Champagne village profile: Les Mesneux, a premier cru village in the Petite Montagne de Reims

Key facts

Located in: Montagne & Val de Reims: Vesle et Ardre
Vineyards and grape varieties: 47.6 ha (117.6 acres), of which 61.2% Pinot Meunier, 33.4% Pinot Noir, and 5.4% Chardonnay.
Classification: Premier cru (90%)

Map

The map is linked from Wikimedia Commons, and the geographical information originates from OpenStreetMap. The dotted white area corresponds to the vineyards, light yellow is other open terrain, and green indicates forest.

Neighbouring villages

West, almost westnorthwest: Pargny-lès-Reims (premier cru)
West, almost westsouthwest: Jouy-lès-Reims (premier cru)
Southwest: Ville-Dommange (premier cru)
Eastnortheast: Bezannes (premier cru)
North: Ormes
Comment: the remaining links will be added when those profiles have been uploaded.

The church in Les Mesneux. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Garitan, 2011).

The village

Les Mesneux is located just below the northwestern part of the Montagne de Reims slope, and is therefore part of the ”Petite Montagne de Reims”. The village is located just south of/outside the beltway (and rail line) south of Reims.

The Les Mesneux covers 426 hectares and has 832 inhabitants (as of 2011) referred to as mesneusiens and mesneusiennes.

Vineyards

The vineyards in Les Mesneux consist of mild slopes just below the actual Montage de Reims, and are dominated by Pinot Meunier.

On the now defunct échelle des crus, Les Mesneux was rated 90%, which has made it a  premier cru village.

The current vineyard surface in the Les Mesneux commune is 47.6 hectares (117.6 acres). There are 29.1 ha Pinot Meunier (61.2%), 15.9 ha Pinot Noir (33.4%), and 2.6 ha Chardonnay (5.4%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. There are 15 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 45 ha.

Champagne producers

Champagne growers

Producer status is indicated where known: RM = récoltant-manipulant, or grower-producers. RC = récoltant-coopérateur, growers that are cooperative members but sell Champagnes under their own name.

  • Francis Bougy (RC), has vineyards with 60% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Meunier, and 15% Pinot Noir.
  • Bougy-Moriset & Fils (RC), has Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir in Les Mesneux and Chardonnay in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger.
  • Féry Bourgeois
  • Thierry Griffon (RC), has 6 ha of vineyards with 45% Pinot Meunier, 35% Pinot Noir, and 20% Chardonnay.
  • Bertrand Jacquinet (RC, Facebook page)
  • Jacquinet-Dumez (RM), member of Vignerons Indépendants, has 7 ha of vineyards in Les Mesneux, Sacy, Écueil, and Ville-Dommange. The range includes an oaked Chardonnay named Agathe, that is produced exclusively from the site Les Croisettes in Sacy.
  • Leroy-Bertin (RC), has 6 ha of vineyards with 45% Pinot Meunier, 33% Pinot Noir, and 22% Chardonnay.
  • Michaut Lionel (RC)
  • Trousset Guillemart (RM, Facebook page), member of Vignerons Indépendants.

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2014

Posted in Champagne villages | Leave a comment

Champagne village profile: Vrigny, a premier cru village in the Petite Montagne de Reims

Key facts

Located in: Montagne & Val de Reims: Vesle et Ardre
Vineyards and grape varieties: 90.7 ha, of which 71.1% Pinot Meunier, 19.5% Pinot Noir, and 9.3% Chardonnay.
Classification: Premier cru (90%)

Map

The map is linked from Wikimedia Commons, and the geographical information originates from OpenStreetMap. The dotted white area corresponds to the vineyards, light yellow is other open terrain, and green indicates forest.

Neighbouring villages

North: Gueux
East: Ormes
South: Coulommes-la-Montagne (premier cru)
Westsouthwest: Méry-Prémecy
Comment: the remaining links will be added when those profiles have been uploaded.

The town hall (mairie) of Vrigny. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Garitan, 2012).

The village

Vrigny is located in the ”Petite Montagne de Reims”, the northwestern part of the Montagne de Reims. This village is one of a string of Champagne villages, most of which are classified premier cru.

The Vrigny commune covers 446 hectares and has 205 inhabitants (as of 2011) called vrignolais and vrignolaises.

