Generally reliable and readily available, Grandes Marques champagnes remain dominant in terms of market share, but champagne-aficionados would be aware of, indeed delighted by, the emergence of boutique maisons over the last few decades. Often sourced from a specific location and crafted in an authentic house style, these boutique champagnes demonstrate a real sense of terroir, unique character and excellent value for money.
The history of Hatt et Söner can be traced back to 1865, when the Vallois family planted its first vines in Champagne. Around the same time, the Ruscon family became involved in the wine trade, but it was not until 1982 that the two families began joined forces. In 2011, the Vallois, Ruscon, Rönngren and Hjerpe families decided to create a new maison – Hatt et Söner was born. The word Hatt is Swedish for hat, whereas söner for sons; in French, the name would have translated as Chapelier et Fils. The Swedish name came from the fact that, in the 19th century, the Ruscon family owned hat factories, which supplied to fashion houses in Paris.
Planted with vines up to 70 years old, Hatt et Söner’s south-facing vineyard is located within the premier cru climat of Mont-Aimé, part of the top-rated village of Bergères-lès-Vertus of the Côte des Blancs sub-region of Champagne. Whereas fragrance and fruitiness are emblematic of Pinot Meunier from Vallée de la Marne, power and structure of Pinot Noir from Montagne de Reims, Chardonnay from Côte des Blancs is revered for its ageworthiness and complexity.
In addition to méthode raisonnée (sustainable method) in vineyard management, Hatt et Söner insists on manual sorting, using first pressed juice only and preferring patient ageing to malolactic fermentation. If patience is a virtue, it also bears fruits, and the fruits are delicious.
Hatt et Söner Premier Cru Grande Cuvée Rosé Brut
A blend of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir, matured for 4 years. Bright Portland orange with luminous tangelo-vermilion reflex, the delicate and floral nose is a rhapsody of red fruits, comprising redcurrant, strawberry, white cherry and rose hip, elaborated with geranium. With jovial acidity and fine mousse, the fruit-driven palate delivers cranberry, Sevilla orange, pomegranate and jujube, enriched with dried herbs. Medium-full bodied at 12% and with 6g of sugar per litre, the juicy entry continues through an expressive mid-plate, leading to a herbal finish.
Hatt et Söner Premier Cru Grande Cuvée Blanc de A
A single-varietal Chardonnay, matured for 6 years. Soft lemon-yellow with pastel citrine reflex, the nose is forthright and refreshing, presenting lime, green apple, European pear and greengage, augmented by white camellia. With stimulating acidity and medium-fine mousse, the pure and tangy palate delivers lemon peel, pomelo, gooseberry and guava, complemented by soda biscuit. Medium-light bodied at 12% and with as little as 0.5g of sugar per litre, the citrusy entry carries onto an energetic mid-palate, leading to a persistent finish.
Hatt et Söner Premier Cru Le Grand-Père Prestige Blanc de Blanc Brut 2004
A single-varietal Chardonnay, matured for 8 years. Vivid lemon-yellow with scintillating citrine reflex, the discreet and elegant nose reveals lime, pomelo, green apple, Japanese pear and white bread, decorated with daffodil. With animated acidity and fine mousse, the melodic and nuanced palate provides bergamot, quince, ume, starfruit and brioche, infused with Pekoe white tea. Medium-bodied at 12% and with 8g of sugar per litre, the graceful entry evolves into a spirited mid-palate, leading to a lingering finish.
Hatt et Söner is available exclusively at The Tasting Room; Website: http://www.cityofdreamsmacau.com/dining/international/tasting-room; E: firstname.lastname@example.org; T: +853 8868 6681; A: Level 3, Crown Towers, City of Dreams, Estrada do Istmo, Cotai
by Jacky I.F. Cheong