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    Freshly Disgorged: Vintage Champagnes, Fresh Corks


    Dis·gorge /disˈgôrj/

    1) To remove the sediment from (a sparkling wine) after fermentation. “The Champagne is aged in the bottle before it is disgorged.” Late 15th century, from old French

    Disgorgement – the Grand Finale! 
    After base wines have been created, they are blended, bottled, and fermented again inside the bottle. Then comes the magic; the wine ages for years on its lees (dead yeast cells) and develops extraordinary flavors.

    Disgorgement is the process of removing the lees from the bottle, leaving clear, beautiful Champagne behind.  After disgorgement, a small amount of still wine and sugar (dosage) may be added, and the cork is put in place.

    Champagne Redon corking their bottles after disgorgement.

    Disgorgement Methods
    Traditionally, bottles were disgorged via a method called “A la Voile” (see Bryan’s photo above) where the vigneron would quickly remove the temporary bottle cap and place a thumb over the opening before losing too much Champagne. Now bottles are typically frozen at the necks and the lees are removed in a frozen plug.

    Fresh from the Cave 
    Fat Cork producers only disgorge their Champagne when it’s ready. Years of aging on the lees creates layers of complexity and beautiful aromas. Because all of that aging is done in cool caves and in bottles that are sealed by bottle cap, there is limited exposure of the wine to oxygen. And that makes freshly disgorged bottles both aged and fresh at the same time. The combination of these two characteristics (age and freshness) is the pinnacle of great Champagne.

    At Fat Cork, we always display the disgorgement date (the day the bottle was corked) so you know exactly how long the cuvée aged on its lees and under cork.


    Vintage Champagnes, Freshly Disgorged

    Gimonnet-Oger Blanc de Blancs Millésime 1996 Premier Cru ($159) After aging peacefully in Jean-Luc Gimonnet’s cellar for almost 20 years, this Champagne has incredible complexity and character, but is still fresh! 1996 is an exceptional and rare vintage, especially with a recent disgorgement date. It’s magnificent to enjoy right now, but will also age under cork for another decade.

    Perrot-Batteux et Filles Cuvée Helixe Millésime 2009 Blanc de Blancs ($67) Perrot-Batteux is known for producing elegant Chardonnay from her ideal location in the south of Champagne. This particular cuvée is from 2009, which provides a wonderful maturity. Containing only Chardonnay and being recently disgorged provides a light and lively taste, with a pleasant acidity.


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    We Are A Seattle Hidden Gem!

    Seattle Rain or Shine Guides came to the Cave this weekend to talk to us about Fat Cork! We are featured in their Hidden Gems section. Check out the full article here. 

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    How to Open Champagne

    A quick tutorial from Bryan Maletis on opening a Champagne bottle the right way! Video by Geena Pietromonaco.

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    Introducing Champagne Xavier Leconte!

    Fat Cork Champagne, exclusive importer of Xavier Leconte

    For an incredible six generations the Leconte Family has passed down a passion for crafting exceptional Champagne from their vineyards in the heart of Troissy-Bouquigny, a small town in the Vallée de la Marne region. The terroir benefits from a moderate oceanic climate and identifiable chalk, limestone and clay parcels where the different grapes are specifically planted where they are best situated to grow.

    Champagne Region Map

    Alexis, along with help from his parents, Xavier and Sylvie, has led his family operation since he took the helm in 2013. In addition to spending his entire life training with his family in Champagne, Alexis has experience in many different Champagne houses and wineries. After working in the Grandes Maisons de Champagne, Alexis earned his National Diploma of Oenology and spent 4 years working in Bordeaux and Alsace. These outside experiences have helped Alexis come back to lead his family Champange business into the next generation.

    “Even being an oenologist, we need an outside opinion. My group of friends, from wine school help me taste. They are each winemakers on different soils, with different stories, and it helps. We grow from sharing.” 

    -Alexis Leconte

    Grower Champagne exclusively imported by Fat Cork

    We’re honored to be the exclusive U.S. importer and retailer of yet another remarkable Champagne family, Xavier Leconte! Check out the Champagne Xavier Leconte collection of 10 distinct cuvées!

