Established in 1973 by Michael Jeaunaux based on a 5.5ha vineyard that was planted in 1965. Initially the fruit was delivered to a co-op, but the next generation decided to make use of their undiscovered part of the Champagne region called Valleé du Morin, north of Côte de Sézanne. The soil of the region is a combination of chalk and marl but most distinctive is the unusual amount of flint in the soil. Since 2010 they have been using the appropriate preparations for organic viticulture and in 2015 they began the process of official certification. These are wines that express purity and place with low levels of dosage.
A combination of 60% Pinot Meunier, 30% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay from 40 year old vines farmed without chemicals. Predominantly 2013 with 20% of the 2012 vintage. The base wine is fermented in a combination of seasoned barrels and concrete and undergoes partial MLF. The wine matures on lees for 24 months. 5.5g of dosage.
Light, dry, aperitif style. Very subtle, elegant, mineral, long finishing and refreshing. This is great with natural oysters. I think this will improve and flesh out with time in the bottle too.
A wine region of France approximately 160km East of Paris. It is also the name of the wines produced from the area. Most famously it is a sparkling wine that undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle and is aged on lees. Although there is the occasional still wine you can find around particularly Pinot Noir. The fantastically named Bouzy Rouge is one such example. There are very few single vintage, single vineyard, single variety Champagnes (I can only name one and it was produced only 47 times between 1900 and 1999). Why? Due to the large area the region covers, and the challenging weather the houses blended wines to produce a consistent and reliable product every year. This is where the growers come in. They relish the chance to show off vintage variation and small plot wines.
Meunier is most famous for adding body and richness to the wines of Champagne. The trade-off is it tends to make the Champagnes age quicker and is therefore often left out of Prestige Cuvées. Not often found in still table wine production.
This is the most elusive grape. It is relatively early ripening and extremely sensitive to terroir. Its perfect place on earth is the Cote d’Or in Burgundy. So haunting are great red Burgundy’s charms that growers everywhere try to emulate them. Pinot Noir is not just a one trick pony, it can make great reds, rosé, sparkling and even sweet wines, whites on occasion and I’ve tasted a decent fortified Pinot Noir too. Adding body, perfume and richness to Champagne it also adds red berry and floral/rose petal notes along with spice and subtle layers.
The grape that you can plant anywhere, in any climate and do anything to and it will still taste like an OK wine. When people hit the sweet spot of site, climate, cropping and winemaking, Chardonnay becomes a magical wine that will age gracefully but charm you at any age. Chardonnays can range from cool climate lean and citrusy to warmer climate tropical and overt. Oak and lees can add flavouring as can malolactic fermentation. In a Champagne context Chard can add mineral flavours, stone fruits and acidity along with some weight of fruit.