In the northern part of the commune, we find the A4/E50 motorway between Paris och Reims. It runs over the lower periphery of the Montagne de Reims hill.

The entrance to Vrigny from the north, with vineyards in the background. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Levequefabrice, 2013).

Vineyards

The vineyards in Vrigny consist of mild slopes with varying exposure, including east- and northeast-facing slopes. Pinot Meunier dominates.

On the now defunct échelle des crus, Vrigny was rated 90%, which has made it a premier cru village. One of the last changes in the échelle des crus before it was retired, was that Vrigny and the neighbouring village Coulommes-la-Montagne were raised from 89% to 90% (the rating of several other villages in the Petite Montagne de Reims) and therefore promoted to premier cru status. This change took place in the late 1990s or early 2000s.

The current vineyard surface in the Vrigny commune is 90.7 hectares (224.1 acres). There are 64.5 ha Pinot Meunier (71.1%), 17.7 ha Pinot Noir (19.5%), and 8.4 ha Chardonnay (9.3%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. There are 40 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 87 ha.

Specific vineyard sites and vineyard-designated Champagnes

  • Les Champs de Vallier. Roger Coulon has Chardonnay in this vineyard, and it is used for the oaked and (almost) vineyard-designated Champagne Les Côteaux de Vallier – Héritage.
  • Les Linguets. In this vineyard, Roger Coulon has ungrafted Pinot Meunier vines planted in 1953, that are used for their blanc de noirs vintage cuvée.
  • Les Près is a northeast-facing vineyard with deep sandy soils containing shell fossils. It is one of two vineyards used for Roger Sergent’s cuvée Les Près Dieu, a 100% Chardonnay.

Champagne producers

Champagne growers

Producer status is indicated where known: RM = récoltant-manipulant, or grower-producers. RC = récoltant-coopérateur, growers that are cooperative members but sell Champagnes under their own name.

  •  Arlaux (RC), earlier written Arlaux Père & Fils on the labels, have approx 9 ha of vineyards.
  • Roger Coulon (RM), a member of Vignerons Indépendantes that has 9 ha of vineyards in Vrigny, Coulommes-la-Montagne, and Pargny-lès-Reims. Their Millésime Blanc de Noirs is partly made from Pinot Meunier from ungrafted vines in the site Les Linguets. Les Côteaux de Vallier – Héritage is an oaked Champagne from the site Les Champas de Vallier from almost 100% Chardonnay, that is given a long time before release. Some of the other Champagnes are also oaked, but not all. Below a video where two Americans from GrapeRadio help out with the harvest at Roger Coulon some years ago.

  • Arnold Dravigny (RC)
  • Egly-Ouriet (RM), a high-class producer located in Ambonnay in the Grande Montagne de Reims, makes an excellent monocru Champagne from 2 ha of vineyards in Vrigny, a varietal Pinot Meunier called Les Vignes de Vrigny.
  • B. Féry-Bertin (RM)
  • Hoffmann
  • Marie-France de Latour
  • Lelarge-Pugeot (RM), member of Vignerons Indépendantes with 8.7 ha of vineyards in Vrigny, Coulommes-la-Montagne, and Gueux. The initiated conversion to organic farming in 2010, and the first organic Champagnes from this producer have appeared in the autumn of 2014.
  • Roger Sergent (RM), on some labels also Guillaume Sergent. The top cuvée is a 100% Chardonnay named Les Près Dieu, which is a mixture of grapes from the vineyards Les Près (in Vrigny) and Les Vignes Dieu (in Coulommes-la-Montagne), vinified in large oak barrels.
  • Suply-Henaux (RC)

Cooperatives

  • The cooperative in the neighbouring village Colummes-la-Montagne (located just at the border with Vrigny) is called Coopérative Vinicole Coulommes Vrigny, so it is a cooperative also for Vrigny. It doesn’t seem to have a website.

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2014

Posted in Champagne villages | Leave a comment

Faugères wines from Binet-Jacquet

I recently tasted some wines from Domaine Binet-Jacquet presented by French-Swedish wine merchant Caviste. This is a recently started wine producer, with 2006 as their first vintage.

Wine appellations in Languedoc-Roussillon. Faugères is number 12 in the zoomed part. Map linked from Wikimedia Commons, uploaded by DalGobboM.

