Suenen – a high-class blanc de blancs Champagne producer

Last week I tasted some Champagnes from Suenen, a producer located in Cramant in the Côte de Blancs part of Champagne, and part of the range sold by Caviste. Since 2009, Suenen is run by Aurélien Suenen, following the premature passing away of his father. Aurélien has put his mark on the range by progressively phasing out the old cuvées while concentrating the vineyard holdings to Côte des Blancs. Other than Cramant, there are also vineyards in Chouilly and Oiry, all three villages classified grand cru.

Starting from the 2013 vintage, two new non-vintage blanc de blancs were introduced, using grapes from different villages: Oiry and C+C, where the latter originates from Cramant and Chouilly. (They replaced a non-vintage Blanc de Blancs from all three villages, a vintage blanc de blancs, and effectively also a Réserve using Pinots Noir & Meunier from Montigny-sur-Vesle.) These were the two Champagnes I tasted. Although they are non-vintage the base vintage is indicated on the label. Supposedly, some not yet released single vineyard-designated Champagnes are also resting in Suenen’s cellar.

By the way, don’t be fooled by the spread-out vineyard holdings. This small domaine only has a bit over 2 hectares of vineyards, and the production a regular year is some 15-16 000 bottles (yes, bottles, not cases).

I must admit that I really like that Suenen uses an excerpt from the 1944 Larmat Champagne vineyard map on their labels. Below the map from C+C. If the map style seems familiar this is probably because other excerpts in black and white have been used by Jacquesson for their vineyard-designated wines.

The production philosophy is characterised by organic cultivation, low yields, a well-judged use of oak barrel vinification (combined with steel tanks) and very low dosage, max 2 g/l. The result is firm and elegant blanc de blancs with very fine minerality, of the smoky kind, that come across as serious and well made. There is definitely a bit of similarity to white Burgundies. There are good concentration of aromas and depth in the modern Suenen cuvées, but the impression is rather dominated by mineral and firmness than the weight found in some small growers with a “cult” following, such as Selosse or Ulysse Collin. Apparently, Suenen has learnt from Agrapart, an excellent Avize producer, and to some extent this is reflected in the style. However, Suenen Champagnes aren’t quite as “hard” as those of Agrapart, but this could be due to the village(s) of origin. (Champagnes from Avize tend to be “harder” in general than those of the villages where Suenen’s vineyards are located.) I think that the Suenen Champagnes will develop very well with some years of cellaring.

Oiry Blanc de Blancs (base vintage 2014, disgorged June 2017)

Tasted Feb 2018:
Nose with ripe green apples, mineral, discrete notes of yellow plums in the background, slightly flowery with white flowers, elegant. Definitely dry palate with a lot of mineral, some mineral bitterness, citrus, green apples, high acidity, and an aftertaste with green apples and mineral. Young, fine precision and good minerality, 90(+) p.

More accessible than C+C from the same base year. It was said that the bottle had been more mineral dominated when freshly opened (as when I tasted it in November, see below).

Tasted Nov 2017:
Nose with mineral and “Puligny mineral feeling”, apple, and bass notes that indicate weight. The palate is definitely dry with some apple, mineral, and good acidity. A style without compromise and dominated by mineral. Young, 90+ p.

C+C (base vintage 2014, disgorged June 2017)

Tasted Feb 2018:
Nose with smoke, noticeable mineral notes, ripe apples – green and yellow, some spice notes and bass notes. Palate with dominating intense minerality, good concentration, fruit in the background and in particular apples, high acidity, long aftertaste. Young, 92(+) p.

A big wine with more concentration and intensity than the Oiry of the same base vintage. Would be very interesting to follow with some years of development.

Oiry Blanc de Blancs (base vintage 2013)

Tasted Feb 2018:
Nose with mineral, green apples, and some citrus. Dry palate with mineral, green apples, rather good concentration, and an aftertaste with unripe green apple. Young, 89 p.

Compared to Oiry base 2014, this base 2013 is a bit more “pointy” and dominated by acidity.

C+C (base vintage 2013)

Tasted Nov 2017:
Nose with smoky mineral notes, yellow fruit including citrus and hints of tropical fruit. Dry palate with fruit notes including citrus and some peach, good concentration, mineral, and good acidity. Young, 90(+) p.

Compared to Oiry base 2014 (tasted at the same occasion) this shows more weight, more fruity in nose and palate, but not as intense minerality.

