Champagne village profile: Loisy-en-Brie in the Val du Petit Morin

Diagram Loisy-en-Brie 201512Key facts

Located in subregion/area: Côte des Blancs / Val du Petit Morin
Vineyards and grape varieties: 71.3 hectares (176.2 acres), of which 59% Pinot Meunier, 32% Chardonnay, and 9% Pinot Noir.
Classification: “Autre cru” (85%)

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, orange is built-up areas, green indicates forest, and blue/purple is water and wetland.

Neighbouring villages

North: Vertus, premier cru (part of the Côte des Blancs)
Northeast: Givry-lès-Loisy
South: Vert-Toulon
West: Beaunay
Northwest: Étoges
Comment 1: some of the communes to the north and west are not part of the Champagne appellation and therefore don’t have any village profiles.
Comment 2: the remaining links will be added when the profile of those village have been uploaded.

The town hall (mairie) of Loisy-en-Brie. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo G.Garitan, 2014).

The village

Loisy-en-Brie is located in the northern part of the Val du Petit Morin, and is located some distance from the Petit Morin. The village is also located south of a small forest which separates it from the Côteaux Sud d’Épernay area.

The Loisy-en-Brie commune covers 1509 hectares and has 204 inhabitants (as of 2013) referred to as Mamains and Mamaines alternatively Masmains and Masmaines.

Vineyards

The vineyards in Loisy-en-Brie is located around the village and consist of mild slopes of varying directions, including southwest- to southeast-facing slopes. Pinot Meunier is the most common grape variety.

The current vineyard surface in the Loisy-en-Brie commune is 71.3 hectares (176.2 acres). There are 41.9 ha Pinot Meunier (58.8%), 22.8 ha Chardonnay (32.0%), and 6.6 ha Pinot Noir (9.3%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 70 ha. There are 37 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

Single vineyard sites in Loisy-en-Brie include Vieilles Grandmeres.

The church in Loisy-en-Brie, Église Saint-Georges. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Methos31, 2008).

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.

  • Camiat & Fils (RM), with their vineyards in Loisy-en-Brie, Givry-lès-Loisy, and Toulon-la-Montagne.
  • Deneufchatel & Fils (RC)
  • Gorisse-Debas (RC), also Jean Gorisse-Debas, has about 6 ha of vineyards. The vintage Champagne is called Cuvée Prestige and consists of 60% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Noir, and 7% Pinot Meunier (refers to the 2005 vintage).
  • Guichon et Fils (RC)
  • Guillaume Rieger (RM)
  • Guillaume-Simon (RC)
  • Bernard Vatel (RC)

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

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2016, last update 2016-01-30

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Champagne village profile: Givry-lès-Loisy in the Val du Petit Morin

Diagram Givry-lès-Loisy 201512Key facts

Located in subregion/area: Côte des Blancs / Val du Petit Morin
Vineyards and grape varieties: 26.1 hectares (64.5 acres), of which 62% Pinot Meunier, 20% Chardonnay, and 18% Pinot Noir.

Classification: “Autre cru” (85%)

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

Neighbouring villages

North: Vertus, premier cru (part of the Côte des Blancs)
Northeast: Soulières
Southeast: Étréchy, premier cru
South: Vert-Toulon
Southwest: Loisy-en-Brie
Comment: one of the communes to the northwest is not part of the Champagne appellation and therefore doesn’t have any village profile.

The village

Church tower in Givry-lès-Loisy. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo François Collard, 2009).

Givry-lès-Loisy is located in the northern part of the Val du Petit Morin, and is located some distance from the Petit Morin. The village is also located south of a small forest which separates it from the Côteaux Sud d’Épernay area.

The Givry-lès-Loisy commune covers 505 hectares and has 88 inhabitants (as of 2013) referred to as Givryats and Givryates.

Vineyards

The vineyards in Givry-lès-Loisy are located around the village and consist of rather mild south- to southeast-facing slopes that are dominated by Pinot Meunier.

The current vineyard surface in the Givry-lès-Loisy commune is 26.1 hectares (64.5 acres). There are 16.1 ha Pinot Meunier (61.7%), 5.3 ha Chardonnay (20.3%), and 4.7 ha Pinot Noir (18.0%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 26 ha. There are 16 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

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.

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

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2016, last update 2016-01-30

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Champagne village profile: Soulières in the Val du Petit Morin

Diagram Soulières 201512Key facts

Located in subregion/area: Côte des Blancs / Val du Petit Morin
Vineyards and grape varieties: 32.6 hectares (80.6 acres), of which 83% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Meunier, and 1.5% Pinot Noir.

Classification: “Autre cru” (85%)

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

Neighbouring villages

North and east: Vertus, premier cru (part of the Côte des Blancs)
Southsoutheast: Étréchy, premier cru
Southwest: Givry-lès-Loisy
Comment: some of the communes on the northern part of the map are not part of the Champagne appellation and therefore don’t have any village profiles.

The church in Soulières, Église Saint-Martin. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo François Collard, 2009).

The village

Soulières is the northernmost Champagne village of the Val du Petit Morin, and is located some distance from the Petit Morin. The village is also located on the back side of the Côte des Blancs hill, and south of a small forest which separates it from the Côteaux Sud d’Épernay area.

The Soulières commune covers 604 hectares and has 138 inhabitants (as of 2012), referred to as soulièrats and soulièrates.

Vineyards

The vineyards in Soulières is located west and south of the village and consists mostly of mild slopes of varying direction, including south-, west-, and east-facing slopes. The vineyards are continuous with those in Givry-lès-Loisy and are dominated by Chardonnay.

The current vineyard surface in the Soulières commune is 32.6 hectares (80.6 acres). There are 27.1 ha Chardonnay (83.1%), 5.0 ha Pinot Meunier (15.3%), and 0.5 ha Pinot Noir (1.5%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 32 ha. There are 8 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

Single vineyard sites in Soulières include Les Crochettes.

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. Smaller producers with unknown status are placed under this heading.

  • Denis-Fransoret (RC), has slightly more than 7 ha of vineyards with 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Meunier. The vintage Champagne is a blanc de blancs.
  • Alain Roux (RC)
  • Tange-Gérard (RC), which is run by Solveig Tange, who is Danish, and Alain Gérard, who comes from this area. They have 3 ha in Soulières, Givry-les-Loisy, and Loisy-en-Brie with 1.2 ha Chardonnay, 1.2 ha Pinot Meunier, and 0.2 ha Pinot Noir. The range includes a vintage blanc de blancs. Solveig has a blog called Bobler/Bubbles which includes a mixture of posts in Danish and English.

Comment: the list may not be complete.

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2016, senaste uppdatering 2016-01-20

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Champagne village profile: Vertus, a premier cru in the Côte des Blancs

Diagram Vertus 201506Key facts

Located in subregion/area: Côte des Blancs / Côte des Blancs
Vineyards and grape varieties: 541.2 hectares (1337.3 acres), of which 90.5% Chardonnay, 9% Pinot Noir, and 0.4% Pinot Meunier.
Classification: Premier cru (95%)
Noted for: Chardonnay from premier cru-classified vineyards, home village of Duval-Leroy.

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, orange is built-up areas, green indicates forest, and blue/purple is water and wetland.

Neighbouring villages

Northnortheast: Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, grand cru
Northeast (but mostly beyond Voipreux): Villeneuve-Renneville-Chevigny, premier cru
East: Voipreux, premier cru
South: Bergères-les-Vertus, premier cru
Southwest: Étréchy, premier cru (part of the Val du Petit Morin)
Westsouthwest: Soulières (part of the Val du Petit Morin)
Westsouthwest (beyond Soulières): Givry-lès-Loisy (part of the Val du Petit Morin)
West: Loisy-en-Brie (part of the Val du Petit Morin)
Comment: the Vertus comune stretches west into a forest area and has many neighbours that are not part of the Champagne appellation and therefore don’t have any village profiles.

