Barberry Garden

A wine corner in a crazy world


Jacques Selosse

Anselme Selosse, a visionary figure in the Champagne world, has left an indelible mark on the region with his innovative approach and profound influence. His journey began in 1974 with his first harvest, marking the start of a transformative era in Champagne. Despite retiring, his legacy continues to shape and inspire contemporary Champagne production.

Selosse's pioneering approach was not so much about being the first grower-bottler in Champagne, as many preceded him, but about introducing a philosophy deeply influenced by his studies in Burgundy. In Champagne, where the focus was traditionally on quantity, Selosse shifted the emphasis to quality production, drawing inspiration from Burgundy's emphasis on the importance of terroir and the value of quality over quantity.

At his estate in Avize, part of the renowned Côte de Blancs, Selosse oversees close to 8 hectares of predominantly Chardonnay vines. His approach to viticulture and vinification is a blend of empirical observation, trial and error, and deep contemplation. From initially applying principles of agro-biology to later turning towards bio-dynamics and eventually developing his unique system of viticulture, Selosse's methods are adaptive, always in tune with the natural rhythms and needs of the vineyard.

Selosse’s Champagnes are known for their distinctive character, a result of his meticulous vineyard management and innovative cellar techniques. He harvests his grapes later than most, ensuring fully mature fruit that does not require chaptalization. In the cellar, his Burgundian influence is evident in the fermentation processes, using indigenous yeasts and ageing in small oak barrels. This approach results in vinous, concentrated wines that stand out for their intensity and complexity.

Selosse's influence extends beyond his own wines. He has inspired a generation of winemakers in Champagne, encouraging them to break away from regional conventions and follow their unique visions. His approach to minimal intervention, focusing on terroir expression, and his distinct winemaking style, have been a source of inspiration for many in the region.

Moreover, Selosse's philosophical approach to winemaking, inspired by figures like Masanobu Fukuoka, emphasizes a deep respect for nature and a hands-off approach in the vineyard. His belief in non-action, allowing nature to take its course, is reflected in his wines, which are expressions of their terroir and vintage.

As the baton passes to the next generation, with his son Guillaume stepping up, the legacy of Anselme Selosse is set to continue. Guillaume, imbued with the same passion and respect for wine and viticulture, is poised to bring his unique identity to the wines of Domaine Jacques Selosse.

In essence, Anselme Selosse's contribution to Champagne is not just in the bottles he produced but in the paradigm shift he inspired in the region. His wines, embodying the essence of their terroir and crafted with an artist’s touch, continue to be highly sought after. His approach, blending deep respect for nature with a Burgundian influence, has redefined the potential of Champagne, making him a revered and influential figure in the world of wine.

Wines by Jacques Selosse