Located in Aube in the east of France, Domaine Olivier Horiot is in the heart of Les Riceys, three Champagne villages that were once reclassed as Burgundy before being reinstated as Champagne. Olivier Horiot wines are very unusual: using seven grape varieties and biodynamic principles, he produces both still rosés and champagne. There is little doubt that this winemaker has the talent and the drive to seduce many a curious wine lover.
With almost 8.5 hectares of biodynamics vines, the excellent wine-growing villages of Les Riceys is where Olivier Horiot (and generations before him) makes his wine. This domain is surely one of the most unique wine villages in Champagne!
The three villages that make up Les Riceys have had their ups and downs – Les Riceys has been considered part of Burgundy, part of Champagne, and even part of both at the same time. In close proximity to the vineyards of Tonnerre and Chatillonnais, it’s clear that Burgundy has made an impression on Les Riceys. It is the only place in the Champagne wine region that is permitted to produce non-sparkling wines (known as Côteaux Champenois, in red and white); non sparkling rosé (called Rosé des Riceys); and traditional Champagne, of course. Even though Les Riceys is so unique in the variety of production, it took Olivier Horiot to make the most of this peculiarity, making both superb Rosés des Riceys that are named after local places like En Barmont and En Valingrain (quite the Burgundian!); innovative and juicy Côteaux Champenois; and Champagnes that were first produced in 1999 but are already among the most accomplished in the region.
In addition to intelligently working the Les Riceys terroir through its different cuvéées, Olivier Horiot wanted to bring the native grape varieties of the region in line with 21st century tastes. Of the seven varieties authorised in the local appellation specifications, the estate produces seven wines (!) In addition to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier, there is (from which it produces a Champagne made from 100% Arbanne), Petit Meslier, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. This wide range represents the varying terroirs demonstrated in the boundary-pushing Soléra cuvée, which is made from seven grape varieties and several plots. Like in sherry making, this method is a blend of old and young vintages, offering an additional complexity and patina to the beverage with a toasted and pastry bouquet.
The kaleidoscopic range of wine perfectly represents the village it comes from. Traditionally divided into upper and lower villages (Ricey Haut and Ricey Bas), Les Riceys have managed to reinvent themselves as a single, harmonious unit. The same goes for the wines coming from the Horiot Estate, they are a nice surprise for the experienced, pleasant and fragrant for novices. Horiot brings hugely diverse elements into a harmonised new unit. If your curiously is aroused as much as ours, then imagine the feast for your senses that awaits upon tasting.
Olivier Horiot, what the guides say
According to the Guide Vert of La Revue du Vin de France – 1 * / 3
“Behind the interesting combination of Rosé des Riceys and Coteaux-Champenois (unfiltered) is a very dedicated artisan that has made wine by local area: there is botanical exuberance and aromatic finesse associated with northern Pinots Noirs, once widely produced in the region. . A unique adventure in tasting that is amplified by a biodynamic culture that reveals each vintage as naturally as possible.
The wines: the expression of late maturity of Les Riceys grapes gives a deep, sappy sense to each of the cuvées. There are rich juicy red fruits on the palate, which are generously revealed in the variations of Sève, in white and rosé. Cinq Sens, a blend of Pinots Noir, Blanc, Meunier, Arbanne and Chardonnay offers an innovative balance between exoticism and firmness. The identity of the terroirs of this southern sector is expressed with panache.”
According to Bettane & Desseauve 2019 – 3 * / 5
On their 8.5-hectare estate, Marie and Olivier Horiot are one of the friendliest and most skilled couples in Les Riceys. They worked with singular parcels before it was trendy, like the excellent “En Barmont”. They also didn’t wait to revive forgotten grape varieties that now go into the cépage of the renowned Cinq Sens cuvée.
All Olivier Horiot wines for sale on iDealwine
Champagne that oozes character and presents the ambitions of the winemaker in every drop. This wine should be tasted especially if you would like to learn about the difference between this and the “smoother” champagnes from well known brands.
Métisse (sparkling white): A characterful Champagne. Fresh and lively, it is ideal as an apéritif.
Cinq Sens (sparkling white): Made from 5 grape varieties and 5 terroirs vinified plot-by-plot, this is a unique, ripe, and lively Champagne
Soléra (sparkling white): A Champagne produced from seven varieties using the solera method, heavily inspired by sherry production techniques
Sève Blanc de Noirs (sparkling white): The Sève Blanc de Noirs is produced on the principle of “one grape variety, one vineyard plot, one year”. A superb, powerful, and mineral Champagne.
Sève Rosé de Saignée (sparkling rosé) : This is a sumptuous extra brut Pinot Noir!
Domaine Olivier Horiot is also highly regarded for his Rosé des Riceys.
Rosé des Riceys En Valingrain (rosé) : Un rosé rond et d’une grande gourmandise, bien fruité et aux tanins très légers, produit par Olivier Horiot, l’une des révélations champenoises de ces dernières années.
Rosé des Riceys En Barmont (rosé) : A 100% Pinot Noir with a concentration of red fruits.
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