With references to a gruelling Alpine mountain pass, a new cycling-themed prestige cuvées from Champagne Castelnau has been released.
Castelnau has long held a relationship with the cycling world and has been the official Champagne sponsor of the Tour de France since 2012. It is no surprise then to learn of the brand’s third in a series of releases – the new top-end Castelnau expression which takes its name, Hors Catégorie, from the hardest climb in a cycle race with an incline so steep it is called hors catégorie’ or ‘beyond categorisation’.
Each new Hors Catégorie release is named to honour the hardest climb of the Tour de France in the year when the Champagne was bottled.
The latest launch was bottled in 2013, and as such, this third expression has C.M 1993 on the label, which stands for ‘Col de la Madeleine’, a mountain pass in the French Alps that climbs to 1993m over 19km with an average gradient of almost 8%, and took riders to the highest point in the 2013 race.
This latest non-vintage prestige cuvée is a combination of Castelnau wines from 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012 vintages.
The blend of wines is aged for nearly a year in oak barrels before undergoing the secondary fermentation in bottle to become Champagne.
The Hors Catégorie C.M 1993 contains 55% Pinot Noir, 30% Meunier and 15% Chardonnay from the crus of Trepail, Ludes, Mailly and Montagne de Reims Ouest. 5,100 bottles and 400 magnums were made in June 2013 and were disgorged in July 2019.
The Hors Catégorie collection is distributed in the UK by Champagne Castelnau’s UK subsidiary Castelnau Wine Agencies and the latest cuvée is available for retail purchase from Stone Wines in north London, RRP £120.00.
The first Hors Catégorie was released in 2016 to mark 100 years since the Castelnau brand was created in 1916, with just 3,500 of the cuvée released.
For more information, head over to the brand’s official website.