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    Fat Cork featured in Market Watch Magazine

    We are honored to be featured in Market Watch Magazine! Bryan was quoted on the unique appeal of Grower Champagne in their article “Grower Champagne Goes Mainstream”. Check out the full article here. 

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    Fat Cork goes to IPNC, 2016

    Our Champagnes have been consumed and celebrated at the International Pinot Noir Celebration since Bryan first visited in 2011, rolling a cooler around filled with bubbles!

    Thibaud Mandet (Winemaker at WillaKenzie), Bryan, Rollin Soles (Winemaker at ROCO Winery)

    Pinot Noir from Australia, excellent!

    Champagne and sparkling wine fanatics: David Speer (Ambonnay), Rajat Parr (Evening Land, Sandhi Wines, Domaine de la Côte), Bryan

    Bryan, Ken Meyer (FC Club Member), Nelson Daquip (Canlis Head Sommelier), Chris Tange (Seattle wine distributor and Master Sommelier)

    Bryan, Chris, Carrie (Wine buyer for Sea Creature Restaurants), Renee Erickson (Chef and Owner, Sea Creature Restaurants)

    IPNC’s volunteer sommeliers enjoying Fat Cork Champagne with their brunch.

    Larry Stone (Master Sommelier, Lingua Franca Wines), Raj, Mimi Castille (Oregon vigneronne and FC Club Member), Bryan

    Bryan, Dawn Smith (Sommelier extraordinaire and Fat Cork General Manager)

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    Meet our Grower: Champagne Redon


    Trépail, the beautiful home village of the Redon family, is one of the sunniest places in all of Champagne. The additional light makes their grapes—mostly Chardonnay—extra ripe upon picking, leading to fruit-forward and elegant wines.

    The Redon family now produces two distinct lines of Champagne, one by the father, Pascal, and one by the eldest son, Adrien. Pascal Redon’s cuvées are classic and full-bodied, while Adrien’s cuvées are fresh and dry. Both labels use the same old vine vineyards and the family’s traditional wood press, but create their final cuvées in their own unique style.

    Watch the video for a quick look at the sunny vineyards of Champagne Redon! 


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    Before & After: Our New Champagne cave!

    We’re proud to show off our newly remodeled Champagne cave, and we’re humbled by the support that has allowed us to grow!

    FC Club Members! If you’re planning a trip to Seattle (or live here now!), schedule a private, complimentary tasting in our Champagne cave! Simply email two weeks before your visit to make arrangements.


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    Bryan stars on New Day Northwest!


    Fat Cork was on New Day Northwest! Bryan sat down with New Day Northwest host, Margaret Larson, to teach a Champagne lesson and tell the story of Fat Cork on live TV.

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    Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme’s Visit to the PNW!

    We had an amazing week of vineyard tours, educational seminars, and Champagne tastings with Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme! We had the pleasure of hosting our producer, Laureen, her mother, Marie-France, and our business partner, Cristina.

    We started the week with dinner at the Maletis home to celebrate our French guests’ arrival!


    Marie France, Laureen, Cristina, Abby, and Bryan, hosted a Champagne Seminar at Fat Cork. Laureen led a wonderful educational course on her family’s history and production methods, and even brought pink aprons from her Champagne house for our team to wear!


    We hosted a Champagne reception with Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme Tavolàta for our Seattle customers. The team at Tavolàta prepared amazing French fare that paired with each cuvée in the Champagne Jean Baillette-Prudhomme collection.


    Cheryl at Pix Pâtisserie hosted us for a lovely afternoon Champagne tasting in Portland!


    While in Oregon, we toured the amazing Eyrie Vineyards with Jason Lett. After our tour, we enjoyed a lovely lunch; Jason Lett made us duck and fresh morels, and even spoke perfect French the entire visit!


    We also enjoyed a tour of ROCO Winery with the wonderful Rollin Soles!


    While in Oregon, we had dinner at The Dundee Bistro with Rollin & Corby Soles of ROCO Winery, our French producers, and Dick, Nancy, and Luisa Ponzi of Ponzi Vineyards!


    We ended the week at the Sparkling Wine Symposium at Ponzi Vineyards. Bryan and Laureen were honored to be featured on the panel among sparkling wine experts to teach other industry members about bubbly.

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