Some words on Faugères

These wines are from the Faugères appellation, located approximately in the middle of Languedoc in southern France and consisting of seven communes, of which Faugères is one. The vineyards partly consist of terraces, and characteristic of Faugères is a high proportion of slate in the soils. The wines are blends of several varieties, and as often is the case in Languedoc, some varieties are shared with southern Rhône. The grape varieties that may be used in red Faugères wines are Grenache (G), Lledoner Pelut (LP – a less common grape variety closely related to Grenache), Mourvèdre (M), Syrah (S), Carignan (Ca), and Cinsaut (Ci), with complicated rules as to the proportions allowed. In short, the rules are G+LP+M+S >= 50%, G+LP >= 20%, S >= 15%, M >= 5%, 10% <= Ca <= 40%, Ci <= 20%. This means that a red Faugères always must consist of at least four varieties, and that the proportion may vary between 0-70% Grenache, 0-70% Lledoner Pelut, 15%-65% Syrah, 5%-55% Mourvèdre, 10%-40% Carignan, and 0-20% Cinsaut. However, it’s not too difficult to find wines that seem to step beyond these proportions. Binet-Jacquet only produces red wines, but whites and rosés are also allowed in Faugères.

Binet-Jacquet 20141015

Wines tasted

2013 Domaine Binet-Jacquet Faugères
25% Syrah, 25% Carignan, 25% Mourvèdre, 20% Cinsault, and 5% Grenache. Stored in tanks (no oak) for 10 months. 13.5% alcohol.

Berry-dominated nose with rather ripe red berries and some dark berries, a hint of smoke, spices, and some animal notes. The nose reminds me of Southern Rhône. The palate is medium bodied, again berry-dominated with a mixture of red and dark berries, rather tart berry note and good acidity, some firmness to the tannins and with a good freshness. The palate is cooler in style than the nose, so less Southern Rhône here. Drinks well now, but could probably benefit from at least 1-2 years in the cellar, 88 p.
(Tasted from magnum.)

Based on the nose I would have guessed that this wine had seen some oak, but the palate is more typical of an unoaked red wine, with its fine freshness. The wine isn’t in any way “too light” or in any way “simple”. This should be a wine to the taste of those who are of the opinion that the world has too many overoaked wines.

2012 Domaine Binet-Jacquet Faugères Réserve
40% Grenache, 30% Carignan, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre. Spent 22 months in tanks and old oak barrels. 14% alcohol.

Nose with rather ripe berries, spices, some animal notes, and a very discrete and well integrated oak note. The palate is medium(+) bodied, shows ripe red berries and cherries, good acidity, some tart berries, rather noticeable tannins, and an aftertaste with some tannins and a hint of bitterness. Should probably get at least 1-2 years of cellaring, but 3-4 years would probably be better, 88(+) p.

Compared to the previous wine this shows more animal notes, and in the palate there’s more power and more noticeable tannins.

2011 Domaine Binet-Jacquet Faugères Grande Réserve
40% Mourvèdre, 40% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 10% Carignan. 22 months in oak, of which 20% new. 14.5% alcohol.

Nose with rather ripe dark berries including dark cherries, hints of tar and liquorice, and a well integrated oak note. The palate is medium bodied+ with ripe dark cherries, good acidity and noticeable tannins that are embedded in the fruit, with an aftertaste of dark berries and some tannin. I’d give this at least 2-3 years of cellaring, and considering the Mourvèdre component it should be able to take considerably more cellaring (10 years shouldn’t be a problem), 90(+) p.

This wine is darker in its aromas than the previous two, which isn’t too surprising given its Mourvèdre content and that it has seen a bit more oak. Although it is the most obvious “wine for the cellar” of the three, I also find it easier to drink now than the 2012 Réserve, which is probably more a reflection of the vintage character than of the varietal composition. Since I did mention the Mourvèdre grape, it might be worth mentioning that this wine is a much more “friendly” wine than a typical Bandol.

A very interesting observation is something I don’t find in any of the wines: overly noticeable alcohol. Well done!

Typical for the vintages tasted, 2011, 2012 och 2013, is that they show somewhat different style and quality in different French wine regions. The vintages 2009 and 2010 were much more consistent across all of France. In the south, 2011 was a relatively hot vintage, while 2012 and 2013 were cooler.

