Cédric Thiébault, Cellar Master
Portrait of a Cellar Master
Cédric Thiébault, Cellar Master for Besserat de Bellefon, has crafted the House’s wines for nearly ten years, each passing year providing the promise of future excellence.
Cédric Thiébault, whose roots lie in the Champagne region, is one of the region’s promising Cellar Masters. He joined Besserat de Bellefon in 1999 and spent seven years perfecting his knowledge of the House’s unique style with a team of oenologists in Epernay. In 2006 he was entrusted with the great responsibilities that are inherent to the position of Cellar Master.
Cédric Thiébault is guardian of both the House style and that of the wines made from some of the most prestigious crus of the region (Avize, Bouzy, Chouilly, Cramant...). This constant pursuit of elegance and finesse leads to a very subtle balance between aromatic strength, freshness and effervescence, while respecting ancestral tradition.
Only the best grapes will give excellent Champagnes, which is why Besserat de Bellefon’s policy on grape supply is intentionally highly selective.
In order to construct its unique style, a blend of power and elegance, Besserat de Bellefon relies on its own 25 hectare vineyard, mainly situated in the Marne Valley (a bastion of the Pinot Meunier grape) as well as a network of grape suppliers who supplement the House’s requirements for high quality grapes. Conscious that the diverse nature of the various
crus and the synergy between them brings even greater finesse and complexity to their blends, the House has built strong relationships with around a hundred winegrowers with vineyards situated in the best terroirs of the Champagne region. Most of these families have worked very closely with the House for several generations, contributing to the constancy in style of Besserat de Bellefon’s wine.
The crafting process
Besserat de Bellefon’s unique character is based on distinctive expertise that follows a very precise modus operandi.
Cuvée des Moines, as created in 1930, is crafted from a selection of the best Champagne wines following a blending process which is highly unusual for the Appellation. Faithful to its supply philosophy, Besserat de Bellefon has selected the best plots and best crus in the Champagne wine- growing region. After harvesting and pressing, the juice is sent to a vat-room where it undergoes primary alcoholic fermentation. One of the House’s distinctive characteristics is to not practice malolactic fermentation, which enables wines to keep
their full purity and freshness over time; their cellaring potential is therefore greatly increased. Adding a liqueur de tirage (sugar and yeast) when the wine is bottled triggers secondary fermentation. Every non-vintage Besserat de Bellefon cuvée is then left to rest in the cellar for a minimum of three years; vintage cuvées remain there for a minimum of five years. The wines are therefore cellar-aged for far longer than the minimum Appellation requirement.
The House’s Champagnes are characterised by a creamy froth and bubbles that are 30% finer than those of other Champagnes, giving rise to the Besserat de Bellefon Sensation.
The House style is based on its unique crafting process, which gives rise to bubbles in that are 30% finer than those in a traditional Champagne. Besserat de Bellefon uses less liqueur de tirage. The ensuing secondary fermentation is lighter and more delicate; the process is assisted by deep, cool cellars which enable a smooth and lingering froth to develop. The pressure is therefore less than in a conventional bottle (4.5 kg as opposed to 6 kg).
The delicacy of the bubbles and lightness of froth give Cuvée des Moines a creamy flavour which makes it particularly suitable as an aperitif and for fine dining. Cuvée des Moines is a Champagne wine that has been specifically created to accompany the most outstanding of fine dining experiences, from the aperitif onwards. On tasting it you will discover the Besserat de Bellefon Sensation.