Vertus surrounded by vineyards. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo G.Garitan, 2015).

The village

Vertus is located is located southsoutheast of Épernay, in the southern part of the “genuine” Côte des Blancs slope. The actual village is located in the slope and below it.

The Vertus commune covers 3568 hectares (and includes a forest area to the west of the Côte des Blancs slope) and has 2456 inhabitants (as of 2012) referred to as vertusiens and vertusiennes.

The town hall of Vertus. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo François Collard, 2010).

Vineyards

The vineyards in Vertus are located around the village and continue a good distance down on the flat land. East-facing slopes dominate in the village, but there are also some southeast-facing slopes and smaller amounts of other directions where the hillside is “wrinkled”. The inclination varies, is generally less in the southern part of Vertus, and quite some amount of vineyards below the village and around the D9 road are located on almost flat land. Chardonnay dominates greatly, but there is also a smaller proportion of Pinot Noir.

The current vineyard surface in the Vertus commune is 541.2 hectares (1337.3 acres). There are 489.9 ha Chardonnay (90.5%), 48.9 ha Pinot Noir (9.0%), 2.2 ha Pinot Meunier (0.4%), and 0.2 ha övrigt (<0.1%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 527 ha. There are 470 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

Champagne houses that control vineyards in Vertus include Bollinger, Duval-Leroy, Moët & Chandon, Piper-Heidsieck, Roederer, and Taittinger.

In former times, a large proportion of Pinot Noir was cultivated in Vertus, and the village is the only one directly on the Côte des Blancs slope that have noticeable amounts of Pinot Noir, although it is only 9%. There are also some producers of still red wine (Coteaux Champenois) in the village, usually under the name Vertus Rouge.

Vineyards north of Vertus, in the direction of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Most of the vineyards in the picture are located within the borders of Vertus. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Szeder László, 2007).

Single vineyard sites

  • Les Barillers is located mid-slope north of the village and is southeast-facing. It is one of two sites (together with Les Faucherets, which is located below Les Barillers) used for Larmandier-Bernier’s vintage blanc de blancs Terre de Vertus.
  • Clos de l’Abbaye. Doyard produces a vineyard-designated vintage blanc de blancs from a 0.5 ha plot in this vineyard site, planted in 1956.
  • Clos des Belvals, a vineyard site of 1.2 ha. Since the 2006 vintage, Person produces a vineyard-designated vintage blanc de blancs from this vineyard, consisting of Chardonnay planted in 1969. Henri Geoffroy seems to have been the former owner, because there are older Clos des Belvals bottles from that producer.
  • Clos des Bouveries, an east-facing vineyard of 3.5 ha mid-slope directly above Vertus, located to the northwest as seen from the centre of the village. Duval-Leroy has long been the owner and produces a vineyard-designated 100% Chardonnay Champagne from this vineyard site.
  • Clos Faubourg Notre-Dame is a 0.29 ha vineyard immediately north of the village which since 1930 is a monopoly of Veuve Fourny. They produce a vineyard-designated Champagne (but exclude the Faubourg part of the name) consisting of 100% Chardonnay from this site.
  • Les Faucherets is located in the lower part of the slope and on flatter land northeast of the village, and is southeast-facing. It is one of two sites (together with Les Barillers, which is located above Les Faucherets) used for Larmandier-Bernier’s vintage blanc de blancs Terre de Vertus.
  • La Justice, which is used by Michel Maillaird for a vineyard-designated vintage blanc de blancs.
  • Les Rouges Monts is located closest to the edge of the forest southwest of the village and is a southeast-facing vineyard. Veuve Fourny produces a vineyard-designated rosé from this site.

Postcard from 1921 showing the Clos des Bouveries, or “Les Bouveries” as the name is given, then also in the ownership o Duval-Leroy. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (uploaded by Jean Poyet).

Champagne producers

Major Champagne houses, members of the Union des Maisons de Champagne

  • Duval-Leroy (NM), a family-owned Champagne house with about 200 ha vineyards (including leased?) with a high proportion of Chardonnay. Since 1991, this house is led by Carol Duval-Leroy. The vintage Champagne is a 100% Chardonnay. The prestige cuvée is called Femme de Champagne and is composed mostly of Chardonnay with a smaller proportion of Pinot Noir. At least the Chardonnay component is vinified in oak and in the 2000 vintage is was sourced from the vineyard sites Mont-Aigu in Chouilly, Chapelle in Avize, Terre de Noël in Oger, as well as Chetillon and Aillerand in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Vintages include 1990, 1995, 1996 (75% Ch), and 2000. They have also started to release half bottles, then significantly younger, and vintages include 2004 (87% Ch). A Femme de Champagne Rosé de Saignée has also been added to the range, vintages include 2006. Clos des Bouveries is a vineyard-designated Chardonnay from Vertus, produced vintage-dated and partly vinified in oak. The Authentis series consists of various “special Champagnes” from a certain village or an unusual grape variety and generall seems to be vinfied in oak, vintage-dated and single variety. Village-designated (monocru) Champagnes in this range include Bouzy (Pinot Noir) and Cumières (Pinot Noir). Petit Meslier is a varietal Champagne from this very unusual grape. Vintages include 1998 and 2005. Some of the Duval-Leroy Champagnes are certified organically.
    History
    The house was founded in 1859 by négociant Edouard Leroy from Villers-Franqueux and the vine-grower and winemaker Jules Duval from Vertus. Jules’ son Henri and Edouard’s daughter Louise Eugénie married and the result was the Duval-Leroy family, which still owns the house. In 1991 Jean Charles Duval-Leroy died at 39 years of age, and his widow Carol Duval-Leroy (who originates from Belgium) took over the management of the company. Duval-Leroy has been quite expansive, in particular in the late 20th century, but also in the early 21st century. Sales have gone from 400 000 bottles in 1970 via 4 million bottles in 2000 to 5.2 millions in 2006. Earlier, a large part of the production of the house went to the “byers own brand” market, but the proportion sold under the Duval-Leroy name has increased. Older bottles from Edouard Leroy & Co (NM) likely originates from this house.

The Duval-Leroy facility in Vertus. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (uploaded by Duval-Leroy 2007).

Other 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.