As a reference we also tasted:

Domaine Binet-Jacquet Faugères Réserve 2008
The nose shows some developed notes, rather dark berries and spice. The palate is medium bodied(+), with some sweetness of berries, rather dark berries, rather good acidity, spices and somewhat noticeable tannins. Fully developed. I’d say that all the three previous wines, those in current distribution, are better than this wine and will develop better with cellaring, which isn’t too surprising since 2006 was the first vintage produced by Binet-Jacquet.

Swedish version of this post

Posted in Carignan, Grenache, Languedoc-Roussillon, Mourvèdre, Syrah | Leave a comment

Champagne village profile: Coulommes-la-Montagne, a premier cru village in the Petite Montagne de Reims

Key facts

Located in: Montagne & Val de Reims: Vesle et Ardre
Vineyards and grape varieties: 77.1 ha, of which 64.6% Pinot Meunier, 21.3% Chardonnay, and 14% Pinot Noir.
Classification: Premier cru (90%)

Map

The map is linked from Wikimedia Commons, and the geographical information originates from OpenStreetMap. The dotted white area corresponds to the vineyards, light yellow is other open terrain, and green indicates forest.

Neighbouring villages

North: Vrigny (premier cru)
Eastnortheast: Ormes
Southsoutheast: Pargny-lès-Reims (premier cru)
Southwest: Saint-Euphraise-et-Clairizet
West: Méry-Prémecy
Comment: the remaining links will be added when those profiles have been uploaded.

The village

Coulommes-la-Montagne is located in the ”Petite Montagne de Reims”, the northwestern part of the Montagne de Reims. This village is one of a string of Champagne villages, most of which are classified premier cru.

The Coulommes-la-Montagne commune covers 270 hectares and has 227 inhabitants (as of 2011).

Vineyards

The vineyards in Coulommes-la-Montagne are mildly sloping with varying exposure, and are dominated by Pinot Meunier.

On the now defunct échelle des crus, Coulommes-la-Montagne was rated 90%, which has made it a premier cru village. One of the last changes in the échelle des crus before it was retired, was that Coulommes-la-Montagne and the neighbouring village Vrigny were raised from 89% to 90% (the rating of several other villages in the Petite Montagne de Reims) and therefore promoted to premier cru status. This change took place in the late 1990s or early 2000s.

The current vineyard surface in the Coulommes-la-Montagne commune is 77.1 hectares (190.5 acres). There are 49.8 ha Pinot Meunier (64.6%), 16.4 ha Chardonnay (21.3%), and 10.1 ha Pinot Noir (14%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. There are 29 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 74 ha.

Specific vineyard sites and vineyard-designated Champagnes

  • Les ParadisCoulon Père & Fils in Ville-Dommange produces a vineyard-designated blanc de blancs from his vineyard.
  • Les Vignes Dieu is a south-facing vineyard with sandy soils and limestone on the surface. It is one of two vineyards that are used by Roger Sergent (a producer in Vrigny) for the cuvée Les Près Dieu, a 100% Chardonnay.

Champagne producers

Champagne growers

Producer status is indicated where known: RM = récoltant-manipulant, or grower-producers. RC = récoltant-coopérateur, growers that are cooperative members but sell Champagnes under their own name.

  • Augé Père & Fils (RC), has 8.5 ha of vineyards.
  • Guillot Prévot (RC)
  • Hoche Petit (RC), has 4 ha vineyards.
  • Leclere-Minard (RC)
  • Jean-Claude Lépitre (RM), member of Vignerons Indépenants, has 6.4 ha in three villages, Coulommes-la-Montagne, Pargny-lès-Reims, and Chenay (in the Massif de Saint-Thierry).
  • Jean-Marie Massonot (RM, there are also RC-labelled bottles there are probably older)
  • Ponson & Fils (RM) or Pascal Ponson, member of Vignerons Indépenants, has 13.5 ha of vineyards in five premier cru villages.
  • Jean-Marie Sogny (RC)

Comment: It is not certain that the list is complete.

Cooperatives

  • Coopérative Vinicole Coulommes Vrigny, also known as Coopérative de Coulommes la Montagne, doesn’t seem to have a website. It is located directly at the commune border to Vrigny.

The cooperative in Coulommes-la-Montagne. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Levequefabrice, 2013).

