2018 PRINTEMPS DES CHAMPAGNES TASTING
15th April 2018 – It is in the city center of Reims at the cultural center of Le Manège de Reims that 41 members of the Bulles BIO – an association grouping together winegrowers of the Champagne region applying organic or biodynamic approach – met in order to present the diversity of methods respecting the environment but also the clear wines of the last harvest as well as the champagnes of each estate. A unique opportunity for professionals looking for conscientious producers and respectful cuvées.
Organic Champagne in figures …
Used since the 1970s by 7 wine growers at first, the organic viticulture is recognized in France only since 1981. Spread over the entire appellation – Aube, Marne and Aisne – 132 estates were producing champagnes following the organic approach in 2016 which represents more than 534 hectares of vineyards. In 2017, 23 new areas turned to organic viticulture, increasing the number of estate from 132 to 155 in 2018.
Organic viticulture and vinification : what does it mean ?
Both organic and biodynamic approaches are methods respecting life. Their viticulture banned any use synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers and GMO but also requires the reduction of the use of natural elements such as sulfur, copper, clay etc in their vinification. Those methods help the maintenance and improvement of the soil, the preservation of the quality of water and air but also promotes the biodiversity including soil micro-organisms. The grapes are certified organic or biodynamic from the 4th vintage following the date of conversion.
Furthermore, all the ingredients used in the wine making-process must be certified, only the additives and biological auxiliaries included in the positive list of winemaking are allowed. As for the sulfur dioxide content, it is limited to 150 mg / L in Champagne. Finally some practices in vinification not approved by the certification are prohibited.
Bulles BIO 2018 tasting : Zoom in on 5 winegrowers
It is in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere that the 41 winegrowers of the ACB – Association of organic champagnes – received the wine professionals :
Champagne Robert Barbichon, Champagne Barrat-Masson, Champagne André Beaufort, Champagne Laurent Bénard, Champagne H.Blin, Champagne Jérôme Blin, Champagne Colette Bonnet, Champagne Bonnet-Ponson, Champagne Bourgeois-Diaz, Champagne Vincent Charlot, Champagne Eric Collinet, Champagne Cordeuil, Champagne Vincent Couche, Champagne Benoît Déhu, Champagne Eliane Delalot, Champagne Pascal Doquet, Champagne Didier Doué, Champagne Bulles de comptoir by Charles Dufour, Champagne Durdon-Bouval, Champagne Fleury, Champagne Gaiffe-Brun, Champagne Hugues-Godmé, Champagne Gustave Goussard, Champagne Olivier Horiot, Champagne Philippe Lancelot, Champagne Georges Laval, Champagne David Léclapart, Champagne Leclerc Briant, Champagne Christophe Lefevre, Champagne Lelarge-Pugeot, Champagne Marguet, Champagne Pascal Mazet, Champagne Bruno Michel, Champagne Mouzon Leroux et fils, Champagne Piollot Père et fils, Champagne Elemart-Robion, Champagne Ruppert-Leroy, Champagne Etienne Sandrin, Champagne Solemme, Champagne Val’Frison, Champagne Vouette et Sorbée.
Champagne Bulles de Comptoir by Charles Dufour
Talented and hardworking winemaker from Landreville in the Vallée de l’Ource in the Côte des Bar area, this young winegrower farms 6 hectares following an organic approach since 2007 and his estate is certified since 2013. Charles is also reducing the usage of copper thanks to biodynamic vine protection. He conscientiously grows 3 grape varieties – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay but also Pinot Blanc – from which he crafts the “Bulles de Comptoir” cuvées – perpetual blends bottled with an infusion from the last harvest.
Bulles de Comptoir #6 “La benjamine 2.0” – 60% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Blanc from clay and limestone terroir – offers elegant white flowers and saline notes. Bulles de Comptoir (face b) #Rosexpress15 – 100% Pinot Noir from clay and limestone terroir – is mineral, buttered and taut with red fruits, roasted and almond note. Finally, the Assemblage cave 2017 – perpetual blends vinified in foudres with 60% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Blanc from clay and limestone terroir – is mineral, complex and taut with vanilla and bread aromas.