  • Barons de Rothschild. The company address is in Reims, but they also have a facility in Vertus. The grapes originate from about 70 ha of vineyards, mostly under contract. Their own vineyards consist of the 1 ha Clos Prieur. The Champagnes of their range have a high proportion of Chardonnay (60%-100%). The annual production is about 300 000 bottles (information from 2014), but is likely on its way with, with an initial aim of 500 000 bottles in a few years. So far, the range consists of three non-vintage Champagnes: Brut, Rosé, and Blanc de Blancs. A prestige cuvée is also supposed to the on its way, but it could take until about 2020 before it is launched.
    History
    The project was initiated in 2005 by three Bordeaux-based branches of the Rothschild family (the owners of Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Mouton Rothschild, and Château Clarke) and they started to cooperate with the cooperative La Goutte d’Or in Vertus regarding production. In 2007, the cellar in Vertus that had been used by Ch. & A. Prieur was bought to be used for cellaring the Champagnes; this was a Champagne house that was bought in 2005 by La Goutte d’Or. In 2010, a new vinification facility was ready, and in 2013 an additional house in Vertus was purchased. The first Champagnes were sold in 2009, in Japan, and they started to sell in somewhat larger scale in 2011. Decades ago, there used to be a Champagne called Réserve Baron Philippe de Rothschild, but it was produced first by Ruinart and then Henriot, both Reims-based houses. Philippe de Rotschild (1902-1988) was the owner of Château Mouton Rothschild.
  • Jean-Paul Boulonnais (NM), also written J. Paul Boulonnais.
  • Guy Jacopin (NM)
  • Ch. & A. Prieur (NM), a house that since 2005 is owned by the La Goutte d’Or cooperative, but which before that was its own Champagne house. The vintage Champagne consists of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir (refers to the 2000 vintage). The Champagnes were largely sold under the brand Napoléon, sometime written as Grand Champagne Napoléon, which is now owned and produced by La Goutte d’Or (see below).
    History
    The house was founded in 1825 by Jean-Louis Prieur, initially under the name Prieur-Pageot, and later Ch. & A. Prieur, named for his two sons Charles and Alphrède. It is supposed to have been the first Champagne house in Vertus, and in 1887 it was one of the original members of the Syndicat des Grandes Marques de Champagne. The brand Napoléon was used at least since the 1890s and was registered by them in 1907, and was created following a proposal by a Russian importer. The house was bought in 2005 by the cooperative La Goutte d’Or in Vertus, and they have continued to use both the Prieur and the Napoléon name. In 2007, the former facilities of Prieur were sold sold to Barons de Rothschild.
  • Paul Verty (NM), which probably doesn’t exist any longer.
  • Veuve Fourny & Fils (NM), on the labels written Vve Fourny, is a smaller producer with a good reputation. Has 9 ha of vineyards of their own and an annual production of 160 000 bottles. Some of the Champagnes are vinified in oak. Monts de Vertus is a vintage blanc de blancs from some vineyard sites in Vertus. R is an oak-vinified non-vintage Champagne composed of about 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir, named for Roger who was one of the founders of the company, and it usually receives good reviews. Les Rougesmonts is a vineyard-designated rosé saignée, non-vintage. The top Champagne is called Cuvée du Clos Notre-Dame and is a vineyard-designated vintage blanc de blancs from the vineyard site Clos Faubourg Notre-Dame.

Roundabout in Vertus with a flower arrangement shaped like a Champagne bottle. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Szeder László, 2007).

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. Smaller producers are placed under this heading when no information regarding producer status is available.

  • Roger Arrouart (RC), with two vintage Champagnes in the range, a blanc de blancs and Cuvée Spéciale composed of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir (refers to the 2006 vintage).
  • Bernard & Doublet (RC), doesn’t seem to be the same producer as Bernard Doublet & Fils below.
  • Bonnet Launois
  • René Bouché (RC), says that they are located in Vertus but has an address in Oger.
  • Bourgeois-Boulonnais (RM), has 5.5 ha of vineyards and produces a vintage blanc de blancs.
  • Cernel-Quénardel (RC, Facebook page)
  • Paul Charpentier (RC), run by Vincent Charpentier, has two vintage Champagnes, a blanc de blancs and Prestige which consists of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir.
  • Philippe Charpentier (RC)
  • Colin (RM), a member of Vignerons Indépendants with 10 ha of vineyards where the majority is Chardonnay in Vertus, Bergères-les-Vertus, Cuis, Cramant, and Oiry, but also has Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in Sézanne and vineyards in Venteuil and Dormans. The range includes six vintage Champagnes: Parenthèse, composed of 88% Chardonnay and 12% Pinot Noir (refers to the 2009 vintage), Enjôleuse which is a blanc de blancs Brut from Vertus, Coup de Cœur which is a blanc de blancs Extra Brut from Vertus, Grand Cru which is a blanc de blancs from Cramant and Oiry, Roger Adnot which are old vintages of blanc de blancs and Rosée de Saignée which is 100% Pinot Noir from Vertus.
  • Christophe Collard (RC), formerly Michel Collard, which has two vintage Champagne, a blanc de blancs and Grande Réserve which is composed mostly of Chardonnay but also a small proportion of Pinot Noir.
  • Couchou-Meillot (RC), see Guy Faucheret below.
  • Bernard Désautels (RC)
  • Jean-Claude Doquet (RC)
  • Pascal Doquet (SR), a producer with 8.66 ha of vineyards that in 2007 started work on an organic certification (AB), and whose first so-certified harvest was 2010. Has four vintage blanc de blancs originating from different villages: Le Mont Aimé (which is on the border of Bergères-lès-Vertus and Val-des-Marais), Vertus of which one-third if vinified in oak (refers to the 2004 vintage which is a pure Chardonnay, while the 2002 contained 30% Pinot Noir and was 100% vinified in oak), Le Mesnil-sur-Oger Grand Cru of which half is vinified in oak, and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes which originates from old vines and is produced without malolactic fermentation.
  • Bernard Doublet & Fils (RC), doesn’t seem to be the same producer as Bernard & Doublet above.
  • Patrick Doublet
  • René Doublet (RC)
  • Doublet-Hadot (RC), the range of which includes a vintage blanc de blancs.
  • Doyard (RM), member of the small grower organisation Les Artisans du Champagne with slightly more than 10 ha of vineyards in Vertus, Oger, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Avize, Cramant, and Aÿ. The entire range is partly or fully vinified in oak barrels. The range includes a vintage blanc de blancs which is fully vinified in oak. Clos de l’Abbaye is a vineyard-desigated vintage blanc de blancs vinified in oak. La Libertine is a sweet blanc de blancs (60 g/l) with quite a bit of notes of maturity, lower pressure, and old-fashioned string closure. This Champagne resulted from an ambition to imitate the first sparkling Champagne wines of the 18th century, and is a quite different experience. Note that the family behing André Jacquart (below) also is called Doyard.
  • Doyard-Mahé (RM), has about 6 ha of vineyards. The vintage Champagne is a blanc de blancs, and also exists in an Extra-Brut version called EB. The range also includes a Vertus Rouge.
  • Guy Faucheret (RC), has vineyards in Vertus, Bergères-lès-Vertus, and Voipreux. Sell Champagnes both under the name Guy Faucheret and under Couchou-Meillot. Both ranges includes a vintage Champagne which is a blanc de blancs.
  • M Férat & Fils is used as the name of two producer with so similar ranges that I suspect that it could be a recently performed split into two:
    • M Férat & Fils (Pascal Férat, RC), can be recognised from the one-coloured labels with a “modern” look. Has two vintage Champagne, a blanc de blancs and Perennité (ex-Prestige?) composed of 85% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Noir från Verzenay.
    • M Férat & Fils (Jacky & Catherine Férat, RC), can be recognised from labels of a more “traditional” look, that are gold coloured for the higher parts of the range. Has 7 ha of vineyards, a large part in Vertus, Bergères-les-Vertus, and Voipreux, but also in Soulières and Loisy-en-Brie. Has two vintage Champagnes, a blanc de blancs and Prestige which is composed of 90-95% Chardonnay and 5-10% Pinot Noir.
  • Philippe Haumont (RC), the range of which includes two vintage Champagnes: a blanc de blancs and Prestige, which consists of 54% Chardonnay and 46% Pinot Noir (refers to the 2003 vintage).
  • Haumont-Ozbolt (RC)
  • André Jacquart (RM), a good producer which has 23 ha of vineyards, of which 16 ha Chardonnay in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Vertus, 3 ha Pinot in Aube (the south part of Champagne) and 4 ha Pinot in Aisne (the western part of Champagne). The entire range is partly vinified in oak and the dosage is low, and they only seem to use their Côte des Blancs vineyards for their own Champagnes, which represent an annual production of about 100 000 bottles. The range includes a vintage blanc de blancs named Millésime Experience. Since siblings Marie and Benoit Doyard (André Jacquart is their materal grandfather) took over in 2004, they have changed style and received attention for higher quality. Until 2004, the producer was located in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, has been called A. Jacquart & Fils on the label and they used to be a Special Club producer. The company of the owning family is indicated as S.C.M.D. Vinum on the labels, and this part of the Doyard family since 1990 also has a property on the right bank in Bordeaux by the name Château Chantegrive. This producer should not be confused with the large cooperative Jacquart in Reims, or with the producer Doyard above (which probably is a relative).
  • Serge Jumel (RC), the range of which includes two vintage Champagnes, a blanc de blancs and Probus which consists of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir.
  • Philippe Landreat (RM)
  • Guy Larmandier (RM), has 9 ha of vineyards and an annual production of 90 000 bottles. The range includes a vintage blanc de blancs and a Vertus Rouge.
  • Larmandier-Bernier (RM), a well-known producer with about 15 ha of vineyards in Vertus, Cramant, Chouilly, Oger, and Avize with 85% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Noir. The vineyards are biodynamically cultivated and the Champagnes are partly vinified in oak, and have low (Extra Brut) or no dosage, which taken together means a style which is typical for modern biodynamical producers. Of two non-vintage blanc de blancs, Latitude (ex-Tradition) originates from the southern part of Vertus, while Longitude (ex-Blanc de Blancs) originates from Vertus, Oger, Avize, and Cramant and is supposed to be the more mineral-dominated of the two. The three vintage blanc de blancs originate from one village each: Terre de Vertus (first vintage 1995) is sourced from two vineyard sites in Vertus, Les Barillers and Les Faucherets, Vieille Vigne du Levant (ex-Vieille Vigne du Cramant, first vintage 1988) comes from old vines in the site Bourron du Levant in Cramant, and Les Chemins d’Avize (first vintage 2009) is sourced from two vineyard sites in Avize, Chemin de Flavigny and Chemin de Plivot. They used to be a Special Club producer, and their Special Club was a blanc de blancs, which seems to have been produced until the 2000 vintage.
  • Dominique Lefèvre (RC)
  • Les Vertus d’Elise (RM), which has been named for Élise Guyot, who founded the domaine in 1920. The range includes a vintage blanc de blancs. Cuvée Solal is a blanc de blancs Extra Brut which seems to have been sold both as non-vintage and as vintage-dated. Cuvée Élise-Ambre is a non-vintage blanc de blancs vinified in oak barrels.
  • Malin Didier (RC), formerly Malin-Gobin.
  • Bernard Mailliard (RC)
  • Michel Mailliard (RM), which has 23 ha of vineyards with mostly Chardonnay, of which just below half in Vertus with surroundings. Cuvée Grégory is their non-vintage standard Champagne, today composed of 95% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Noir. Some different older batches of this cuvée are available in their Oenotheque range. The range also includes four vintage blanc de blancs: Cuvée Prestige, L’Oger from the grand cru village Oger, and the two vineyard-designated Mont Vergnon and La Justice, where the latter is sold at a higher age. Has a mansion called Château de St Mard in Saint-Mard-Lès-Rouffy, a village just east of the Côte des Blancs.
  • R. Massard Père & Fils (RC)
  • E. Michel, the range of which includes Ultime Vintage which is a blanc de noirs from 100% Pinot Noir.
  • Guy Moreaux (RC)
  • Peccavet-Pottier (RC)
  • Perard-Mangeot (RC), has 2.46 ha of vineyards.
  • Pernet & Pernet, which has two vintage blanc de blancs, where Spéciale comes from grand cru vineyards and has not gone through malolactic fermentation.
  • Perrot-Boulonnais Fils (RM), has 9 ha of vineyards.
  • Person (RM), which calls most of their Champagnes L’Audacieuse. The Champagnes are partly or fully vinified in oak barrels. The range also includes Le Clos des Belvals, a vineyard-designated vintage Champagne which is an oaked Chardonnay that has been produced from the 2006 vintage, when they became owners of the vineyard. The pricing of this Clos Champagne is very ambitious.
  • Charles Pougeoise (RM), member of Vignerons Indépendants with 10 ha of vineyards, all in Vertus. The vintage Champagne is a blanc de blancs.
  • Jacques Pougeoise & Fils (RC)
  • Patrick Pougeoise (RM)
  • Pougeoise-Henocq (RC)
  • Michel Rogué (RC)
  • René Rutat, with 7 ha of vineyards and a range that includes a Vertus Rouge.
  • Sanchez-Collard (RC, blog), the range of which includes a vintage blanc de blancs.
  • Eraldo Schirru
  • André Thomas (RC)
  • Frédéric Thomas (RC), which sells some Champagnes under the name of Saint-Sauveur, since they are located in a building that used to belong to Abbaye de Saint-Sauveur. The vineyards are located in Vertus and Congy and includes a clos (not named on their website) of 1.5 ha. The vintage Champagne (which is part of the Saint-Sauveur range) has a varying composition: the 2006 consists of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir while the 2007 is 100% Chardonnay.
  • Wanesse-Person (RC)
  • Michel Weynand (RC)