In both cases my opinion is that the Champagnes with the 2014 base vintage are better than those with 2013 base vintage, and come across as possessing a bit more weight. This is not what I expected since 2013 has a bit better reputation in general. This may in part be because these new Champagnes from Suenen have become even better in their second release. In any case, they’re quite good both in their 2013 and 2014 versions!

Swedish version of this post.

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Ferdinando Principiano including an excellent 2013 Barolo

French-Swedish online wine dealer Caviste also sells wines from the Piemontese producer Ferdinando Principiano. I tasted the last release in late October, as well as the corresponding wines in 2015 and 2016.

I repeat what I wrote in 2015: Principiano is a producer who have worked for both traditionalists and modernists, and for a time in the 1990s he produced his own modernist wines, which means wines with powerful concentration built on vinification using a lot of extraction, small oak barrels, and quite a bit of new oak. In the early 2000s, he changed his views and aimed for a more non-interventionist style and lighter wines. This means that he comes close to the traditionalists, but I get the impression that his style is more “light and polished” than what may come to mind when some hear the term Piedmontese traditionalist, and several of his wines are in a style that is approachable already on release. This impression still remains after tasting three years’ releases of the wines, but possibly the phrase “elegant and balanced style” should be added. Incidentally, the style of the wines are well aligned to the French wines sold by Caviste. The 2013 Barolo was really excellent!

2016 Dolcetto d’Alba Sant’ Anna
Grape variety: Dolcetto. 10 months in steel tanks, 12% alcohol.

Nose with dark cherries, a hint of tar, some spice. Palate with cherries, rather good concentration of berries, good acidity, rather noticeable tannins and some of the “slightly tough and rough” character typical for Dolcetto. Drinks well now with food, but shows sufficient tannic bite for me to think that it would do well with at least one year of cellaring, 85+ p.

This wine shows a cooler style, in particular on the palate, than the 2015 vintage, which was a ripe vintage that showed more fruit with some plums.

2015 Barbera d’Alba Laura
Grape variety: Barbera. 10 months in steel tanks, 13% alcohol.

Berry-dominated nose with cherries, some tar in the background, and lightly perfumed hints. Palate with cherries, definitely good concentration, rather hot fruit character on the palate, good acidity (but not “disturbingly” high), and some tannins well embedded in the fruit. Rather approachable already, 87 p.

Here, the ripe 2015 vintage has come through in the form of more fruit and a level of acidity which isn’t quite as prominent as often is the case with Barbera. The end result still is a fresh Barbera (unlike the more heavily oaked creations of this region, those that sometime express “Merlot envy”), but a wine which shows more berry notes and is less demanding than usual. To me (and I more frequently drink Nebbiolo d’Alba than Barbera d’same and prefer the former), this results in a more pleasant wine although there may be Barbera purists out there who possess well-tanned palates and prefer the cooler vintages with more demanding acidityr. 🙂

2013 Barolo Serralunga
Grape variety: Nebbiolo, from young vines. Raised 24 months in big oak vats (botti) of 2000-4000 liters, 13,5% alcohol.

Very elegant nose with red berries – cranberries and strawberries, flowery and perfumed notes with in particular white flowers, and hints of tar. A distinctly classical nose in the almost Burgundian and “Pinoty” way. Palate with red berries, cranberries and strawberries, an almost “crystalline” minerality (yes, I know it can be difficult to figure out what this means but this was the association that came into my mind, rather than chalky or stony…), quite good acidity, smooth and polished mouthfeel, noticeable but at the same time polished tannins, as well as a balanced and polished aftertaste. Young but fresh and balanced, and therefore possible to enjoy already if decanted, 92+ p.

These tasting notes are based on a sample that had spent a couple of hours in a decanter. A sample from a freshly opened bottle was similar in the nose, but more closed on the palate, with more prominent tannins and less minerality. But I suppose that all that are used to Piemontese wines already know that if you can’t keep you paws away from a young Barolo, thorough decanting is to be recommended?

As I mentioned, this an exceptionally fine wine for its price. This is an elegant rather than a powerful Barolo that is classical in an accessible interpretation. By that I mean that the tannins are less tough than could be expected for a wine originating from the Serralunga d’Alba village (which tends give tougher wines than e.g. La Morra). The excellent 2013 vintage interacts with producer style of Principiano in a very pleasant way! This vintage is on the cool side, with good acidity and freshness. The previous vintage with a similar profile was 2010. 2011 was more on the hot side (but not massively so), 2012 wasn’t as good but produce “charming” wines that are accessible young. 2014 isn’t very good in Barolo (but more than OK in Barbaresco), and 2015 is on the hot side.

