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Champagne Deutz releases library of vintages back to 1982

Champagne Deutz has released a selection of older vintages that date back to 1982, all of which come directly from it cellars as part of a collection called Berceaux Vinothèque.

The wines, which were previously unveiled to French press, but shown in the UK for the first time on 26 September, comprise 25 different expressions, the youngest being from the 2002 harvest and the oldest from 1982.

Speaking to the drinks business at the UK launch of the Berceaux Vinothèque, Deutz president Fabrice Rosset said that he had been putting aside between 7,000-17,000 bottles for cellaring for each vintage made at the Champagne house since he joined it in 1996, while he also recorded that he had inherited “some good leftovers”, which explains why the Vinothèque includes years back to 1982.

At the moment, he told db that Deutz had around 350,000 “equivalent” bottles have held back for late release at the producer’s cellars in Aÿ, which includes larger formats, and said that the plan was to release around 6,000-7,000 bottles each year, commenting that “my successors will have a nice range of older vintages to play with.”

This year, he plans to release 6,674 bottles, which will include vintage Champagnes from years from the 80s (82, 83, 85, 88, 89), 90s (90, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99) along with 2000 and 2002.

The expressions range from vintage Champagnes to single harvest blanc de blancs, as well as prestige cuvées Amour de Deutz and William Deutz.

Notably he said to db that he the Champagnes were from past vintages, but had not been recently disgorged – meaning that they had been aged in the cellars at Deutz both on and off the cork.

Although he admitted that the extended ageing of Champagne post-disgorgement “can be dangerous”, he said that he preferred the “richness and aromatics” that come from great wines that have been aged for many years once the lees have been expelled from the wine and the bottle dosed and sealed with a cork.

In terms of customers for the limited release of library stock from the Deutz cellars, Rosset said that he planned to “prioritise” the great restaurants and hotels of the world, commenting that he had “drawn up a list of 100 establishments” where he hoped the old Champagnes would be served.

“We are not doing this with a microphone,” he said of the release, adding, “It is a privilege to have these beauties from our cellars and I want to keep them for those restaurateurs who have been supporting us,” he said.

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