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2014, last update 2014-10-29

Posted in Champagne villages | Leave a comment

Champagne village profile: Pargny-lès-Reims, a premier cru village in the Petite Montagne de Reims

Key facts

Located in: Montagne & Val de Reims: Vesle et Ardre
Vineyards and grape varieties: 76.7 ha (189.5 acres), of which 76.7% Pinot Meunier, 18.8% Pinot Noir and 4.4% Chardonnay.
Klassificering: Premier cru (90%)

Karta

The map is linked from Wikimedia Commons, and the geographical information originates from OpenStreetMap. The dotted white area corresponds to the vineyards, light yellow is other open terrain, and green indicates forest.

Neighbouring villages

Northnorthwest: Coulommes-la-Montagne (premier cru)
Northeast: Ormes
East: Les Mesneux (premier cru)
Southsoutheast: Jouy-lès-Reims (premier cru)
Westsouthwest: Saint-Euphraise-et-Clairizet
Comment: the remaining links will be added when those profiles have been uploaded.

The church in Pargny-lès-Reims. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Garitan, 2012).

The village

Pargny-lès-Reims is located mid-slope in the “Petite Montagne de Reims”, the northwestern part of the Montagne de Reims. This village is one of a string of Champagne village, most of which are classified premier cru.

The Pargny-lès-Reims commune covers 362 ha and has 373 inhabitants (as of 2011).

Vingeyards

The vingårdarna consist mostly of northeast-facing slopes on the northern side of the Montagne de Reims, with a high proportion of Pinot Meunier.

The current vineyard surface in the Pargny-lès-Reims commune is 76.7 hectares (189.5 acres). There are 58.8 ha Pinot Meunier (76.7%), 14.4 ha Pinot Noir (18.8%), and 3.4 ha Chardonnay (4.4%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. There are 41 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 72 ha.

Specific vineyard sites and vineyard-designated Champagnes

  • Clos des Chaulins. In this hedge-enclosed vineyard, centrally located in the village, Médot & Cie (then located in Reims) earlier owned 0.68 ha with 55% Pinot Noir, 35% Pinot Meunier, and 10% Chardonnay, and from this plot they produced a non-vintage vineyard-designated Champagne. Since Médot & Cie was bought by Lombard in 2002 (see Lombard & Médot below), it is no longer produced. I don’t know if the vineyard today is owned by Lombard & Médot or someone else.

Champagne producers

Champagne houses/négociants

The producer status NM = négociant-manipulant means that purchased grapes can be included in the Champagnes. NM producers can be anything from small producers that supplement their own grapes with some that they buy in, to large Champagne houses that primarily rely on purchased grapes.

  • Lombard & Médot (NM) has a press house in Pargny-lès-Reims which used to belong to the Médot & Cie (NM) of Reims. Today (2014), Médot is a brand belonging to Lombard & Médot and the main production takes place in Épernay, where Lombard & Cie long have had their seat.

Champagne growers

Producer status is indicated where known: RM = récoltant-manipulant, or grower-producers. RC = récoltant-coopérateur, growers that are cooperative members but sell Champagnes under their own name.

  • Olivier Cossy (RC), on the bottles O. Cossy, has 3.5 ha of vineyards. Olivier Cossy works for the Champagnes de Vignerons organisation where he is rapporteur for communikation since 2011.
  • Pascal Cossy
  • Jackowiak-Rondeau (RC), has 6 ha of vineyards with 55% Pinot Meunier, 30% Pinot Noir, and 15% Chardonnay. Annual production is 50 000 bottles. The Polish-sounding part of the name (on the labels supplemented by a Polish coat of arms) originates with Wladislaw Jackowiak, a Polish officer who after he had been a prisoner of war in Germany 1939-1945 arrived in France and the Champagne region to guard German POWs. He remained and in 1946 married a mademoiselle Rondeau.
  • Leguay-Truchon (RC)
  • Christian Leloir
  • Gérard Leloir
  • Prévoteaux-Lapierre (RC), has vineyards in Pargny-les-Reims and Pévy (in the Massif de Saint Thierry)
  • Christophe Morin (RC)
  • Frédérick Thiebault
  • J. Wafflart Fils (RC)

Comment: It is not certain that the list is complete.

Cooperatives

  • The cooperative in the neighbouring village Jouy-lès-Reims, Coopérative Vinicole Rurale, is also called Coopérative Jouy-Pargny, i.e., it is a cooperative for both villages. It is one of the 82 cooperatives that are members of the major cooperative Centre Vinicole Champagne-Nicolas Feuillatte (CVC-NF), which has its main facilities in Chouilly.