Swedish version of this post.

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Domaine de Marcoux from Southern Rhône

A couple of months ago I tasted some wines from Domaine de Marcoux, a southern Rhône producer, thanks to French-Swedish online wine dealer Caviste. This was the first time I tasted this producer chez Caviste but I have encountered the odd bottle before.

My stylistic impression of the wine is that they are medium bodied, but still with rather generous fruit and distinct acidity – in particular for being from southern Rhône. Taken together, they give a fresh impression and go in the elegant direction, but are still characteristic as southern Rhône wines, i.e., the alcohol can be felt a bit more clearly than in more northern French wines, and there are some presence of dried herb notes. The amount of oak used are on the scale of moderate to none at all, and the extraction is moderate.

Domaine de Marcoux started to use biodynamic cultivation already in the 1980s, and were certified organic in 1991.

2016 Raisin de Loup
Vin de France, originating from vineyards close to the Rhône river. The previous vintage was composed of 54% Syrah, 26% Grenache, and 20% Caladoc. (The latter a grape variety which is supposed to be able to contribute rather much tannins.) Vinified in cement vats (no oak).

A juicy nose in a pure style with cherries together with some dark cherries and blackberries, plus some crushed stones. Juicy palate, again with cherries and some blackberries, good acidity and some reasonably firm tannins which are somewhat prominent. A pleasant wine with somewhat firm palate, could be cellared for some time, 85+ p.

An entry-level wine intended by the producer for uncomplicated drinking. The nose reminded me somewhat of a good “contemporary” Beaujolais, but it is different on the palate. In this vintage, the wine would probably benefit from being cellared for a while, sometime this year or later.

2016 Côtes du Rhône 2016
The previous vintage was composed of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre. Vinified in cement vats (no oak).

Nose with cherries and mixed berries, some flowery notes, liquroice, and crushed stones, There are some character of sweet berries without the wine really giving a hot vintage character. Compared to the previous wine, the nose is bigger and more flowery. Palate with good concentration of berries, notes of cherries and mixed berries, good acidity, some tannins, a slight alcoholic fire in a typical southern Rhône way, and a firm finish. A serious Côtes-du-Rhône that surely would benefit from a few years of cellaring, 88+ p.

2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape
The previous vintage was composed of 85% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, and 5% Syrah. Vinified in a mixture of cement vats and oak barrels of different sizes.

A generous and elegant nose with rather ripe red berries, cherries, a hint of blackberries and liquorice, and some flowery notes. Palate with a good concentration of red berries, a generous character with some alcoholic fire, good acidity, stony minerality, some tannic bite but where the tannins are rather well embedded in the fruit, and a stony aftertaste. Fine balance but with a characteristic southern Rhône style. Young, but approachable now, 90(+) p.

At present, this wine is a bit more accessible than the “middle wine”, but at the same time is the wine that most deserves cellaring.

Swedish version here.

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Champagne village profile: Pontfaverger-Moronvilliers in the Monts de Berru

Key facts

Located in subregion/area: Montagne & Val de Reims / Monts de Berru
Vineyards and grape varieties: 10.6 hectares (26.2 acres), of which 100% Chardonnay.
Classification: “Autre cru” (84%)

Maps

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, orange is built-up areas, and green indicates forest. The black-red dashed line is the departemental border between Marne (where Pontfaverger-Moronvilliers is located) and Ardennes.


Google Maps view with the villages in the Monts de Berru highlighted.

Clicking on a village opens a field to the left with a link to the village profile, if it exists.

Neighbouring villages in the Champagne appellation

West: Selles
Comment: some of the communes on the map are not part of the Champagne appellation, and therefore they have no village profiles.

The church (Église Notre-Dame) and to the right the town hall (mairie) in Pontfaverger-Moronvilliers. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo G.Garitan, 2013).

The village

Pontfaverger-Moronvilliers is located to the east of Reims, on the outskirts of the Champagne wine region.

The main village, at the stream Suippe, is Pontfaverger. Moronvilliers is located to the far south of the commune, in the direction of Prosnes, and it is a village which was completely destroyed in World War I. In 1950, the land of Moronvilliers was transferred to the then-commune Pontfaverger and two other communes, and it changed its name to Pontfaverger-Moronvilliers.

There is a German military cemetery in Pontfaverger, where soldiers who fell in World War I are buried.

