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While Jacques Selosse is renowned worldwide (and I have written a full tasting note previously, link here), yet the internet doesn’t seem to have much information regarding the base vintages and information about the villages and plots, so here is my take on it after meeting with Anselme Selosse last week.

Founded in 1949 by Jacques Selosse, however the significant changes and improvements at the estate wasn’t implemented until it was handed over to Anselme Selosse on the 1st January 1974. After studying in Burgundy, Anselme went back to the family estate and started changing their viticultural approaches, learning about his vineyards and gradually reflecting his philosophies in both the vineyards and the cellar. From 1990, they started implementing agrobiology principles and along the way experimented with biodynamic viticulture.

In 2020, Anselme retired and handed the estate to his son, Guillaume Selosse. While the cuvees and winemaking at Jacques Selosse remain largely the same since Guillaume took over, he will be gradually implementing his approaches and philosophies over the Domaine.

Production and Vineyards

Jacques Selosse owns 7.3ha of Chardonnay and 1.0ha of Pinot Noir across Avize, Cramant, Oger, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Ay, Mareuil-sur-Ay, and Ambonnay. All of their wines are 100% from their own Domaine, except their rose, which has up to 8% of still red wine from Egly Ouriet (Selosse believes Egly Ouriet makes better red still wine than them, hence they exchange it with part of their Chanteraines every year. Egly puts the Chanteraines white wine from Selosse into their rose). There are 61 parcels in total, of which 3 are currently “resting” and not in use for production. Initial and V.O. are from a blend of 3 villages, Avize, Cramant, and Oger. The grapes for Initial are generally from flat / low gradient parcels, and the higher gradient of 15%+ vineyards goes into V.O.. The Rose is essentially composed of minimum of 92% V.O. and up to 8% still red wine from Egly Ouriet.

Substance has a complex production method of maturing wine, Solera system, originally from ageing sherry. It is a blend of multiple vintages dating back to 1986 (also known as the “anti-vintage cuvee”). Given the blend of multiple vintages averages out the climate effect and characteristics, they only use 2 parcels in Avize for Substance, Les Chantereines and Le Mont de Cramant, which they believe express the best of Avize terroir.

In contrast, given Millesime only comes from a single vintage, the vineyard changes occasionally to reduce the expression of the specific parcels in order to showcase the vintage characteristics.

2023 was a good vintage (in terms of yield), Selosse produced 72,000 bottles, versus 42,000 bottles in 2022. That represents an average yield of 65 and 38 hl/ha respectively, their yield is relatively modest compared to most producers in Champagne.

Map source: De Long Wine, WineAlpha

Base Vintages

All of Selosse wines are a blend of 3 consecutive vintages, except the Millesime and Substance (Substance is made in a solera system with the oldest wine dating back to 1986). The general rule for the 3 vintage blend is, the youngest base vintage is 6 years before the disgorgement year (i.e. if the disgorgement is Oct 2020, then the base vintages are 2014 / 2013 / 2012).

Note: This rule applies to recent disgorgement but may not apply to older disgorgements.

The proportion of the 3 vintages is approximately 45% / 35% / 20% from youngest to the oldest of the 3 vintages.


The wine spends 11 months in oak barrel, 6 years on lees in bottle, then released 6 months post disgorgement. This applies to all wines except for Millesime and Substance, whereby Substance spends more time in oak barrels.

The Millesime spends 1 year in oak and 11 years on lees in bottle.

All wines have no more than 3g/L of dosage, with most cuvees at around 1.5g/L of dosage.

Tasting Notes

Initial (16/10/2023 disgorgement)

Initial, represents the beginning. This is the “entry level” wine of Selosse, but also Anselme’s favourite of his wines. 100% Chardonnay grapes from their own vineyard like all their wines (except for rose, which has c. 8% of red wine from Egly Ouriet). A blend of 3 villages: Avize, Cramant, and Oger. Plots for Initial are from low / no gradient parcels, whereas the 15%+ sloped parcels goes to V.O.. The Oct 2023 disgorgement is a blend of 3 vintages, 2017 (c.45%), 2016 (c. 35%), and 2015 (c. 20%). The math is always the youngest vintage is 6 years before disgorgement. Ripe array of citrus and orchard fruits intertwined nicely with sweet oak spices, textbook oxidative nose with a touch of sherry character, very typical of Selosse. Great intensity and beautiful minerality. (91+/100)

V.O. (Version Original) (20/10/2023 disgorgement)

The name Version Original refers to the “director’s cut. Same as Initial, a blend of 3 villages: Avize, Cramant, and Oger. Plots for V.O. are from 15% sloped parcels. Anselme said the rainwater doesn’t fully penetrate the soil and partially carry the top layer of soil down to the bottom of the slope, hence the top layer of soil is thinner with less clay, giving less rich and more vertical / structured aspect of V.O.. Whereas plots for Initials have less / no slopes, yielding richer bodied / broad-shoulder wines. The Oct 2023 disgorgement is a blend of 3 vintages, 2017 (c.45%), 2016 (c. 35%), and 2015 (c. 20%). Gorgeous bouquet of ripe orchard fruits with perfectly integrated oak spices and rich and lengthy mineral backbone. Full-bodied yet very refined and precise. It is drinking beautifully already. Personally, I find it to be one of the sweet spots of the Selosse collection. (93+/100)

Rose (6/04/2024 disgorgement)

Disgorged by Anselme in the cellar (see photo). Zero dosage for this particular bottle. Selosse Rose is composed of 92% V.O. and 8% of still red wine from Egly Ouriet. Base vintages for this bottle are 2017 / 2016 / 2015, with 2017 still red wine from Egly Ouriet. Powerful nose with opulent ripe tree fruits and raspberries. Well-integrated new oak toast but slightly more aggressive and leaner on the palate compared to the V.O. next to it (which technically is the same wine but with 8% of still red wine). Could perhaps benefit from some rest post-disgorgement, and maybe a touch of dosage as well! (92+/100)

Substance (20/10/2023 disgorgement)

Selosse Substance is well-known for its solera system, a complex method of maturing wine originally from ageing sherry. This Oct 2023 disgorgement bottle has a mixture of wine from 1986 to 2016, there is around 4-5% of 2016.

Substance comes from only 2 parcels in Avize, Les Chantereines and Le Mont de Cramant. Only a bit more than 3,000 bottles produced every year. Mind-blowing bouquet of oxidative ultra-ripe tree fruits and stone fruits. Intriguing yet beautiful combination of freshness with oxidation. Lots of oomph. The recent disgorgement Substance can do with one or two years of cellaring before drinking in my opinion. (93-94/100)

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