2016 PRINTEMPS DES CHAMPAGNES TASTING
Champagne is a family and intergenerational matter. It is the reason why the 12 winegrowers of Génération Champagne chose to put forward through their association the transmission of the “passion of a terroir, from generation to generation”. It is the same reason that drove them to present their still wines and their cuvées for the Printemps des champagnes, the 18 & 19th of April to make professionals discover champagnes with strong family values during a unique tasting.
Génération Champagne : winegrowers unlike any others
Since 2013, the 12 winegrowers of Génération Champagne share the same passion and the same conviction that time is precious, especially in Champagne. For those producers from the Montagne de Reims, Côte des Blancs, Vallée de la Marne, Vallée de l’Ardre or Côte des Bar, taking time is above all : “Give time to time” – a grant of quality for their authored-champagnes and “give time to time” to pass on a know-how ; a real philosophy for those winegrowers of Champagne who share a real affinity and are committed to pass on generation after generation their passion and their know-how for exceptionnal champagnes.
An outstanding and timeless tasting
A cosy and intimate event where the 12 winegrowers of Génération Champagne were grouped together under the roof of the CELLIER in Reims for a unique tasting in a friendly atmosphere. A stylish and modern place where the visitors also got the opportunity to admire the work of the street art artist C215. Built in 1898 originally for Mumm & Cie, took back by Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin then by Champagne Jacquart, this place has, over decades, been registered as a key element of the architectural heritage of Rheims and the champagne history. Now reconverted in a cultural gallery, the place hosted the 12 winegrowers for their timeless tasting.
Each of the estates of the association was presenting their history, their still wines of the latest harvest and their emblematic cuvées. But the group also decided that each of them would present one un-dosed ephemeral cuvée – the very essence of one grape variety and one terroir ; Pinot Noir from Bouzy for Herbert Beaufort, Chardonnay from Ludes for Monmarthe or Pinot Meunier from Chaumuzy for Salmon for example.
The Champagne trip starts in Bouzy with Herbert Beaufort who vinifies his wines in the purest champagne tradition and without malolactic fermentation to keep all the aging potential. Ludovic was presenting his Brut Carte d’Or Tradition, the Cuvée Yllen – a fruity maceration rosé -, the atypical Cuvée Mélomane and a Pinot Noir from Bouzy as ephemeral cuvée. In Villers-sous-Châtillon, the House J.Charpentier offered a wide range of cuvées made from a blend of tradition and modernity. For the ephemeral cuvée, Jean-Marc and Jacky brought an expressive 100% Pinot Meunier from their village besides their fruity Réserve Brut, the vinous Prestige Brut and the well-balanced Premier Cru Brut. Stéphane Coquillette, who chose a Pinot Noir of Aÿ, knows how to put forward the House signature : passion, love and respect. The winegrower brought his delicate cuvée Carte d’Or, his powerful Cuvée des Clés and the feminine Cuvée Diane. Champagne Lagille et Fils was also present that day to offer expressive and seductive wines as well as a 100% Pinot Meunier from Treslon. The cuvée Carte Blanche was fruity and structured, Séduction offered fresh and refined chardonnay aromas and Sessile – a 100% Pinot Noir – combined power and roundness of the aging in oak.
Since 6 generations now, Loriot-Pagel creates its champagnes traditionally. They presented not less than two of their expressive vintages – a elegant Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru 2008 and their fruity cuvée n°6 2004 – as well as their champagne Carte d’Or and a 100% Pinot Meunier from Festigny as their ephemeral cuvée. For the Sadi Malo family from Villers-Marmery, it is a vinification of old vines in foudre and a sustainable viticulture that characterize the wines of the House like their Brut nature cuvée Zéro Liqueur – direct and expressive -, the 2009 Coup de foudre – a perfectly balanced Blanc de Blancs – and Brut authentique – a fresh and structured champagne from old vines. The ephemeral cuvée : a fruity and peppery Pinot Noir Rosé from Verzy.
Combining audacity and tradition, Rémy Massin et Fils presented aromatic and complex champagnes from the Côte des Bars. The surprise was a Pinot Noir from Ville-sur-Arce, accompanied by their Brut tradition of the House – expressive and harmonious -, cuvée Artistide – complex but subtle – and a delicate and generous vintage 2006. The Clos from the event was from the High Environmental Value certified Monmarthe estate where the sixth generation values and highlights the family terroir through uniques cuvées. The palate of this exceptional champagne offered buttered brioche notes with light tannins. Jean Guy and Sandrine brought also an elegant 2008 vintage and the complex cuvée Privilège as well as a ephemeral Chardonnay from Ludes with a lot of freshness. Champagne Veuve Olivier et Fils combines perfectly tradition and modernity for wines that reflects perfectly the terroir of the House. Sandrine brought 3 cuvées : Carte d’Or Brut – round and fruity -, Perle de Lumière – sensual with gingerbread notes – and a Rosée de Saignée – vinous with red fruits aromas- as well as a Chardonnay from Trélou sur Marne.
We then stop at Champagne Salmon, where Alexandre – who just came back from an hot-air balloon trip in Lapland – was presenting different cuvées from the emblematic grape variety of the House namely the Pinot Meunier : their delicate Blanc de Noirs, their generous Rosé and the prestigious cuvée A.S. As the ephemeral champagne, the winegrower brought a delightfully flavored 100% Pinot Meunier Rosé de Saignée from Chaumuzy .
A true champagne artist, Bertrand Robert from the estate André Robert is passionate by the lee aging in barrels. This method helps the wines to develop character like the cuvées tasted that day : a mineral Brut Réserve, the aromatic Le Mesnil 2008, the opulent Séduction 2007 and as ephemeral cuvée a Chardonnay from Mesnil sur Oger. Finally, using an organic approach, Sébastien from Champagne Sanchez Leguédard, explained that his conversion in 2013 and the traditional wine making process of champagne allow him to create expressive and refined wines like the delicate Grande Réserve, the fruity Rosé de Saignée, the subtle and expressive vintage 2010 and a powerful Pinot Noir Rosé de Saignée from Cumières.
This tasting was the opportunity to exchange with the different winegrowers of the group Génération Champagne in a friendly atmosphere and without boundaries. An event full of surprises…