The Pontfaverger-Moronvilliers commune covers 3152 hectares and has 1731 inhabitants (as of 2014), referred to as Pontfabriciens and Pontfabriciennes.

Vineyards

The vineyards in Pontfaverger-Moronvilliers are located to the northnortheast of the village, on the Mont Saint-Médard hill, which also stretches into the Selles commune. The vineyards are south-facing and are planted to Chardonnay only.

The current vineyard surface in the Pontfaverger-Moronvilliers commune is 10.6 hectares (26.2 acres). There are 10,6 ha Chardonnay (100%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 7 ha. There is one vineyard owner (exploitant) in the commune, which seems to be Moët & Chandon.

Champagne producers

I haven’t found any Champagne producer which has their seat in Pontfaverger-Moronvilliers.

The German military cemetery in Pontfaverger-Moronvilliers. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo G.Garitan, 2013).

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2017

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Champagne village profile: Selles in the Monts de Berru

Key facts

Located in subregion/area: Montagne & Val de Reims / Monts de Berru
Vineyard and grape varieties: 10.0 hectares (24.7 acres), of which 94% Pinot Meunier and 6% Chardonnay.
Classification: “Autre cru” (84%)

Maps

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, orange is built-up areas, and green indicates forest. The black-red dashed line is the departemental border between Marne (where Selle is located) and Ardennes.


Google Maps view with the villages in the Monts de Berru highlighted.

Clicking on a village opens a field to the left with a link to the village profile, if it exists.

Neighbouring villages in the Champagne appellation

East: Pontfaverger-Moronvilliers
Comment: some of the communes on the map are not part of the Champagne appellation, and therefore they have no village profiles.

The village

Selles is located to the east of Reims, on the outskirts of the Champagne wine region.

The Selles commune covers 1134 hectares and has 391 inhabitants (as of 2014), referred to as Sellois and Selloises.

Vineyards

The vineyards in Selles are located to the northeast of the village, on the Mont Saint-Médard hill, in a block that stretches across the border to Pontfaverger-Moronvilliers. The vineyards are south-facing and are dominated by Pinot Meunier.

The current vineyard surface in the Selles commune is 10.0 hectares (24.7 acres). There are 9,4 ha Pinot Meunier (94%) och 0,6 ha Chardonnay (6%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 8 ha. There is one vineyard owner (exploitant) in the commune, which seems to be Moët & Chandon.

Champagne producers

I haven’t found any Champagne producer which has their seat in Selles.

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2017, last update 2017-08-22

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Champagne village profile: Nogent-l’Abbesse, the central village in the Monts de Berru

Key facts

Located in subregion/area: Montagne & Val de Reims / Monts de Berru
Vineyards and grape varieties: 170.8 hectares (422.1 acres), of which 99.4% Chardonnay and 0.5% Pinot Noir.
Classification: “Autre cru” (87%)

Maps

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, orange is built-up areas, and green indicates forest.


Google Maps view with the villages in the Monts de Berru highlighted.

Clicking on a village opens a field to the left with a link to the village profile, if it exists.

Neighbouring villages in the Champagne appellation

North: Berru
Northwest: Cernay-lès-Reims
Southsouthwest: Puisieulx (in the Grande Montagne de Reims area)
Comment: some of the communes on the map are not part of the Champagne appellation, and therefore they have no village profiles.

The village

The town hall (mairie) in Nogent-l’Abbesse. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo G.Garitan, 2012).

Nogent-l’Abbesse is located a short distance east of Reims.

The Nogent-l’Abbesse commune covers 1016 hectares and has 576 inhabitants (as of 2014), referred to as Nogentais and Nogentaises.

Vineyards

The vineyards in Nogent-l’Abbesse is located to the southwest and northeast of the village, close to the forest-clad hill Mont de Berru, which also stretches into the Berru and Cernay-lès-Reims communes. The vineyards are situated on slopes which mostly face southwest to southeast. The vineyards are completely dominated by Chardonnay.

This village has the largest vineyard surface in the Monts de Berru. On the now defunct echelle des crus scale, Nogent-l’Abbesse was rated the highest (87%, so still an “autre cru”) of the five villages of the area. This is probably because Nogent-l’Abbesse covers much of the southern side of the Mont de Berru hill, as well as having some vineyard that slope a little more than what can be found in the other villages.