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2014

Posted in Champagne villages | Leave a comment

Champagne village profile: Jouy-lès-Reims, a premier cru village in the Petite Montagne de Reims

Key facts

Located in: Montagne & Val de Reims: Vesle et Ardre
Vineyards and grape varieties: 95.2 ha (235.2 acres), of 55.8% Pinot Meunier, 28.5% Pinot Noir, and 14.6 % Chardonnay.
Classification: Premier cru (90%)

Map

The map is linked from Wikimedia Commons, and the geographical information originates from OpenStreetMap. The dotted white area corresponds to the vineyards, light yellow is other open terrain, and green indicates forest.

Neighbouring villages

Northnorthwest: Pargny-lès-Reims (premier cru)
East: Les Mesneux (premier cru)
Southsoutheast: Ville-Dommange (premier cru)
Westsouthwest: Bouilly
Comment: the remaining links will be added when those profiles have been uploaded.

The church in Jouy-lès-Reims. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Garitan, 2012).

The village

Jouy-lès-Reims  is located mid-slope in the “Petite Montagne de Reims”, the northwestern part of the Montagne de Reims. This village is one of a string of Champagne village, most of which are classified premier cru.

The Jouy-lès-Reims commune covers 186 ha (of which more than half, 95,2 ha, is vineyards) and has 202 inhabitants (as of 2011) called joussiens and joussiennes.

Vineyards

The vineyards are mostly northeast-facing slopes on the northern side of the Montagne de Reims, with a high proportion of Pinot Meunier.

The current vineyard surface in the Jouy-lès-Reims commune is 95.2 hectares (235.2 acres). There are 53.1 ha Pinot Meunier (55.8%), 27.1 ha Pinot Noir (28.5%) och 13.8 ha Chardonnay (14.6%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. There are 47 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 94 ha.

Champagne producers

Champagne growers

Producer status is indicated where known: RM = récoltant-manipulant, or grower-producers. RC = récoltant-coopérateur, growers that are cooperative members but sell Champagnes under their own name.

  • Aubry (RM), also L. Aubry Fils, is a good producer with some odd- and interesting-styled wines. The family history as a Champagne grower goes back to 1790, and today Pierre and Philippe Aubry are in charge. They have 15 ha of vineyards in Ville-Dommange, Pargny-lès-Reims, Jouy-lès-Reims, and Coulommes-la-Montagne. Among other things, Aubry has taken an interest in the “odd” grapes of Champagne, which they started to cultivate in 1989-1990. They harvested their first Arbanne and Petit Meslier 1993, and their first Fromenteau and Enfumé (both Pinot Gris) in 1994. They also cultivate Pinot Blanc. Le Nombre d’Or – with the additional designation Campaniae Veteres Vites (latin for “The old vines of Champagne”) – is a vintage cuvée of all seven allowed grape varieties (i.e., the three regular and the four odd) with a dominance of Pinot Gris. Le Nombre d’Or Sablé Blanc de Blancs is a vintage cuvée on the three allowed blanc varities (Chardonnay, Arbanne, and Petit Meslier). Their Sablé Rosé, a vintage cuvée that was introduced at their bicentenary in 1991, gets its inspiration from the 18th century style of Champagne. In terms of colour it is a vin gris, i.e., it is a pale rosé in colour, thanks to some skin contacts with black grapes (the saignée method), less mousse than usual, and little or no dosage.
  • Jean Aubry & Fils (RM)
  • Bonnet-Crinque (RC), has about 6 ha of vineyards in Jouy-lès-Reims, Pargny-lès-Reims, and Chamery. Has its present name since 1996, used to be called René Bonnet.
  • Jean-François Brunel
  • Caullery-Perseval (RC)
  • F. Cossy (RC), earlier Francis Cossy. Below a French TV-clip, with English subtitles, featuring Sophie Cossy who now runs F. Cossy.

  • Jean-François Dautreville
  • Gross (RC?), has vineyards with about 80% Pinot Meunier, and the rest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Used to be called Bernard Gross & Fils.
  • Patrick Perseval (RC)
  • Vincent Perseval (RC), annual production about 65 000 bottles.
  • Alain Rondeau (RC), has vineyards in Jouy-lès-Reims and Vertus.
  • Didier Rondeau (RC)
  • Jean-Pierre Tual (RC)

Comment: It is not certain that the list is complete.

