In January we attended a wine tasting put on by he APVSA, Association for the Promotion of Wines and Spirits in North America, tasting in Washington DC. Present at the tasting was Champagne Francis Orban. The champagne house has been in the business for four generations beginning with the founding by Léopold Orban in 1929. The generations continued with Gaëtan Orban, Pol Orban and now Francis Orban.
The family’s vineyards lie about nine miles from Epernay in the Marne Valley. The soils are composed of mostly clay-limestone. These vineyards are ideal for Pinot Meunier.
I met Francis Orban at the APVSA tasting. He grew up with both of his parents in the champagne business. In 1999 Francis completed his studies and joined the family business. In 2007 he started his own champagne house.
I tasted three champagnes. The Extra Brut was composed of 100% Pinot Meunier. The yellow colored champagne was aged for three years and had a dosage of 3 g/L. There were multiple columns of tiny bubbles forming a center mousse on the wine’s surface. The champagne reminded me of red berry fruits, citrus and freshly baked bread. This champagne can pair as an aperitif and with salmon and even grilled beef ribs.
The Brut Reserve was crafted with 100% Pinot Meunier. The gold colored champagne was aged for two years and had a dosage of 9 g/L. The champagne had multiple columns of tiny bubbles forming a mousse on the center of the surface. There were notes of yellow fruits and freshly baked bread. Pair this champagne as an aperitif or with grilled foods.
The Millésime 2011 was a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Meunier. The yellow colored champagne aged for six years and had a dosage of 3-4 g/L. In the glass the champagne had multiple columns forming a center mousse. There were notes of apple, citrus and freshly baked bread. The champagne pairs with shellfish and beef dishes.
Champagne Francis Orban is looking for distributors in the United States.