The current vineyard surface in the Nogent-l’Abbesse commune is 170.8 hectares (422.1 acres). There are 169.8 ha Chardonnay (99.4%), 0.9 ha Pinot Noir (0.5%), and 0.1 ha others (<0,1%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 169 ha. In 1896, before Phylloxera struck, the area was about 106 ha. There are 152 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

Mont de Berru in Nogent-l’Abbesse as seen from the Fort de la Pompelle, which is found further south. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Garitan, 2012).

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. MA = marque d’acheteur = a brand used on finished bottles bought-in.

  • Jean-Claude Lenne (ND), belongs together with Lenne below.

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.

  • Bastogne-Frérot (RC, Facebook page)
  • René Beaudouin (RC, Facebook page), has only Chardonnay in their vineyards. The range includes a vintage Champagne which is a blanc de blancs.
    History
    From the 1950s until 1972, this producer (which was then called Henri Beaudoin) produced a still vin blanc de Nogent, but then changed to producing Champagne.
  • Beaudouin-Latrompette (RC, Facebook page), has about 6 ha of vineyards with mostly Chardonnay. The range includes two vintage Champagnes, the regular Millésime which is a blanc de blancs from old vines and Symphonie which is composed of 40% Chardonnay, 32% Pinot Meunier, and 28% Pinot Noir.
  • Canivet-Coutant (RC)
  • Michel Chanoir (RC, Facebook page), whose range includes a vintage Champagne which is a blanc de blancs.
  • Coustheur Beaudouin (RC), whose range includes a vintage Champagne.
  • Coustheur-Bonnard
  • Coutant-Chanoir
  • Dupuis-Maurois (RC), whose range includes a vintage Champagne. The company name is Six-Dupuis.
  • Joël Fiévet (RC)
  • Laurent Fossé (Facebook page), also written Fossé Laurent on the label.
  • Huet-Oudin (RC, Facebook page), whose range includes a vintage Champagne which is a blanc de blancs.
  • Lenne (RC, Facebook page), whose range includes a vintage Champagne. Also see Jean-Claude Lenne above.
  • Gabriel Merreaux (RM, Facebook page), whose range includes a vintage Champagne which is a blanc de blancs. The company name is Christine Silvestre.
  • Naudet & Fils (RC), has 3 ha of vineyards of which 90% in Nogent-l’Abbesse and 10% in Chigny-les-Roses and Rilly-la-Montagne.
  • Robert Quantinet
  • Warnet & Fils (RM, Facebook page). The vineyards has a high average age and all Champagnes are kept long in the cellars before being released. Unusually enough, the base wines are given several years of storage in steel tank (not just the reserve wines, but the entire cuvée) before being filled in bottles: three years at the entry level and up to six years on the top level, followed by a more normal time of two to three years in bottle, on the lees from the second fermentation. The total cellaring time is therefore clearly above the average for the region. Cuvée Diamant and L’excellent are both non-vintage blanc de blancs produced from the oldest vines with respectively six and five years of storage on steel tanks. L’Héritage (formerly Grande Cuvée) is a non-vintage blanc de blancs produced from the first pressed grape must, i.e., the first part of la cuvée, and with four years of storage on steel tanks.

Comment: the list may be incomplete.

Cooperatives

When bottles are sold directly by a cooperative the producer status is given as CM = coopérative de manipulation, as opposed to RC when sold by a cooperative member under their own name.

  • Coopérative Vinicole de Nogent-l’Abbesse et Cernay-lès-Reims is a cooperative in Nogent-l’Abbesse with 300 members with 240 ha of vineyards (as of 2013). As far as I know, this cooperative has no Champagne brand of its own.
    History
    The cooperative was founded in 1961 by 80 vineyard owners with a total of 38 ha, after the Champagne houses only bought part of the harvests in the vintages 1955-1960.

The church in Nogent-l’Abbesse. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Garitan, 2012).

Video clips

Pictures from the 2014 harvest in Nogent-l’Abbesse, produced by Naudent & Fils:

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2017

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Champagne village profile: Berru in the Monts de Berru

Key facts

Located in subregion/area: Montagne & Val de Reims / Monts de Berru
Vineyards and grape varieties: 101.4 hectares (250.6 acres), of which 83% Chardonnay, 14% Pinot Meunier, and 3% Pinot Noir.
Classification: “Autre cru” (84%)

Maps

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, orange is built-up areas, and green indicates forest.


Google Maps view with the villages in the Monts de Berru highlighted.

Clicking on a village opens a field to the left with a link to the village profile, if it exists.

Neighbouring villages in the Champagne appellation

West: Cernay-lès-Reims
South: Nogent-l’Abbesse
Comment: some of the communes on the map are not part of the Champagne appellation, and therefore they have no village profiles.