Comment: the list may not be complete.

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

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 “Henri Augustin”,  a cooperative founded in 1927 that since 1992 is a member of the major cooperative Union Champagne (with De Saint Gall as the main brand) which has its main facility in Avize. Has 59 members with 30 ha of vineyards.
  • Coopérative La Goutte d’Or is a cooperative in Vertus founded in 1950(?). Has 130 members with 120 ha of vineyards, mostly in Vertus. Sells Champagnes under the brands:
    • Paul Goerg, which was named for a former mayor of Vertus who were beneficial for the vine-growers. This name has been used since 1984. The annual production under this name is 300 000 bottles. The vintage Champagne is a Blanc de Blancs. The prestige Champagne is called Cuvée Lady, has a big picture of a faceted diamond on the label and is composed of 85% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Noir (refers to the 2004 vintage).
    • Napoléon, a brand that used to be owned by the Champagne house Ch. & A. Prieur (see above for history and so on), that the cooperative bought in 2005. The vintage Champagne is composed of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir and is sold with a high age, at least 10 years before disgorgment (the 2000 vintage seems to have been launched in 2014).
    • Ch. & A. Prieur which was bought by them in 2005, see above.
    • This cooperative also produces Champagnes for Barons de Rothschild, see above.
  • Coopérative La Vigneronne (CM) is a cooperative in Vertus. Not to be confused with Coopérative La Vigneronne in Serzy-et-Prin. The Vertus cooperative also sells Champagnes under the brand:
    • Eustache Deschamps, named for the poet and diplomat of this name, who was born in Vertus and lived 1340-1406. The range includes a vintage blanc de blancs.
  • Coopérative Vinicole de Vertus (C.V.V.), a cooperative founded in 1949 that since 1966 is a member of the major cooperative Union Champagne (with De Saint Gall as the main brand) which has its main facility in Avize. Has 236 members with 175 ha of vineyards.

Porte Baudet, the only gate in the fortified wall around Vertus that is preserved. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Francois C, 2006).

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2015-2016, last update 2016-01-30

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Champagne village profile: Bergères-lès-Vertus, a premier cru in the Côte des Blancs

Diagram Bergères-lès-Vertus 201510Key facts

Located in subregion/area: Côte des Blancs / Côte des Blancs
Vineyards and grape varieties: 220.5 hectares (544.9 acres), of which 97% Chardonnay, 2.3% Pinot Noir, and 0.5% Pinot Meunier.

Classification: Premier cru (95%)
Noted for: Chardonnay from premier cru-classified vineyards.

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

Neighbouring villages

North: Vertus, premier cru
Southwest: Val-des-Marais, premier cru
Westnorthwest: Étréchy, premier cru (part of the Val du Petit Morin)
Comment: some of the communes on the map, in particular on the flatlands to the east, are not part of the Champagne appellation and therefore don’t have any village profiles.

Bergères-lès-Vertus with vineyards in the background. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Szeder László, 2007).

The village

Bergères-lès-Vertus is located to the southsoutheast of Épernay, at the southern outpost of the “genuine” Côte des Blancs slope. The village itself is located below the slope.

The forest-clad Mont Aimé hill is located on the border between Bergères-lès-Vertus and Val-des-Marais, i.e., in the southern part of the commune. In the Medieval age there was a fortified castle on this hill.

