April 15, 2019 – The beautiful and prestigious Demeure des Comtes de Champagne hosted the long awaited tasting of Des Pieds et des Vins – a group of young and dynamic Champagne winegrowers who have already made a name for themselves in the world’s wine professionals. United around their common respect of the environment, each of those craftsmen and craftswomen shared with passion their rich and endearing stories during this event for the highest enjoyment of the visitors.
Des Pieds et des Vins
Considered by the professionals as an essential of the Printemps des Champagnes, this group gather together young and promising winegrowers of the Champagne Appellation, who dare atypical approaches and who cares about using a more conscientious and committed viticulture – most of them applying organic or/and biodynamic methods. For those craftsmen and craftswomen, the number of ares or the quantity of bottles are not important : what matters is the passion, the enthusiasm and the human adventure they experience everyday through their activity, as well as the commun attachment they have for their terroirs. It is those precious terroirs that allow them to craft wines with strong identity : the one coming from the perfect symbiosis between the soil, the climate and the plant.
“Making wine before bubbles and respect the nature above all things”
Through their different approaches, one thing is clear for those winegrowers : the wine comes before the effervescence ! Therefore, each of them takes great care of its vineyard and for this devoted group nothing could be more logical than to present the vins clairs of the year – still wines from the last harvest – in order to get started properly and to have a clear insight of the style of their terroirs and their approach. Here is a glimpse of this introduction :
Champagne Stroebel presented a generous, elegant and vegetal Blanc de Blancs vin clair as well as a fruity, ample and aromatic Rosé vin clair with delicate rose notes.
For Champagne Guillaume Sergent, it was a Chardonnay vin clair coming from sandy soils. The maturity of the grapes was balanced with fruit, exotic and lime aromas.
Champagne Etienne Calsac brought two samples of 2018 harvest. The first one, Avize Clos des Maladries 2018 was elegant, rich, ample and sharp with butter notes. The second one, a Pinot Blanc Petit Meslier Arbanne vin clair, was exotic, fresh and herbaceous with a delicate finesse.
Champagne Barrat-Masson chose a Chardonnay single plot vin clair from La Chapelle plot. Fresh and elegant, this wine offered finesse and fruitiness.
Champagne Mouzon-Leroux, it was a 7 grape varieties, single plot vin clair. First, the wine uncovered an elegant ampleness but then the palate was tauter but always with a beautiful minerality.
For Champagne Corbon, the Chardonnay vin clair chosen was a 2018 mono-cru from Avize. Both freshness and maturity characterized this fruity wine.
A 2018 Chardonnay vin clair from Avize as well for Champagne Remi Leroy, but with oak vinification. The results is aromatic, refined with vegetal aromas.
Champagne Vadin-Plateau brought a 100% Meunier vin clair from Cumière and its limons soils. A wine which did not underwent the malolactic fermentation. The outcome was fruity, elegant and well-balanced with a lot of finesse and a light bitterness.
Finally, Champagne Aurélin Lurquin presented different grape variety vin clair. A Pinot Noir : fruity and aromatic, the still wine offered a beautiful maturity. A 100% Meunier : a generous, fruity and vinous wine. A blend of Chardonnay and Petit Meslier : a generous vin clair with acidulous candy notes. And a 100% Chardonnay vin clair, which was generous, round and fresh at the same time.
The champagne tasting : gripping wines from Champagne
But no worries, if they craft wines before bubbles, the members did not forget to present their illustrative and prestigious champagne cuvées.
Located on the lands of Villers-Allerand in the Côte des Bar area, Champagne Stroebel is managed with compromise and perseverance, patience and poetry… by Timothée an attentive and sensitive craftman with quiet haste. Thimothée chose the biodynamic approach and continue to move towards a farm model in order to create Meunier of the highest caliber. The wines have a lot of character : sappy and intense, they have the capacity to increase in power through the tasting.