The village

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

Berru is located just east of Reims and has (via the hill Mont de Berru) lent its name to the Monts de Berru area.

The Berru commune covers 1365 hectares and has 513 inhabitants (as of 2014) referred to as Berruyats and Berruyates.

In Berru there is a German military cemetery, with soldiers who fell in World War I.

Vineyards

The vineyards in Berru are located around the village, close to the forest-clad hill Mont de Berru which also stretches into the Cernay-lès-Reims and Nogent-l’Abbesse communes. The vineyards are situated on mild slopes of varying direction. The vineyards are dominated by Chardonnay.

The current vineyard surface in the Berru commune is 101.4 hectares (250.6 acres). There are 84.4 ha Chardonnay (83.2%), 14.0 ha Pinot Meunier (13.8%), and 3.0 ha Pinot Noir (3.0%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 96 ha. There are 81 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

The church in Berru, Église Saint-Martin. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Garitan, 2012).

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.

  • Adam-Jaeger (ND), whose regular range includes two vintage Champagnes: a blanc de blancs and Prestige composed of 61% Chardonnay, 23% Pinot Noir, and 16% Pinot Meunier (refers to the 2008 vintage). Champagnes are also sold under the name Saint German de Crayes, and then only consist of Chardonnay from Berru. This range includes a vintage blanc de blancs.
  • Philippe Costa is a Champagne producer which is associated with the wine producer Tenute Costa in Piedmont, Italy. Some of the Champagnes are said to originate from Berru, others from the premier cru village Grauves in the Côte des Blancs. I haven’t been able to figure out the formal producer status.

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.

  • Lionel Adam (RC), whose range includes a vintage Champagne.
  • Rémi Adam (RC, Facebook page), also Rémi Adam & filles. Estelle Hecht, who in 2014 returned to the family property at 22 years of age, is the poster name of the producer. Belle Boisée is an oak barrel-vinified  vintage blanc de blancs. The older Cuvée Vieilles Vignes and the newly introduced l’Affût are both non-vintage blanc de blancs produced using oak barrel vinification. Also sells Champagnes under the name:
    • B.Liv (Facebook page) which was created by Estelle Hecht together with a female companion.
  • Emmanuel Cosnard (RC), also written Cosnard Emmanuel, has 2.4 ha of vineyards in Nogent-l’Abbesse and Berru. The range includes two vintage Champagnes, where both Blanc de Blancs and Millésime are 100% Chardonnay.
  • Wilfrid Florent (RC, Facebook page)
  • Fourmet-Héry (RC, Facebook page), whose range includes a vintage Champagne and Cuvée Excellence, a non-vintage oak barrel-vinified blanc de blancs.
  • Guyot-Plitt (RC)
  • Philippe-Garot (RC)
  • Jacques Picard (RM), has 17 ha of vineyards in Berru, Avenay-Val-d’Or, and Montbré. Prestige is a vintage Champagne composed of 60% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Meunier, and 20% Pinot Noir (refers to the 2004 vintage). Art de Vigne is an oak barrel-vinified vintage Champagne from older vines composed of 60% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Meunier, and 20% Pinot Noir (refers to the 2003 vintage). Also sells Champagnes under the name:
    • Le Chapitre, where the name is derived from the chapters of the Roman Catholic church due to their historic role in the wine production of the Champagne region. The labels feature a French lily to commemorate the crowning of the French kings in the Reims cathedral.

Comment: the list may be incomplete.

Cooperatives

When bottles are sold directly by a cooperative the producer status is given as CM = coopérative de manipulation, as opposed to RC when sold by a cooperative member under their own name.

  • Société Coopérative Agricole Vinicole de Berru, also SCAV de Berru, is a cooperative in Berru.

Champagne producers in neighbouring villages

Some producers are located in neighbouring communes, which aren’t part of the production zone where the vineyards may be located. Therefore, there are no village profiles for these, but I chose to list some producers here, by commune:

Witry-lès-Reims

  • Boucton-Vettori (RC), which has vineyards in Berru with 80% Chardonnay, 17% Pinot Meunier, and 3% Pinot Noir. The range includes two vintage Champagnes: Cuvée Speciale composed of 60% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, and 10% Pinot Meunier (refers to the 2010 vintage), and a vintage blanc de blancs.

Comment: the list may be incomplete.

Postcard with a view of Berru around 1912. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons.

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2017, last update 2017-08-19

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