The Bergères-lès-Vertus commune covers 1828 hectares and has 588 inhabitants (as of 2012) referred to as bergeronnets and bergeronnettes.

Hostellerie du Mont Aimé is an hotel in the village which also runs an ambitious restaurant.

Vineyards

The vineyards in Bergères-lès-Vertus are mostly located on the southern part of the Côte des Blancs slope, and these are continuous with the vineyards in Vertus. A large part of these vineyards are eastsoutheast-facing, but at the end of the slope, the direction turns to south. Other than these, there are also vineyards in the southern part of the commune, on the eastern side of the Mont Aimé hill. These vineyards are approximately east-facing and are continuous with those in Val-des-Marais. Chardonnay dominates greatly in the vineyards.

The current vineyard surface in the Bergères-lès-Vertus commune is 220.5 hectares (544.9 acres). There are 214.0 ha Chardonnay (97.0%), 5.1 ha Pinot Noir (2.3%), 1.0 ha Pinot Meunier (0.5%), and 0.4 ha others (0.2%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 217 ha. There are 109 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

Champagne houses that control vineyards in Bergères-lès-Vertus include Bollinger, Duval-Leroy, Moët & Chandon, and Piper Heidsieck.

Vineyards on the southeastern side of the Mont Aimé. The photo is taken from the D9 road, approximately on the commune border between Val-des-Marais (to the left) and Bergères-lès-Vertus (to the right). The vineyards closest to the forest are located on the Bergères-lès-Vertus side. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo Szeder László, 2007).

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.

  • Hatt et Söner (ND, fomerly RC – see discussion below), a Swedish-owned Champagne house that sold their first bottles under this name in 2012. The current range (2015) includes a entry-level blanc de blancs called Grande Cuvée. At the launch in 2012, it was non-vintage, but in early 2014 it changed into a vintage Champagne, then the 2008 vintage. The current vintage at the end of 2015 is the 2009. Other than the regular Brut version there is also an Extra Brut. There is also a rosé that has remained non-vintage, and which in late 2015 is said to be composed of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir, from the 2009 and  2010 vintages. (The rosén is today the only non-vintage Champagne of their range.) The prestige Champagne is called Le Grand-Père and is a blanc de blancs launched in 2012 in the 2004 vintage. The vintages that have followed are 2005 and 2006 (the current vintage in late 2015, the grape origin is 80% Oger and 20% Bergères-lès-Vertus). There is also an Oger which is a blanc de blancs not generally available, only by invitation. The current vintage in late 2015 is the 2005. They also have an activity called “Personal Vintage” where customers can buy the possibility to influence the style of Champagnes produced for them. Overall, my impression is that their entry level (Grande Cuvée) is quite OK, but that their “prestige” so far not has been at the level you should expect. However, I’m willing to revise this view if my impression change. One reason I point this out is that Hatt et Söner still are in a build-up phase, and in a few years they aim at starting to sell Champagnes produced by themselves. Those sold so far have been produced by Coopérative la Vigneronne in Vertus. Initially (2012) they sold under RC status (in similarity to François Vallois), but some time later (in 2013 or 2014), the labels instead read ND. The thought is apparently to go for NM status in the future, i.e., to sell Champagne produced by themselves but where bought-in grapes or must can be included. It will be interesting to follow where this leads to. Their idea is to only produce vintage-dated Champagnes (apparently with the exception of the rosé) without malolactic fermentation. And the name? “Hatt” is Swedish for hat, “söner” is Swedish for sons, but “et” is French for and, so the name corresponds to “Hat and Sons”, and would be “Chapeau et Fils” in French. When marketing themselves in Swedish (and they definitely do, with a bit of a focus on non-traditional channels), they focus on their Swedish connection. They don’t sell exclusively in Sweden though.
    History
    Since the late 1970s, the Ruscon family was a major customer for the Champagnes of François Vallois in Bergères-lès-Vertus (see below). In 2006, they found out that François Vallois expected the business to be closed down when he retired, since none of the children were interested in taking over. The Ruscons thought this was a shame, so discussions of buying partly or in whole were initiated at this time. The first small purchase happened in 2008. In the beginning, Hatt et Söner was said to be a progressive buy-out of François Vallois. They have later said that they became majority owners in 2011, using external venture capital. The first bottles where sold in 2012, and there could be little doubt that their focus was on selling in Sweden and to attempt to use various Swedish connections. The name comes from the hat factory that the family formerly ran in France. (Another branch later ran a brewery.) The Ruscon which is the face of the company is Kristofer Ruscon, who has a Swedish mother. Apparently they had first considered calling themselves Hatt et Fils and were supposed to have delivered some bottles with that name, but due to the risk of confusion with two producers called Hatté et Fils (Bernard Hatté et Fils is located in Verzenay and had a Swedish importer), they ended up choosing Hatt et Söner. The prestige Champagne, Le Grand-Père (“the grandfather”), is so named because it was Kristofer Ruscon’s grandfather who was the Ruscon who started to buy Champagnes from François Vallois. The plan is now that the daughter of François Vallois, Céline Vallois, will take over as winemaker in 2021. For the record, they received some less than positive reviews from Swedish wine bloggers in 2012, when we had our first encounters with their Champagnes and their marketing. I never translated the two blog posts I’ve previously written about them (in late 2012 and early 2014), since those post only seemed relevant to the Swedish market at the time. I’ve tried to keep this profile “fair and balanced”, but its length and the way it’s written may come across as odd unless you’re familiar with this background.
Hatt et Söner 2008 fram och bak (2014)

Front and back label of a 2008 Grande Cuvée from Hatt et Söner, photographed in 2014.

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. Smaller producers with unknown status are placed under this heading.

  • Christian Adnot
  • Patrice Aubert (RC)
  • Barthélémy-Thévenin (RC)
  • Batteux-Busson (RC)
  • Denis Champion (RC), often written Champion Denis on the label. Has 7.2 ha of vineyards, of which 5.5 ha in Bergères-lès-Vertus. The range includes two vintage Champagnes: Cuvée Justine which is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Noir, and Grande Réserve. Some Champagnes are sold under the brand Champion-Rifflard, and that range includes a vintage blanc de blancs.
  • Yves Jacopin (RC), has 4 ha of vineyards with 95% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Noir, and an annual production of 30 000 bottles. Has two vintage Champagnes, where one is called Réserve Blanc de Blancs and the other Cuvée Spéciale.
  • Alain Lefèvre (RC)
  • Moncuit-Ploix (RC)
  • Naveau (RC), the vintage Champagne of which is called Rhapsodie and is a blanc de blancs.
  • Perrot-Batteux & Filles (RC), has 5 ha of vineyards with 95% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Noir. Has a vintage Champagne that is a blanc de blancs.
  • Poirot & Fils (RM, alternativ webbplats), the vintage Champagne of which is called Cuvée Prestige and is a blanc de blancs.
  • Serge Ragot Gallois (RC) used to be located in Bergères-lès-Vertus but is now located in Athis (to the east of Oiry) under the name Serge Gallois.
  • Bertrand Vallois (RC)
  • François Vallois (RC), which has two vintage blanc de blancs, where the “regular one” is produced from grapes from Oger and Vertus (80%/20% in the 2008 vintage), and Millésime Oger Grand Cru originates from Oger only. Has formerly produced a Cuvée Vieille Vigne Les Falloises from the vineyard site with this name. There is a connection between François Vallois and Hatt et Söner, which is explained above under the latter producer’s profile.The  François Vallois Champagnes are still sold as of 2015. Also sells Champagnes under the brand:
    • Comte de Vallois
  • Vallois Férat (RC)
  • Vigier-Perrot (RM), has 2.6 ha of vineyards and the range includes an oak barrel-vinified Champagne.

Comment: the list may not be complete.

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.

