2016 PRINTEMPS DES CHAMPAGNES TASTING
Monday 18th April, the 10 winegrowers of Champagne, Terroirs etC… met for a day of wine tastings at the Cercle Colbert in Reims. An exceptional event to promote the diversity of the Champagne terroirs through the tasting of the still wines of the year and the champagnes of each producer of the association. But not only, as the group plans to have each year a theme : a perfect opportunity for the visitors to expect many surprises…
Champagne, Terroirs etC…
Newbie of the Printemps des champagnes, Champagne, Terroirs etC… is an association of 10 independent winegrowers from different areas and different villages of the vineyard of Champagne. A group of producers that “made champagnes from A to Z – from the harvest to the bottling – in the respect for the expression of their terroir”. They wish to share and present their traditional know-how as well as their approach to create champagnes that are the pure expression of a terroir, a soil, a subsoil and their personal and traditional know-how. Each cuvée is elaborated in the most natural and respectful way. Their association reflects the diversity of the Champagne area and the champagnes through one shared philosophy but 10 identities ; Trust, complicity and friendship link together those winegrowers who have known each other for a long time and who value the identity of each. In fact, each of them chose a representative adjective : Virtuosity for Michel Loriot of Champagne Apollonis, Innovative for Florent Bergeronneau or Delicacy for Richard and Romain Colin for example.
The group meets together and organizes tastings during the year to share their experience. However, this winegrower association wants to make discovers their champagnes differently. They chose to associate each year a different theme starting by C – hence the name etc… or “et C”… – “and C” in english…
Base wines & food pairings
This year, it is in a beautiful bourgeois house of the XXth century in the city of Reims that the tasting event took place. An exceptional place with an inner garden and a terrasse to savor the champagnes of the winegrowers with complete peace of mind and complicity… And 2015 was the year of the Complicity for the group Champagne, Terroirs etC : an opportunity to highlight the one between the members of the group but also the complicity with the visitors… a perfect theme to create a friendly atmosphere during the tasting. Full of surprises, the association prepared with Frédéric Pagnieux from CVM some special food pairings for the base wines :
- Crab tartare, Mangousteen and dragonfruit
for 100 % Chardonnay base wines
- Salmon tartare, avocado and lime
for 100 % Pinot Meunier base wines
- Cod tartare, Granny Smith apple and Bergamot
for base wines with a majority of Pinot Meunier
- Veal tartare, Rousselet pear and Sultanas
for 100 % Pinot Noir base wines
- Red mullet filet, sundried tomatoes and basil
for base wines aged in wood
10 winegrowers, 10 identities
After grabbing a champagne glass and the tasting book, visitors entered a bright and refined lounge where the winegrowers were present their wines. We begin with Champagne Apollonis – Virtuosity – where Michel Loriot, 12th generation on the estate, explained us that his family started to grow vines in 1675. The 7 hectares of vineyard in Festigny are farmed with a Hight Environmental Value viticulture for high quality grapes and to respect the soil. Michel Loriot combines his two passions : music and vines as he plays music in the vineyards as well as in the cellar to bring complexity and refined aromas to the wines. The winegrower made us taste his exceptional Monodie cuvée : an Extra-Brut 100% Meunier from 70 years old vines. A champagne with great minerality.
Florent and Véronique from Champagne Bergeronneau-Marion – Innovative – are located in Ville-Dommange. With their children, they perpetuate the family tradition since 1590 but they also improved the established practices to banned insecticides to apply a sustainable viticulture. Florent and Véronique are also the proud owners of a Clos : a 2,10 hectares of vineyard behind a majestic gate with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier vines. In fact, they brought the cuvée produced from this rare vineyard at the tasting : Le Clos Bergeronneau, a delicate, voluptuous wine and a highly expressive champagne.
