Fresh talent from Champagne: Salima and Alain Cordeuil


The Champagnes from the Cotes des Bars simply hit different. At their best they’re vinous, phenolic and just a bit raw. A modern wave of young, talented growers are doing special things in Champagne’s most southern zone where the soils speak more to Burgundy than Champagne. One of the extraordinary names here is Salima and Alain Cordeuil and their wines just landed.

Like Domaine Leon and Lamblot we’ve recently featured, Cordeuil is small. We’re talking less than 1000 cases per vintage. Outside of Champagne that's artisanal. In Champagne it's unheard of. Since 2010, they’ve worked 4 hectares organically in the village of Noé les Mallets, known for having the highest slopes in all of Champagne. 

To quote Cordeuil, they work the vines “like a garden”: green composting, rotating native cover crops, and gently pruning in the winter to honor the vines' natural cycle. Soils are exclusively worked with horses to protect the soil, and they keep yields low (40-50hL/ha) to ensure pristine fruit. 

Cordeuil Champagne bottles

Their truly natural approach in the cellar includes:

  • Spontaneous fermentation and natural malolactic fermentation
  • Base wines settle naturally on lees, with no fining or filtration. 
  • Secondary fermentation occurs with no added yeast nutrients
  • All Champagnes are brut nature with zero dosage, and see little to no sulfur added at any point

All of their cuvées age for a minimum of four to five years for added depth and complexity. To do this kind of winemaking successfully, you need pristine fruit. The final wines possess a deep, fleshy fruit character, phenolic texture, and persistent, fresh minerality. The only issue: we wish there was more.