The champagnes served : Héraclite Meunier – 100% Meunier, 2014 : a generous, ample and mineral Blanc de Noirs. Héraclite “Sous Bois” – 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Meunier, base 2014, 0g/L : an elegant, precise and buttered Brut Nature with light bitterness on the finish. Triptyque – 52% Pinot Noir, 36% Meunier and 12% Chardonnay: a buttered, frank and taut blended champagne with brioche notes. Logos Rosé de Saignée – 100% Pinot Noir éraflé , base 2015, 3g/L : an elegant, delicate Rosé with a light vinosity highlighting the vibrant red berry notes.
Settled on the terroir of Vrigny, Guillaume from Champagne Guillaume Sergent look after his vineyard spread on the Petite Montagne de Reims and Massif de Saint Thierry area. This farmer who is completely in love with his land, carefully cultivating a plant respecting the synergies and the harmony linking the wine to nature and enhancing the biodiversity on his terroir.
The champagnes served : Le Chemin des Chappes – 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Meunier from 1er cru two plots in Vrigny, 2017 harvest, 1g/L : a balanced single plot cuvée with deep floral and red fruit aromas. Les Prés Dieu – 100% Chardonnay, 2017 harvest, 1g/L from one plot in Vrigny and one plot in Coulommes : a mineral and saline Blanc de Blancs with brioche and fresh herbaceous notes. Les Prés Dieu X.O. – 100% 1er Cru Chardonnay, 2012 harvest, 2 g/L : a fresh, saline and ample Blanc de Blancs with milky, vanilla and dried fruit notes.
Coming directly from Avize in the Côte des Blancs area, Etienne Calsac of Champagne Etienne Calsac chose to blend his passion with HVE approach to allow the terroir to best express itself and craft uniques, authentic wines. The winegrower take pleasure by creating but the greatest of the enjoyments is to share it.
The champagnes served : L’Échappée Belle – 100% Chardonnay Premier Cru, base 2016 with 30% of soléra, 4g/L : a frank and generous wine with a great finesse and pineapple notes. Les Rocheforts – 100% Chardonnay from Bisseuil, base 2016 with 30% of soléra, 4g/L : a buttered, mineral, and taut single plot cuvée with crisp texture and white fruit aromas. Clos des Maladries 2014 – single plot Chardonnay from Avize, 2g/L : an elegant and frank Blanc de Blancs with herbaceous notes. Les Revenants – Pinot Blanc, Petit Meslier and Arbane, 2g/L : a mineral Extra-Brut with rhubarbe, ginger and strawberry aromas.
On the Clay-limestone soils of Bethon and Villenaux la Grande, there is an estate where a precise and rigorous organic viticulture allow the wines to express sincerely their aromatic scale and their potential as well as the mineral identity of their terroir. This estate called Champagne Barrat-Masson is managed by Aurélie and Loîc, two winegrower who have at heart to respect the nature and their wine.
The champagnes served : Fleur de Craie – 100% Chardonnay, 2015 harvest, 10% vinification in oak, 10 months on lees, 0g/L : a fresh, generous and fatty Brut Nature with mineral and white fruit notes. Les Volies – 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay, 2015 harvest, vinification in demi-muid, 10 months on lees, 0g/L : a wine offering finesse, frankness and elegance with light butter and mineral notes. Les Margannes – 100% Chardonnay, 2013 harvest, 30% vinified in oak, 10 months on lees, 0g/L : a fresh, mineral and saline Zero Dosage with a light oxygenation, crispbread and smoky notes. 2012 Vintage Magnum – 100% Chardonnay vinified in oak, 0g/L : a mineral Blanc de Blancs with an elegant and light bitterness.
At Champagne Mouzon Leroux, a family estate located in Verzy, the approach is an harmony between the earth, nature and the moon. However, Sébastien, the craftman of the master of this vineyard and the wine cellar, is man of conviction, humanist and thoughtful. For him, falling within an approach of natural and certified organic wines without addition of sulfur, is way more than an method and an ethical choice, it is a life philosophy.
The champagnes served : L’Atavique – 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay, base 2014, 2g/L : a pure, frank and chiseled cuvée with profound mineral notes. L’Ascendant – 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay solera since 2010 : a complex and saline champagne with ripe fruit notes. L’Ineffable – 100% Pinot Noir, 2012 vintage, zero dosage : an ample, saline and mineral Blanc de Noirs with smoky notes. L’Angélique – 100% Chardonnay, 2012 vintage, zero dosage : a delicate wine with soft apple notes, creaminess and salinity. La “Blanche Voie” – 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay, 2013 harvest, no dosage, plot in the heart of Verzy : a saline, frank, mineral and taut vintage with light pepper notes. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir perfectly balance each other.