  • Cooperative Vinicole du Mont Aimé is a cooperative in Bergères-lès-Vertus that is a member of the major cooperative Union Champagne in Avize, and which has 111 members with a total of 83 ha. Of the grapes that are delivered to this cooperative, 10% go to De Saint Gall (the brand of Union Champagne for their own Champagnes), 54% to major Champagne houses, and 36% is kept by members to be sold under their own name. This cooperative doesn’t seem to have a brand of its own.
    History
    The cooperative was founded in 1952 by a group of vine-growers in Bergères-lès-Vertus, Coligny (Val-des-Marais) and Vert-la-Gravelle (Vert-Toulon) with a total of 27 ha of vineyards that planned to purchase a common wine press. In 1967, the cooperative joined Union Champagne. This meant that some of the members had to switch to being members of Les Coteaux de Champagne in Oger, which is the cooperative within Union Champagne handling grapes from villages that were score below 95% on the échelle des crus, while the Mont Aimé cooperative turned into one for members having premier cru vineyards. In 1987, cellar space of their own was added.

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2015-2016, last update 2016-01-06

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2014 Chablis from Patrick Piuze

In December I tasted some wines from Chablis producer Patrick Puize at the French-Swedish online merchant Caviste. Piuze’s wines are typical Chablis in style with a lot of mineral, some smoke and a firm palate. Nevertheless, these wines go just a little bit in the direction of “regular” white Burgundies from Côte de Beaune, since they are rather powerful and many of them receive a discrete oak barrel treatment.

This time, the vintage was 2014, and so far I haven’t too many encounters with that Burgundy vintage, so references are lacking. My impression was that the wines show good concentration and ripe fruit, but still has quite good acidity. This means some hot vintage character in the fruit, but the character of a regular vintage when it comes to acidity and freshness. This means that they are somewhat more accessible and less firm than 2013s and 2012s were when released, but that there is more freshness and potential than in the 2011s.

I wrote about some 2012s from Piuze about two years ago. The 2012 vintage was initially released by Caviste a little earlier in the season, and then re-tasted (what that blog post was about) them a couple of months later, when they had changed quite a bit. That re-taste took place at the same time of year as this tasting of the 2014s.

Caviste Piuze 20151216

 

2014 Chablis Terroir de Courgis

The nose is smoky with yellow apples and rather ripe yellow fruit (for being a Chablis), some spice notes that hints at oak, and light flowery notes. The palate is distinctly dry with green and yellow apples, good concentration, high acidity, and mineral. The aftertaste is rather fruity and mineral-dominated. A rather young wine, but reasonably approachable now, 88(+) p.

This wine was slightly more powerful than the one below.

Courgis is one of the communes/villages around the Chablis village itself that is also part of the appellation. Courgis is located to the southwest from Chablis and in this commune we also find some of the premier crus of the left bank.

2014 Chablis Terroir de Fyé

The nose is rather fruity with green apples and some minerality. A firm palate with green and yellow apples, minerality, high acidity, and a long aftertaste with mineral. A rather young wine, but could be drunk now if you want something quite firm, 87-88(+) p.

This wine comes across as a bit more green apple- and mineral-dominated than the previous one, but also as somewhat lighter.

Fyé is a village northeast of Chablis itself, located within the borders of the Chablis commune. Fyé is located in a small valley just to the east of the grand cru hill.

2014 Chablis Premier Cru Les Forêts

The nose is smoky with mineral, yellow apples and good concentration of fruit. The palate shows good concentration, powerful minerality with a limestone/chalky impression, some green apples and yellow fruit behind the mineral, high acidity, and a long mineral-packed aftertaste. The minerality dominates over the fruit on the palate. A young wine, should preferably be cellared, 90(+) p.

Compared to the first wine, there is some similarity in the nose, but this wine is more powerful and much more mineral-dominated.

Les Forêts often gives reasonably powerful wines, at least among the premier crus of the left bank, since it is a southeast-facing vineyard. This makes a difference, since some of the other left bank premier crus are more north- than south-facing. The premier crus of the right bank (one example is Montée de Tonnere) are on average more south-facing.

Swedish version of this post.

Posted in 2014, Chablis, Chardonnay | Leave a comment

Champagne village profile: Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, a grand cru in the Côte des Blancs

Diagram Le Mesnil-sur-Oger 201510Key facts

Located in subregion/area: Côte des Blancs / Côte des Blancs
Vineyards and grape varieties: 433.8 hectares, of which 99.6% Chardonnay, 0.4% Pinot Noir, and <0.1% Pinot Meunier.
Classification: Grand cru (100%)
Noted for: Chardonnay from grand cru-classified vineyards.

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

Neighbouring villages

North and northeast: Oger, grand cru
Southeast: Villeneuve-Renneville-Chevigny, premier cru
Southsouthwest: Vertus, premier cru
Comment: some of the communes on the map are not part of the Champagne appellation and therefore don’t have any village profiles.

Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and vineyards from SW 20111029b

Le Mesnil-sur-Oger with surrounding vineyards seen from the slope southwest of the village in October 2011. The village in the distance is Oger.

The village

Le Mesnil-sur-Oger is located to the southsoutheast of Épernay, as one of the villages on the “genuine” Côte des Blancs slope. The village itself is located in the the slope and just below it, along the D10 road that runs from Épernay to several of the other Côte de Blancs villages.

The Le Mesnil-sur-Oger commune covers 791 hectares and has 1195 inhabitants (as of 2012), referred to as mesnilois and mesniloises.

The restaurant in the village that seems to have receive the best reviews is La Gare, which as the name indicates is located down by the rail station. (There used to be an ambitious restaurant by the name of Le Mesnil in the central part of the village, but is now closed, according to information from 2015.)

In Le Mesnil-sur-Oger there is a Musée de la Vigne et du Vin, a museum with e.g. features a collection of older winemaking equipment and which is connected to Launois Père & Fils.

Musée de la vigne et du vin. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo G.Garitan, 2015).

Vineyards

The vineyards in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger are located around the village. East-facing slopes dominate in the village, but vary from steeper inclination above the village (close to the forest on top of the Côte des Blancs hill) to almost flat land below the village, east of the D10 road.

The current vineyard surface in the Le Mesnil-sur-Oger commune is 433.8 hectares (1071.9 acres). There are 432.1 ha Chardonnay (99.6%), 1.5 ha Pinot Noir (0.4%), and 0.2 ha Pinot Meunier (<0.1%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 417 ha. There are 482 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

Champagne houses that control vineyards in Avize include Duval-Leroy, Moët & Chandon, Roederer, and Taittinger.

Single vineyard sites

  • Les Carelles is a vineyard site located just above (to the west of) the village itself. Jacques Selosses (in Avize) produces one of their vineyard-designated Champagnes (lieux-dits) from this site, composed of 100% Chardonnay. In similarity to the others, Les Carelles is produced using oxidative oak barrel-treatment in a solera, and is non-vintage.
  • Les Chétillons is located to the southeast of the village, on relatively flat land between the D9 road and the railroad. Pierre Péters has three plots of old vines in this vineyard (which they bought in 1930), and it is used to produce a vineyard-designated vintage Champagne that sits at the summit of their range. Pierre Moncuit’s Nicole Moncuit Vieille Vigne originates from old vines in this vineyard.
  • Clos du Mesnil is a wall-enclosed vineyard of 1.84 hectares that is located in the middle of the village. This vineyard is owned by Krug and is used for a vineyard-designated Champagne that has been produced since the 1979 vintage (which was released in 1986). Krug bought the vineyard in 1971, but then it was in a bad condition, so it was only after replantation it was usable for its own Champagne. Krug Clos du Mesnil is counted by many as the best Champagne there is. The wall around the vineyard was bought already in 1698, and the vineyard was called Clos Tarin before being purchased by Krug. Judging from the 1944 Larmat vineyard map, Moët & Chandon owned the vineyard at that time, and apparently it was in the hands of Salon before Krug bought it.