Champagne Benoit Déhu
Located in Fossoy in the Vallée de la Marne, Benoît mainly farms a single grape variety – Pinot Meunier – from a single plot cuvées crafted thanks to an incredible work of precision. In the vineyard, this dedicated winegrower respect his lands thanks to an organic and biodynamic viticulture. As for the vinification and maturation, it is done following the same approach and exclusively in barrels or foudres made with wood coming from the estate – from the Meilleray forest and made in Champagne.
L’Orme Vin clair – a 100% Pinot Noir single plot still wine from Fossoy – developed milky, vanilla and caramel notes whereas Chaillot Vin Clair – a 100% Pinot Meunier single plot still wine – is expressive, generous and mineral with elegant vanilla notes.
La Rue des Noyers – a single plot cuvée made 100% of Pinot Meunier – . La Rue des Noyers “Rosé de Saignée” – a single plot cuvée made 100% of Pinot Meunier – expresses vinosity, minerality and freshness with red fruits, blackcurrant and complex vanilla aromas.
Champagne Huges Godmé
This winegrower from Verzenay on the Montagne de Reims terroir, takes care of his estate spread over 40 plots on 4 different Crus – Verzenay, Verzy, Villers-Marmery and Villedomange. Hugues is using biodynamic approach since 2006 and obtained the Ecocert certification in 2010. He farms the three main grape variety of the Champagne Appellation – Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay – to obtain subtle, authentic and aromatic champagnes.
Champs Saint Martin Vin Clair – 100% Pinot Noir from Verzenay with the fermentation in oak barrel – is fruity, aromatic and vanilla-flavoured with a nice balance between power and acidity as well as elegant, fresh, saline and mineral notes.
Les Alouettes Saint Bets – 100% Chardonnay from Villers-Marmery with fermentation in oak barrel using indigenous yeasts – is aromatic, expressive and fresh with pear, apple and with light woody notes. A complex, powerful and elegant wine.
Champagne Gustave Goussard
From Avirey-Lingey in the Côte des Bar, this An estate of 1,427 hectares planted with Pinot Noir is managed by Didier Goussard – fourth generation. Both winegrower and oenologist, Didier is applying an approach that respects the best way possible the environment and allows the terroir express itself through the grapes and the wines. A sustainable viticulture certified since 2012 as well as organic certified since the 2014 harvest.
PN2017 Vin Clair – 100% Pinot Noir still wine from Kimeridgien terroir of Polisy cru – is floral, elegant and taut showing a beautiful maturity and with a nice balance and fresh fruit notes.
Respect N°16-15 – 100% Pinot Noir with a base of 2015 vintage – is vegetal, generous and well-balanced. The power and vinosity is counterbalanced by a pleasant freshness and a well integrated acidity.
Champagne Pascal Mazet
Located at Chigny-les-Roses, this estate is spread over 2 hectares on the clayey and limestone slopes of the Montagne de Reims. Pascal look after his vineyard listening to the elements of living and using an organic viticulture since 2009 in order to express the best of his terroir. The winemaker benefits from the three main grape varieties of the region – Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay – as well as Pinot Blanc. After 9 months of maturation in oak barrels, the wines are balanced with a aging of 5 years minimum in the cellar for elegant cuvées.
Unique – 42% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay and 28% Pinot Noir – is fresh and floral with plum, mirabelle plum and mineral notes as well as an elegant tautness. The 2012 Vintage – 34% Pinot Meunier, 33% Chardonnay and 33% Pinot Noir – is mineral and well-balanced with butter, bread and elegant vinous notes. The finish expresses a delicate salinity. Finally, Unique 0 Dosage – 42% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay and 28% Pinot Noir vinified 50% in oak during 12 months – is both fresh and round with light woody and vanilla notes.
Now unmissable for professionals looking for wines from organic or biodynamic viticulture, Bulles BIO has once again offered a tasting in a friendly atmosphere and with highly-individual wines of a illustrious quality.