On the lands of Crouttes-sur-Marne, Champagne Bourgeois-Diaz lets the biodynamic way shine through sharp and highly-individual cuvées. Charlotte and Jérôme, winemaker-gardeners and convinced biodynamist are always seeking to push further the harmony in the expression of the plant. His art is an ode to nature and it serves him well by allowing to create elegant wines.
The champagnes served : Cuvée 3C – 3 cépages : 45% Meunier, 30% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay, base 2016 : a fresh and elegant cuvée with walnut and crystallized lemon notes. Cuvée 3C, 2014 Collection – 50% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir and 20% Meunier : a refined and fruity wine with elegant floral and lemon aromas. Cuvée N, Blanc de Noirs – 63% Pinot Noir and 37% Meunier, base 2015, dosage zero : a frank, vinous and aromatic champagne with quince notes. Coteaux Champenois Rouge 2016 – 60% Meunier and 40% Pinot Noir : a fresh, vibrant and warm still red wine with black plum and berry aromas.
When you talk with Agnès, she will tell you naturally that “Making wine is not a very serious job.v All the stress, the work, the energy, the passion and the permanent questioning … is just to bring a few sips of pleasure.” So take a sip, enjoy and share this moment with her, it is the best way you can appreciate the wine she carefully craft with such devotion to her terroir. The wines of Champagne Corbon are audacious, mineral and reflect the terroir of the Côte des Blancs and Vallée de la Marne au naturel.
The champagnes served : Absolument – 50% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir and 25% Meunier, base 2012 : a frank, taut and precise blended cuvée with a tonic mineral and citrus notes. Anthracite – 50% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir and 25% Meunier, base 2012 : generous and fresh at the same time, this wine offers brioche and white fruit notes. Brut d’Autrefois – perpetual wine, base 2008 : a taut, frank and fresh champagne with surprising spicy and ripe fruits aromas. Les Bacchantes 2009 Grand Cru – 100% Chardonnay from Avize, vinified in oak barrels : a mineral and complex single Cru Blanc de Blancs with brioche and creamy notes.
Located in the village called Romery in the Vallée de la Marne, the estate of Champagne Aurélien Lurquin expresses through each cuvée its unique identity : an harmonious blend between the energy of the vines, the mineral vibrations and the strength of the nature present in a specific place. Aurélien is a conscientious winemaker who is dedicated to make truly natural champagne by letting each months of the year that forged a wine identity be expressed as purely as possible.
The champagnes served : Chardonnay – 100% Chardonnay, 2016 : a generous, mineral and taut Blanc de Blancs with lemon zest and saline notes. Les Crayères du Levant – 100% Meunier, 2017 : a frank and taut Blanc de Noirs with an elegant hit of fruit. Les Forcières – 100% Pinot Noir, 2017 : a rich, floral and fresh champagne with a lot of energy.
Nestled on the slopes of Vandières in the Vallée de la Marne, the Domain of Champagne Nowack is converting to organic approach. Flavien, the winegrower wants to give happiness and this state of mind is reflected by the choice and the philosophy he applies to craft his wine. First, a liberty to experiment but the craftman also has a deep understanding of his vines and nature in general – he for instance, he considers the vine as an ecosystem.
The champagnes served : La Fontinette – 100% Meunier, 2015 : a creamy and aromatic wine with spring flower notes. La Tuilerie – 100% Chardonnay, 2014 : a fresh and ample champagne with light menthol notes and white fruit aromas. L’Arpent Rouge – 50% Chardonnay, 48% Meunier and 2% Pinot Noir : a rich, persistant and vinous blended cuvée with fresh lemon notes. Les Bauchets – 100% Pinot Noir, 2014 : a complex, fresh and dynamic Blanc de Noirs with redcurrant and dried flowers aromas.