From the South of the Côte des Blancs in Vertus, Richard and Romain of the House Colin – Delicacy – are the 7th generation on the estate. Together, they manage 11 hectares with a know-how “blending” tradition and sustainable methods in order to create delicate, pure and mineral champagnes. The two passionate winegrowers brought three elegant cuvées to the tasting : Enjoleuse – a mature wine with stewed fruit aromas – Blanche de Castille – a mineral Blanc de Blancs with mature notes – and a 2007 vintage that develops complexity and candied notes.
For Champagne Dauby – Feminine -, Flore and Francine were presenting their 8 hectares estate with a vineyard located in Aÿ and Mutigny. The adventure began in 1956 with Guy and Thérèse who established the philosophy of the House : love for the land and wine, harmony with nature and respect of the terroir to epitomize the character of the vineyard, patience spirit… Today, mother and daughter create together elegant, floral, feminine champagnes with a perfect balance between structure and fruitiness. They presented three cuvées : a fresh Réserve, a Blanc de Noirs with strong character, and Flore – a mature wine with great finesse.
Champagne François Secondé – Unique – started in 1976 when François Secondé set up the estate. Today, François manages 5ha50 in Sillery and he is the first and unique independent winegrower of the village. He creates harmonious and pure Sillery champagnes from a sustainable method. The producer is also the only one to create a 100% chardonnay cuvée from the Pinot Noirs area of Champagne : he brought this cuvée both in still wine version and after the prise de mousse for the visitors pleasure – a great wine with a nice aromatic persistence.
From Ludes, Champagne Gaidoz Forget – Audacious – keeps and perpetuates the family tradition for more than six generations now. Luc manages his 9 hectares vineyard with passion and respect of the terroir to create champagnes with strong identity and character. The visitors got the opportunity to taste his Carte d’or – a light and fruity cuvée with honey notes -, Réserve – a round and powerful champagne – and Bertille – a supple, mineral and fresh wine with woody and brioche notes.
The estate of Piot-Sévillano – Rebel – regroups 8 hectares and is located in Vincelles. For the 8th generation -Christine and Vincent – passion and creativity are essential in their work. Together, they perpetuates the tradition of the family with a sustainable and High Environmental Value philosophy for a perfect expression of their terroir and for elegant, smooth but fruity wines. Their Prestige cuvée expresses an elegant vinosity with dense and complex sweet spice aromas.
In Cuchery, Champagne Poissinet – Authentic – observes high quality requirements for their 7 hectare vineyard for high expressive champagnes. To respect his terroir is very important for Régis who creates unique and complex wines from the traditional know-how of his family. His cuvée Preambule is fresh, greedy and ripe and gives the impression to bite into fresh fruits whereas Seduction develops light rose petal notes for a sweet and tender rosé. Finally, Carte d’or offers a nice complex palate with a great aging potential.
The House René Jolly – Original – : it is 13.55 hectares split over 5 parcels in the terroir of Landreville. Pierre Eric is the 5th generation on the estate and creates expressive and complex champagnes from a sustainable viticulture and hard limestone sub-soil. He was presenting a round and powerful Blanc de Noirs made from a blend of fruity Pinot Noirs from 4 different years, a delicate Blanc de Blancs with white flower notes and finally the expressive Spéciale RJ cuvée, a blend of 2005 and 2006 harvests – round, powerful with an unexpected minerality .
Finally, Alexis, 6th generation of Champagne Xavier Leconte – Precision -, conducts his vineyard located in Troissy-Bouquigny with passion and a real ambition to combine innovation and traditions. He takes his inspiration from the terroir to create high quality wines and the diversity of the sub-soils of his vineyard allows him to reveal the character of each grape variety through his cuvées. Alexis brought his one parcel champagne Scellés de Terroirs 2006 an Extra-Brut 100% Pinot Noirs vinified in oak barrels – as all his one parcel cuvées – expressing complexity, richness and freshness.
This first edition of the Champagne, Terroirs etC… tasting during the Printemps des champagnes was a real success for the association and a unique opportunity for the wine professionals to discover or rediscover the passion, the terroir and the champagnes of the 10 members of the group.