  • Le Montjoly. From the 2012 vintage, Pierre Péters has produced a vineyard-designated vintage Champagne from this site, but it has not yet been released.

Other vineyard sites in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger include Les Mussettes.

Below an animated map panning over Le Mesnil-sur-Ogert with various vineyard names indicated:

Champagne style

Champagnes produced from grapes from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger tend to get very mineral-dominated and firm in style, and are also described as elegant and complete. They also have a reputation to be those blanc de blancs Champagnes that are the most time-demanding and therefore should be cellared. In this area, it is likely that Salon has contributed to the reputation of the whole village.

Although each of the neighbouring villages on the Côte des Blancs are said to have a style of their own, the difference between Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Avize and Oger isn’t too large, considering the similar location of their vineyards. Producer and vintage is likely to play a more important role in determining the style than the specific village within this area, as well as the location of the specific vineyard(s) – in the slope above/around the villages or below on the flatter land.

The grand cru status

Le Mesnil-sur-Oger is one of 17 villages that were scored 100% on the now defunct échelle des crus scale. It has kept the grand cru status after the scale was abolished in 2010. Le Mesnil-sur-Oger was promoted from premier cru to grand cru status in 1985, together with Chouilly, Oiry, Oger, and Verzy.

Many Champagne lovers today are surprised to know that Le Mesnil-sur-Oger wasn’t a grand cru village when there were only twelve of them, since two truly iconic Champagnes originates from this village: Salon and Krug Clos du Mesnil.

Vineyards above Le Mesnil-sur-Oger in October 2011.

Champagne producers

Champagne houses, members of the Union des Maisons de Champagne

  • Salon-Delamotte (NM) is a medium-sized Champagne house of high quality owned by the Laurent-Perrier group, the name-giving house of which is located in Tours-sur-Marne. The Champagnes from Salon-Delamotte are to a large part blanc de blancs from Côte des Blancs. They are sold under two names, either of which could be described as a Champagne house or a brand. Delamotte could be seen as the brand of the wider portfolio of Salon-Delamotte and Salon as the name of the prestige Champagne of he unified house. Their profile at the UMC website indicates 30 ha of vineyards for Delamotte and 10 ha for Salon. Separate information for the two parts:
    • Delamotte, whose vintage Champagne is a blanc de blancs from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger, Avize, and Cramant.
      History
      The Delamotte Champagne house was founded in Reims in 1760 by François Delamotte, who had large vineyard holdings in Cumières. His son Nicolas Louis Delamotte died in 1837, and this son’s widow Marie Pierrette Barrachin ran the firm together with Jean-Bapstiste Lanson under the name Veuve Delamotte-Barrachin. In 1856, Jean-Baptiste Lanson took over the company; he was also the one who gave the Champagne house Lanson its name. In a later generation, Marie Louise de Nonancourt was a daughter of the Lanson family. When her husband died in 1924, she decided to take control of the family’s business. In a time of economic troubles, she bought Laurent-Perrier in Tours-sur-Marne and at the same time inherited Delamotte. In 1927, the decision was taken to relocate Delamotte to Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, apparently connected to the importance of grape supply and Chardonnay being the favored grape variety of the house. Her son Charles de Nonancourt led Delamotte from 1948 to 1988, while his older brother Bernard took over the management of Laurent-Perrier in 1949, which then was a separate house although the owners were in the same family. In 1988, Bernard de Nonancourt bought Delamotte and integrated it in the Laurent-Perrier group.
    • Salon produces a Champagne with definite iconic status. The Salon range consists of a single Champagne which is a vintage blanc de blancs. Due to the large S that nowadays is found on the label, the Champagne is sometimes referred to as “S de Salon”. The grape material originates entirely from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, which means that Salon is a monocru Champagne. The house has its own vineyard of 1 ha which they call Le Jardin de Salon, and they also buy in grapes from 19 other small vineyard plots in the village. Vinification takes place entirely in steel tanks, i.e. without the use of oak barrels, and this has been the case since the 1970s. The wine doesn’t go through malolactic fermentation, so a high level of acidity is retained. Salon is characterised by a very firm and mineral-driven style with a high acidity as well as a noticeable concentration, and usually requires a long time to mature. This means that young Salon can be rather demanding, and its iconic status is built upon it being without compromise in its style and very age-worthy, Salon is probably the most age-worthy and long-lived of all Champagnes (although the occasional vintage has developed less well than the rest), and brilliant in mature condition. The house is rather restrictive when it comes to which Salon vintages that are released, and the production in a typical vintage is 60 000 bottles and 10 000 magnums. The production in the 2002 vintage was 62 000 bottles.
      Vintages
      So far, Salon has released the vintages 1905, 1909, 1911, 1914, 1921, 1925, 1928, 1934, 1937, 1942, 1943, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1959, 1961, 1964, 1966, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2002. Upcoming vintages are 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008. None of the vintages 2009-2012 have been produced.
      History
      Aimé Salon launched his Champagne in 1911, then in 1905 vintage. 1921 is also mentioned as the founding year of the house, which possibly means that the first vintages were bought-in or bottles produced under contract. From 1921 and until sometime in the 1950s, Salon is supposed to have only been served at Maxim in Paris, although rather many bottles must have found their way in other directions given how many older vintages that have been tasted by Salon fanatics and have turned up in the auction market. Following the death of Aimé in 1943, Salon was led by his sister and a grandchild of his sibling, before the family sold to Dubonnet-Cinzano in 1963. In 1971, Salon lost the Clos Tarin vineyard, know known as Clos du Mesnil. In 1978, Dubonnet-Cinzano was purchased by Pernod-Ricard, who in 1988 sold Salon to Laurent-Perrier. The new owner merged Salon with Delamotte, which they had integrated in the Laurent-Perrier group in the same year. As far as I understand , it is only under the Laurent-Perrier ownership that Salon has reached the definite iconic status that their Champagne currently has.

      Below a video from GrapeRadio about Salon, with both information about vineyard work and a visit to the cellars:

Salon gate 20111029

Other 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.

  • Philippe Gonet (NM), which has two vintage Champagnes, both blanc de blancs. Of these, Belemnita is produced only from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger grapes and is named for the fossils found in the chalk in this village.
  • Jean Pernet (NM), which as 17 ha of vineyards in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Vertus, Chouilly, Épernay, Chavot, and Leuvrigny. The vintage Champagne is a blanc de blancs. Also sells Champagnes under the brand Camille Jaquet.
Le Mesnil-sur-Oger Hôtel de Ville 20111029

The town hall of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Hôtel de Ville, in October 2011.

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. Smaller producers are placed under this heading when no information regarding producer status is available.

