Champagne Castelnau Releases the Third Wine of the Hors Catégorie Prestige Collection

Champagne Castelnau Hors Catégorie

© photo provided

Champagne Castelnau Hors Catégorie

Champagne Castelnau Hors Catégorie

© photo provided

Champagne Castelnau in Reims has released the third wine in its Hors Catégorie series of prestige cuvées.

As the official Champagne sponsor of the Tour de France, the house first created the cuvée in 2016, on the occasion of its 100th anniversary. Its name, Hors Catégorie, refers to the most cruelling stretches of the cycling race across mountain passes. Each cuvée is named after a particular peak and its altitude, climbed in the year each wine was bottled.

The first wine, released in 2016 was called C.T 2115, recalling the Col du Tourmalet at 2,115 metres. The second, C.C.F 2067, released in 2018, recalls Col de la Croix de Fer at 2,067 metres. The third and current release, C.M. 1993, is named after Col de la Madeleine at 1,993 metres.

All the wines in the series are vintage blends with a significant proportion of reserve wines, the base wines are fermented in stainless steel but undergo some barrique ageing in gently toasted Argonne oak, while a lower liqueur de tirage results in a finer, gentler mousse. The wines age for at least five years on lees and receive at least six months post-disgorgement ageing before release.

Despite these common principles, like the peaks climbed, each Champagne in the series is deliberately different and made in limited quantity. There were just 5,100 bottles and 400 magnums made of Champagne Castelnau Hors Catégorie C.M. 1993.

Falstaff tasted the current and previous release. The wines retail for about £100.

Champagne Castelnau Hors Catégorie C.M. 1993 NV

SEE THE TASTING NOTE

Champagne Castelnau Hors Catégorie C.C.F 2067 NV

see the tasting note