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De Sousa

Organic agriculture and ancient tradition: the great champagne of a small bright winemaker
Region Regione Champagne (Francia)
Foundation Year 1950
Vineyard hectares 11
Annual production 75.000 bt
Address 12 place Léon Bourgeois - 51190 Avize
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Maison De Sousa is among the most famous in the Grand Cru of Avize. Thanks to rigorous work, it has been able to bring out the best characteristics of this area of the Côte des Blancs, highlighting its purity, elegance and minerality through a range of labels of the highest quality. For three generations, De Sousa has represented an indispensable reference point for all wine lovers and connoisseurs. The De Sousa family has Portuguese origins. Grandfather Manuel had come to France with the Portuguese army during World War I. He died in Avize in 1929 from the consequences of toxic gases breathed on the Verdum front. His widow and four children would have to face many difficulties to survive the crisis that swept through the world's economy in the following years after the Wall Street crash, leading to a sharp depreciation of grapes.
Despite difficult times, the Maison also survived the Second World War and today carries on the ancient traditions in respect of the land, with great skill and passion. The estate can count on parcels of the highest quality, located in the communal territories of Avize, Cramant, Oger and Mesnil-sur-Oger. The vineyards enjoy splendid sunny exposures facing south and southeast and are characterized by the presence of chalky soil, which imparts exceptional finesse to the wines. The property covers a total of nearly ten hectares, divided into 42 parcels, and is conducted under certified organic and biodynamic farming. In keeping with the area's tradition, the most widely planted grape variety is Chardonnay (60%), followed by Pinot Noir (30%) and Meunier (10%). The vineyards have an average age of 45 years and were planted at the high density of 8,000 vines per hectare.
Tillage in the countryside is carried out with great care, for some vineyards only with the help of a horse, so as not to compact the soils. Strict practices are also used in the winery, with very soft pressing and fermentation of the base wines using only indigenous yeasts. Vinification generally takes place in steel tanks, except for the wines from the 60-plus vineyards, for which French oak barrels are used to expand their aromatic richness and natural structure. The long aging on the lees and the possibility of using a valuable stock of reserve wines makes it possible to offer Champagnes that combine refined elegance and limpid depth of expression.

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