  • Francis Amillet (RC)
  • Baradon-Michaudet (RC)
  • Bardy Père & Fils (RM)
  • Bardy-Chauffert (RC), which has two vintage Champagnes, both blanc de blancs. Of these, Symphonie is produced from old vines.
  • Bauchet-Ruelle (RC)
  • François Billion (RM), the vintage Champagne of which is a blanc de blancs.
  • Bliard-Moriset (RM), the vintage Champagne of which is a blanc de blancs.
  • Claude Cazals (RC/RM – see comment below) has about 9 ha of vineyards in grand cru and premier cru villages in the Côte des Blancs. The regular vintage Champagne is a blanc de blancs. Clos Cazals is a vineyard-designated blanc de blancs from a vineyard in Oger bought by the Cazals family in the 1950s and later renamed after the family. 1995 was the first vintage of the vineyard-designated Champagne, which is a 100% Chardonnay from a selection of old vines in this site. La Chapelle du Clos is a non-vintage blanc de blancs from the “middle-aged” part of Clos Cazals (which also includes a chapel) which was launched in 2014 and at this launch was produced using the 2006 base vintage. In terms of the producer status of Cazals, their webpage indicates in rather big letters that they are Récoltant-Manipulant, but all bottles I’ve seen (including their two 2002s) indicate RC, i.e., Récoltant-Cooperateur. My guess is therefore that they have converted to RM status more recently than these vintages.
  • Guy Charlemagne (SR), which has 15 ha of vineyards, mainly in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oger, but also Sézanne, Glannes, Mancy, and Cuis with 87% Chardonnay and the rest Pinot Noir. The annual production is 130 000 bottles. The vintage Champagne is called Mesnillésime and is a blanc de blancs vinified in oak barrels.
  • Robert Charlemagne (RM), has a bit more than 4 ha of vineyards in the Côte des Blancs. The vintage Champagne is a blanc de blancs.
  • Jean Deshautels
  • Gimonnet-Gonet (RM), has 13.5 ha of vineyards, to a large part in the Côte des Blancs (Chouilly, Cramant, Oiry, Oger, and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger) but also in the Vallée de la Marne (Bouquigny, Vincelles, Verneuil, and Trélou). The range includes two vintage Champagnes: Prestige which is a blanc de blancs from the Côte des Blancs and Carat du Mesnil which is a blanc de blancs from old vines in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger.
  • François Girard (RC), whose vintage Champagne is a blanc de blancs.
  • François Gonet
  • René Jardin (RM)
  • Gilbert Kint (RC)
  • Gabriel Landréat (RC)
  • Launois Père & Fils (RM), a Special Club producer with 21 ha of vineyards in the Côte des Blancs and the Sézannais with 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir. The annual production is 220 000 bottles. Their regular vintage Champagne is a blanc de blancs. Special Club is a vintage blanc de blancs from old vines. The current vintage (as of 2015) is 2006 and earlier vintages include e.g. 2002 and 2005. Launois also runs a museum, see above.
  • Jean-Pierre Launois (RC), whose vintage Champagne is a blanc de blancs.
  • Launois-Lebrun (RC), which has two vintage Champagnes in their range, both  blanc de blancs, where Cuvée Or du Temps originates from old vines in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger.
  • Luc Mojard (RC), whose vintage Champagne is a blanc de blancs from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger.
  • Pierre Moncuit (RM), a good producer with 20 ha of vineyards, mostly around Le Mesnil-sur-Oger but also about 5 ha in the Sézannais. The range includes two vintage blanc de blancs, of which Nicole Moncuit Vieille Vigne is sourced from old vines in the vineyard site Les Chétillons.
  • Robert Moncuit (RM). Grande Cuvée is sourced from two vineyards with old vines and is vinified in oak barrels.
  • André Moussy (RC), with an annual production of about 15 000 bottles. Cuvée Prestige Millésime consists of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir (refers to the 2008 vintage). Also sells Champagnes under the name Julien Moussy. The two vintage Champagnes of that range are blanc de blancs, of which Secret du Terroir Vieilles Vignes is sourced from old vines in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger.
  • J. Moussy-Mary (RC)
  • Jean-Bernard Pattin
  • Bernard Pertois (RC), has 15 ha of vineyards, of which 7 ha Chardonnay. Some is sold and 4.5 ha of Chardonnay are used for their own Champagnes.
  • Pertois-Moriset (RM), has 18.5 ha of vineyards, of which about 12 ha Chardonnay in the Côte des Blancs and about 6.5 ha in the Sézannais (about 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay). The range includes two vintage Champagnes, both blanc de blancs. The regular vintage Champagne originates from Côte des Blancs and Cuvée Camille from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger.
  • Pierre Péters (RM), a well-renowned producer with a bit more than 19 ha of vineyards, mostly consisting of Chardonnay in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger, Avize, and Cramant. L’Esprit is the regular vintage Champagne, a blanc de blancs. Les Chétillons is the prestige Champagne of the range, a vintage blanc de blancs from the vineyard site of this name. It used to be called simply Cuvée Spéciale, and this text is still found on the lables. In the pipeline, there is an additional vineyard-designated blanc de blancs, Le Montjoly, with 2012 being the first vintage. Réserve Oubliée is produced using many base vintages.
  • Bernard Poreaux (RC)
  • Francis Poreaux (RC)
  • Patrick Regnault (RM), whose regular vintage Champagne is a blanc de blancs and whose Réserve is a vintage Champagne composed of Chardonnay from old vines and a smaller proportion of Pinot Noir. Esprit d’Auteur consists of Chardonnay vinified in oak barrels.
  • Roger Ritton (Facebook page)
  • Alain Robert, not to be confused with A. Robert in Fossoy.
  • André Robert (RM), has 14 ha of vineyards. The range includes three vintage Champagne that are all oak barrel-vinified and produced without malolactic fermentation: an Extra Brut with is a blanc de blancs, Le Mesnil which also is a blanc de blancs, and Séduction which is a blend of 55% Chardonnay and 45% Pinot Noir (refers to the 2007 vintage).
  • Christian Robinet (RC)
  • Michel Rocourt (RM), has 5.6 ha of vineyards in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger (0.2 ha) and in Vertus and Villeneuve (together 5.4 ha). The range includes two vintage blanc de blanc, of which one is called La Rose du Mesnil.
  • Solor-Descôtes (RM) with the company name Jeannine Solor.
  • Louis Sostène (RM), which is produced by the winemaker Pierre Gonet of the house Philippe Gonet using his wife’s vineyards.
  • Michel Turgy (RM), has 6 ha of vineyards in the Côte des Blancs. The vintage Champagne is blanc de blancs. Also behind the Champagnes sold under the brand:
    • Encry (MA = marque d’acheteur), which was created through a cooperation between Enrico Baldin, an Italian, and Jean Michel Turgy. This started in 2004 and involves 2.5 ha of vineyards. Initially, there are supposed to have been some problems with the Champagne organisation CIVC, but the solution seems to have been the current MA status. The vintage Champagne is a blanc de blancs.
  • J. L. Vergnon (RM), which has most of their vineyards in Avize, Oger, and Le Mesnil-sur Oger. The range includes two vintage Champagnes: Résonance, which is a blanc de blancs from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oger and is vinified in steel tanks, and Confidence which is an oak barrel-vinified blanc de blancs from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger without dosage (Brut Nature).

Comment: the list may not be complete.

Former producers

  • André Jacquart (RM), formerly A. Jacquart & Fils on the labels, was located in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger until 2004, but then moved to Vertus.
Le Mesnil-sur-Oger church 20111029

The church in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger in October 2011.

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.

  • Union des Propriétaires Récoltants (UPR) is a cooperative in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger founded in 1937 with 667 members that have 309.96 ha of vineyards (refers to the situation in 2014). UPR is a member of the major cooperative Union Champagne in Avize (which is behind the De Saint Gall brand).
    History
    The cooperative was founded in 1937, when times were hard for the Champagne producers, and was installed in buildings purchased from Henriot. In 1959-1963, their own facilities were expanded and modernised. In 1966, Union Champagne was founded by UPR and three other cooperatives (in Oger, Vertus, and Cumières). Initially, UPR was used as the common facility, before another was found in Avize. In 1970, a new building was erected in all haste to handle the record-sized harvest of that year.

    Their own Champagnes are sold under the brand:

    • Le Mesnil, which have two vintage Champagnes in the range, both blanc de blancs: Sublime which originates from different parts of the Côte des Blancs and Le Mesnil Cuvée Prestige which originates from the best plots in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Also a white Coteaux Champenois, i.e., from Chardonnay, is part of the range.
Le Mesnil-sur-Oger cemetery 20111029b

The cemetery of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger occupies a very favourable spot in the slope above the village, surrounded by vineyards. Photo taken in October 2011.

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© Tomas Eriksson 2015-2016, last update 2016-01-06

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