Pehu-Simonet is located in the grand cru village Verzenay in the Montagne de Reims, the Pinot Noir-dominated district of Champagne. They have 6 hectares of vineyards in Verzenay and neighbouring villages. I recently tried three of their Champagnes.
Selection Brut NV
75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay, base vintage 2010.
Nose with ripe apples including red apples and apple peal, some peach, some wild strawberries, hints of bread and flowers. Rather powerful nose, shows typical Pinot Noir notes. More than medium bodied on the palate, red and yellow apples, good concentration of fruit, good acidity although not really high, good balance. Fruity, fresh and balanced style. Approachable now. 88 p.
Rosé Brut NV
80% Pinot Noir of which 10% red wine, 20% Chardonnay, base vintage 2010.
A colour somewhere between pale pink and neon pink. Nose with red berries, in particular wild strawberries, red apples, some citrus and spice. Fruity palate with red apples and red berries, some sweetness of fruit, some spice, good acidity. Fruity and fresh style. 88 p.
Blanc de Noirs Brut NV
100% Pinot Noir, base vintage 2009.
Nose with ripe yellow and red apples with some baked apples, some wild strawberries, hints of citrus and flowers. Less obvously fruity than the other two, but somewhat rosé-like in its pronounced Pinot Noir notes. Palate with ripe yellow and red apples, good concentration, noticeable acidity (slightly higher than the other two, despite a hotter base vintage), some mineral and spice, just a hint of bitterness. A bit more foody, and in a style more suitable for cellaring, while fully approachable now. 90 p.
This was my first encounter with Champagnes from Pehu-Simonet. I found the three Champagnes to be rather similar in style, being fruit-focussed in combination with good concentration and a fresh style. Pehu-Simonet apparently avoids malolactic fermentation, which means that wines keep their high acidity, which contributes to freshness. In my opinion, however, the acidity wasn’t really that high for being a Champagne, i.e., not at blanc de blancs level or in any way tough. The varietal dominance of Pinot Noir is noticeable in the aromas, and comes through in an obvious way due to the fruity style. The combination of Pinot Noir aromas and a good concentration makes these Champagnes rather foody and rather much of “a wine”, but the freshness makes them rather suitable for drinking on their own as well. All three are approachable now, although the blanc de noirs surely has the potential to develop for several years if cellared.
Swedish version of the post here.