. Using a total of more than 1000 hectares, mostly from Côte des Blancs, (which represent more than half of the vineyards planted with Chardonnay in this region), Champagne de Saint-Gall is a reference on the market, especially for its blanc de blancs. The cuvée we tasted is a special one, issued in limited edition, made with 47% grapes from Oger, 33% grapes from Mesnil-sur-Oger and 20% reserve wines. It’s part of the 4-bottles pack named Influences, a quadrilogy of different cuvées from different terroirs. Three of them are Grand Crus:
Le Mineral – 100% Chardonnay from Cramant, 52%, and Oger, 31%;
L’Expressif – 100% Chardonnay from Oger, 47%, and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, 33%;
Le Charpenté – 81% Pinot Noir (55% Ambonnay, 15% Bouzy) and 19% Chardonnay,
and one is Premier Cru:
Le Généreux – 100% Chardonnay from Vertus, 52%, and Bergères-les-Vertus, 27%.
About this cuvée, L’Expressif, we only have nice words: it’s fresh, well balanced, mineral and complex. Pure blanc de blancs. On the nose, great minerality, green apples, white flowers, honey, hints of lees. On the palate it feels crispy, elegant with notes of limes, brioche, Tonka beans and a subtle flavour of vanilla. It’s refined mousse is elegant, and leaves place to a charming, long aftertaste where the minerality is copiously present. Overall, it is a great example of a successfully assembled blanc de blancs.
We tasted this cuvée at least in two different occasions and seasons and each time was a delightful experience.
*take a look at our CLB scoring
|Type of champagne||Extra Brut|
|Maison||de Saint-Gall (Union Champagne)|
|Village/terroir||47% Oger, 33% Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, 20% reserve wines from Grand Cru villages|
|Aged||N/A (at least 15 months)|
|Number of bottles||N/A|
|Price range (euro)||40-45|
|Chef de Caves||Cédric Jacopin|
|Other considerents||20% reserve wines|