From the region of the Côte des Bar, in the village of Meurville, Champagne Remy Leroy is guided by Rémy a passionated winegrower who refuse the facility in order maintain the integrity and individuality of the terroir. This oenologist and agronomist takes great care of his lands and make sure that his clayey calcareous soils of Kimmeridgian period express their remarkable typicality.
The champagnes served : Brut Nature – 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, base 2015 : a fresh, precise and mineral Zero Dosage with intense fruity notes. Blanc de Noirs 2014 – 100% Pinot Noir : a taut, floral vintage with an elegant minerality on the finish. It unveils generous hazelnut aromas. Blanc de Blancs 2014 – 100% Chardonnay : a fresh, taut and elegant champagne with citrus and brioche aromas. Rosé Les Crots 2013 – 100% Pinot Noir, 72h of maceration and a vinification in oak barrels : a fruity, vinous and mineral Saignée cuvée with spicy and cherry notes.
“Terroir, passion, work, patience, temperament, ideologies, philosophy”, those are the concept Robert have at heart to share through his wine. Looking after his family estate Champagne Robert-Barbichon located in Gyé-sur-Seine, the winegrower is dedicated to keep unspoiled his inheritance. For that, the vines are biodynamically farmed, an approach which allows the wines to release energy and fresh fruit notes.
The champagnes served : Blanc de Blancs – 58% Chardonnay, 42% Pinot Blanc, base 2014 : an ample, generous and mineral wine with floral notes. Réserve 4 Cépages – 75% Pinot Noir, 7% Pinot Blanc, 10% Chardonnay and 8 Meunier, base 2013 : a frank and taut champagne with buttery and brioche aromas. Blanc de Noirs – 88% Pinot Noir and 12% Meunier, base 2015 : an elegant, precise and buttered cuvée. The finish is elegantly bitter. Rosé de Saignée – 100% Pinot Noir éraflé, base 2015 : an elegant, delicate and lightly vinous Rosé with almond and roses notes.
The estate of Champagne Thomas Perseval is located in the beautiful village of Chamery, on the slopes of the Montagne de Reims. The 2.5 hectares of this family Domain is farmed with harmony and balance by a winegrower who is deeply attached to nature: Thomas. Naturally, the estate obtain the organic certification in 2012 but the craftman uses as well biodynamic preparation to let even more the expression of nature speak.
The champagnes served : Le Village – 100% Chardonnay, 2012 vintage vinified in oak barrels : a balanced Blanc de Blancs with elegant tones unveiling almond and brioche aromas. La Pucelle – 90% Meunier and 10% Pinot Noir vinified in oak barrels : a mineral and aromatic Blanc de Noirs with citrus notes. La Masure – 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay vinified in oak barrels : a fresh and mineral but complex wine, with candied fruit notes. Rosé de macération La Mazure – 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay, 2015 harvest, vinified in oak barrels : a saline, expressive and elegant vintage with generous red fruit notes.
As for Yann from Champagne Vadin-Plateau, the approach has only one goal : to brought out each step of the way the character and the natural expression of the terroirs, whether it is Cumières – village where the cellar is located as well – or the famous and prestigious Cru of Hautvillers. Every harvest and every single wines of the estate is crafted following the direction given by nature.
The champagnes served : Renaissance – 100% Meunier from Cumières 1er Cru, base 2016 : an ample, buttered and fruity Blanc de Noirs. An elegant cuvée. Intuition – 40% Chardonnay, 30% Meunier and 30% Pinot Noir from Cumières, Hautvillers and Champillon : an elegant, delicate wine with a mineral finesse. Terre des Moines – 100% Meunier, 2014 harvest exclusively from Cumières : a saline, iodic and mineral vintage. A wine with full-bodied structure from the oak vinification. Ovalie – 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay, vinified exclusively in concrete eggs and rested on its yeasts with cork cap : an elegant and intense champagne with hazelnut, woody, dried fruit and apricot notes. Carac’terre – 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay harvested from Lieux-dits located in Hautvillers, rested on its yeasts with cork cap : a frank, taut and powerful single-plot cuvée and an aromatic vintage expressing ginger notes and a great finesse.