Cooperatives

  • Coopérative Vinicole Rurale, doesn’t seem to have a website. Also called coopérative Jouy-Pargny, i.e., it is also a cooperative for the neighbouring village, Pargny-lès-Reims. It is one of the 82 cooperatives that are member of the major cooperative Centre Vinicole Champagne-Nicolas Feuillatte (CVC-NF), with its main facilities in Chouilly.

Links

Video clip

Some may have wondered about the small plastic capsules that can often be seen hanging in the vineyards, on the wires used to train the vines. Here the explanation comes. The capsules contain pheromones used for sexual confusion, an environmentally friendly method to combat certain insects (caterpillars) that attack the vines. Below a TV feature (French with English subtitles) where the method is used in vineyards in Jouy-lès-Reims and Pargny-lès-Reims.

© Tomas Eriksson 2014

Posted in Champagne villages | Leave a comment

Champagne village profile: Ville-Dommange, a premier cru village in the Petite Montagne de Reims

Key facts

Located in: Montagne & Val de Reims: Vesle et Ardre
Vineyards and grape varities: 192 ha (474.4 acres), of which 58% Pinot Meunier, 30% Pinot Noir, and 12% Chardonnay.
Classification: Premier cru (90%)

Map

The map is linked from Wikimedia Commons, and the geographical information originates from OpenStreetMap. The dotted white area corresponds to the vineyards, light yellow is other open terrain, and green indicates forest.

Neighbouring villages

Northnorthwest: Jouy-lès-Reims (premier cru)
Northeast: Les Mesneux
(premier cru)
Southeast: Sacy (premier cru)
Southwest: Courmas

Comment: the remaining links will be added when those profiles have been uploaded.

The town hall (mairie) of Ville-Dommange. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Garitan, 2012).

The village

Église Saint-Lié, the church in Ville-Dommange. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Ludo29, 2007).

Ville-Dommange is located mid-slope in the “Petite Montagne de Reims”, the northwestern part of the Montagne de Reims. The village is one of a string of Champagne village, most of which are classified premier cru.

Ville-Dommange is (together with its neighbour Sacy) one of those villages that had a certain name recognition already in the 19th century.

The Ville-Dommange commune extends over 340 hectares and has 417 inhabitants (as of 2011) called villedommangeois and villedommangeoises. It is also common to see the village name written as one unhyphenated word, Villedommange.

Vineyards above the church in Ville-Dommange as seen from the Saint-Lié chapel. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Ojsp58, 2007).

Vineyards

The vineyards consist of mostly east- to northeast-facing slopes on the northern side of the Montagne de Reims. The proportion of Pinot Meunier is high.

The current vineyard surface in the Ville-Dommange commune is 192 hectares (474.4 acres). There are 111.8 ha Pinot Meunier (58%), 57.7 ha Pinot Noir (30%) och 22.3 ha Chardonnay (12%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. There are 96 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 189 ha.

Specific vineyard sites and vineyard-designated Champagnes

  • Clos des Bergeronneau is located directly at the village and is owned by Bergeronneau-Marion. Its size is 2.1 ha with southeast exposure, planted with 75% Pinot Meunier and 25% Pinot Noir. The vineyard in this form was created/named in 2007. So far, Bergeronneau-Marion only uses old Pinot Meunier vines for its vineyard-designated Clos des Bergeronneau Champagne. The first release was from the 2007 vintage, but was sold as a non-vintage.

Champagne producers

Champagne houses/négociants

The producer status NM = négociant-manipulant means that purchased grapes can be included in the Champagnes. NM producers can be anything from small producers that supplement their own grapes with some that they buy in, to large Champagne houses that primarily rely on purchased grapes. ND = négociant-distributeur, which means that they at least partly sell Champagnes produced by someone else, but under their own name.

  • Louis Dubrince (NM?), today (2014) has an address in Ville-Dommange. There are also bottles of  Louis Bubrince where the label says that they are produced by LDJ in Faverolles-et-Coëmy, which is the company behind Jeeper, under an NM code. I’ve not been able to figure out what lies behind this change, but a possibility is that the brand (and possibly facilities in Ville-Dommange) has been sold by LDJ, who got a new majority owner in 2013 following economic difficulties.

Champagne growers

Producer status is indicated where known: RM = récoltant-manipulant, or grower-producers. RC = récoltant-coopérateur, growers that are cooperative members but sell Champagnes under their own name. SR = société de récoltants, owned by a number of growers of the same family and sells under its own name.

  • Auguste-Serrurier has its cellars in Ville-Dommange, but the company seat is in Courmas.
  • Bardoux Père & Fils (RM), member of Vignerons Indépendants, has 4 ha of vineyards with 60% Pinot Meunier, 25% Pinot Noir, and 15% Chardonnay.
  • James Bergeronneau
  • Bergeronneau-Marion (RM), member of Vignerons Indépendants, has an annual production of 90 000 bottles. Produces a vineyard-designated Pinot Meunier from the Clos des Bergeronneau. The labels have earlier also said François Bergeronneau and F. Bergeronneau-Marion.
  • Boisselle & Fils
  • Chanoir-Fresne, has 3.5 ha of vineyards with 1/3 Chardonnay, 1/3 Pinot Noir, and 1/3 Pinot Meunier, and an annual production of 15 000 bottles. They earlier had an address in Bezannes.
  • René Chardonnet & Fils (probably RC), run by Eric Chardonnet and Christophe Chardonnet.
  • Laurent Charlier (SR)
  • Coulon Père & Fils (RC), has 4 ha of vineyards in Ville-Dommange (3 ha, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay) and Coulommes-la-Montagne (1 ha Chardonnay) and an annual production of about 15 000 bottles. The range includes a vineyard-designated blanc de blancs from Les Paradis in Coulommes-la-Montagne.
  • Pascal Devilliers (RM)
  • Fenaut-Bailly (RC), has the main part of their vineyards in Ville-Dommange, but also Pinot Noir in Les Mesneux and Pinot Meunier in Savigny-sur-Ardres, with 50% Pinot Meunier, 35% Pinot Noir, and 15% Chardonnay. Cuvée Albert Fenaut is vinified in large oak barrels, and in the video below Jérôme Fenaut presents this cuvée and the oak barrels, that are located at the cooperative:

  • Fresne Ducret (RM), member of Vignerons Indépendants, has 6 ha of vineyards, of which about 95% i Ville-Dommange, with 55% Pinot Meunier, 35% Pinot Noir, and 10% Chardonnay.
  • Guy Froux et Fils (RC), the company is called Lebrun Froux.
  • Jean-Claude Henry (RC)
  • Infinite Eight (also written Infinite 8), a marketing-focussed producer with mainly  vintage Champagnes.
  • L. Leboeuf & Fils (RC)
  • Frédéric Massonot (RC)
  • S. Mazzini (RC), has vineyards in Ville-Dommange, Jouy-lès-Reims and Montbré, with 42% Pinot Meunier, 36% Chardonnay, and 22% Pinot Noir. The same family also owns a domaine in Burgundy, Domaine Heresztyn-Mazzini in Gevrey-Chambertin. The S in S. Mazzini means Simon, but is written “S.” on the labels.
  • Roger Prioux (RM)
  • Albert Rolin (RM)
  • Truchon-Bergeronneau (RM)
  • Veuve Bardoux & Fils (RC), written Vve on the labels.

Comment: It is not certain that the list is complete.

Cooperatives

  • Coopérative Vinicole de champagnisation, a cooperative founded in 1948, today with 23 members and 50 ha vineyards, and an annual production of 250 000 bottles. The wines are sold under the name:
    • Cl. de la Chapelle, (alternative website with a different look) where “Cl.” apparently is meant to be read “Clos”, but which currently never seem to be spelled out. It might be because most of the their Champagnes doesn’t come from a clos, which is the French term for a wall-enclosed vineyard. Their most ambitious cuvée is the non-vintage Privilege.
  • Société Vinicole des Producteurs, 165 members with 220 ha vineyards. Doesn’t seem to have a website.
  • In Ville-Dommange there are also growers that are members of the Palmer & Co cooperative in Reims. Palmer primarily sources Pinot Meunier from Ville-Dommange (and from the neighbouring village, Sacy).

Links

Video clips

Panorama of Ville-Dommange:

Video from a drone flying over Ville-Dommange:

© Tomas Eriksson 2014, latest update 2014-10-18

Posted in Champagne villages | Leave a comment