Champagne village profile: Villers-Marmery, a Chardonnay-dominated premier cru village in the Grande Montage de Reims

Diagram Villers-Marmery 201504Key facts

Located in: Montagne & Val de Reims: Grande Montagne de Reims
Vineyards and grape varieties: 246.3 hectares (608.6 acres), of which 98.1% Chardonnay and 1.9% Pinot Noir.
Classification: Premier cru (95%)
Noted for: Chardonnay dominance in an otherwise Pinot Noir-dominated area.

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 indicates other open terrain, and green indicates forest.


Google Maps view with the villages in the Grande Montagne de Reims highlighted. The grand cru villages are in green, the premier cru villages are in yellow, and the autre cru villages in orange. The light green box shows the Perle blanche area.

Clicking on a village opens a field to the left with a link to the village profile.

Neighbouring villages

Northwest: Verzy (grand cru)
Southeast: Billy-le-Grand (premier cru)
Southsouthwest: Trépail (premier cru)

The village

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

Villers-Marmery is located on the eastern side of the Montagne de Reims hill. The A4/E17 motorway runs through the eastern part of the commune.

The Villers-Marmery commune covers an area of 1073 hectares and counts 547 inhabitants (as of 2013) referred to as Villeriots and Villeriotes.

Commanderie du Chardonnay de Villers-Marmery, a society founded in 1997, is found in the village.

Vineyards

Vineyard in Villers-Marmery. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (photo ADT Marne, 2008).

The vineyards consist of east-facing slopes on the Montagne de Reims. They are completely dominated by Chardonnay, in similarity to the two neighbours to the south, Trépail and Billy-le-Grand, but in difference to Verzy to the north, where Pinot Noir dominates.

The area with four Chardonnay-dominated villages (that also includes Vaudemange) on the eastern side of the Montagne de Reims is sometimes called the Perle blanche. This area thus differs from the rest of the Grande Montagne de Reims which is clearly dominated by Pinots: Pinot Noir in the south and northeast, and Pinot Meunier in the north. These four villages were elevated to premier cru status in 1985.

The current vineyard surface in the Villers-Marmery commune is 246.3 hectares (608.6 acres). There are 241.7 ha Chardonnay (98.1%) and 4.6 ha Pinot Noir (1.9%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. In 1997, the vineyard surface was 240 ha. There are 144 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the commune.

Soils and wine style

In Villers-Marmery we find chalk with some gravels mixed in, and the Champagnes (from Chardonnay) are described locally as firm, flowery, and mineral. In some vineyards there are silt or brown clay on top of the chalk, and there the wines tend to be more powerful or spicy in style.

The difference compared to Côte des Blancs Chardonnay has also described as those from the Villers-Marmery area being slightly more full-bodied, softer, and somewhat more fruity.

Single vineyard sites

  • Les Alouettes Saint-Bets, a mild south-facing site in the northern part of the commune, immediately west of the D26 road and on the border to Verzy. Borders in the west (in the direction of the forest area) to Saint-Bets and Le Bec de Feuillets. Godmé Père et Fils (in Verzenay) produces a vineyard-designated vintage Champagne (100% Chardonnay) from this vineyard site.
  • Les Basses Allouettes, a mild south-facing site to the northern part of the commune, immediately to the east of the D26 road. Borders in the west (across the D26 road) to Les Alouettes Saint-Bets and in north to Les Alouttes Vivandes. The site is used by Henriet-Bazin.
  • Les Bourbonnes, a mild east-facing site immediately to the northnorthwest of the village itself, immediately to the east of the D26 road. Borders in the west (across the D26 road) to the military cemetery and in the north to Les Piquis and Les Haies Cochets. The still red wine produced by A. Margaine, Villers-Marmery Rouge, is produced using Pinot Noir from this site.
  • Brocot, a site westsouthwest of the village, around a crossing of several smaller roads. The direction of the slope varies throughout the site, but is mainly east and south. Borders in the northeast to Les Couloirs. Used by A. Margaine in their Millésime, as one of several sites.
  • Champs d’Enfer, a site with mild slope in the southern part of the commune. Borders in the east and south to Les Essaires and in the west to Le Mont Bayon. Used by A. Margaine in their Millésime, as one of several sites.
  • Les Clos-Est, a small site just eastsoutheast of the village itself. Borders in the north to Les Ruelles, and in west and south to Les Clos-Ouest. This site doesn’t seem to have a wall around it, although that’s what the name “clos” is supposed to indicate, and it is a much smaller site than Les Clos-Ouest.
  • Les Clos-Ouest, a site just southeast of the village itself. Borders in the north to Les Ruelles, and in the east to Les Clos-Est and Les Fosses d’Hommes. This site doesn’t seem to have a wall around it, although that’s what the name “clos” is supposed to indicate. This site is used by Henriet-Bazin.
  • Les Couloirs, a mostly southeast-facing site just west of the village itself. Borders in the northeast to Les Cugnets and in the southwest to Brocot. This site is used by Henriet-Bazin.
  • Les Cugnets, a mild east-facing slope immediately to the westnorthwest to the village itself. Borders in the north to Sur Perthelle, in the southwest to Les Couloirs and in the south to Les Bas Couloirs. This site is used by A. Margaine for their Special Club, as one of several sites.
  • Les Levoies, a site southsouthwest of the village itself. Borders in the north to Les Charmois, in the east to Les Pechins, and in the south to Les Grands Champs. This site is used by A. Margaine for their Special Club, as one of several sites.
  • Les Voies de Prêtre is a mild south-facing slope to the east of the village itself, down towards the flat land. It borders in the north to Les Pucelles and Les Epinettes, in the east to Le Montmedy, in the south to Les Petits Marmery, and in the west to Les Ruelles. This site is used(?) by A. Margaine for their Special Club, as one of several sites.

Other single vineyard sites in Villers-Marmery include e.g. Les Alouttes Vivandes, Les Bas Couloirs, Le Bec de Feuillets, Les Charmois, Les Epinettes, Les Essaires, Les Fosses d’Hommes, Les Grands Champs, Les Haies Cochets, Le Mont Bayon, Le Montmedy, Les Pechins, Les Petits Marmery, Les Piquis, Les Pucelles, Les Ruelles, Saint-Bets, Les Sous la Ville Nord, Les Sous la Ville Sud.

The church in Villers-Marmery. 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.

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.

  • Pascal Adnet & Fils, who also produces Beaujolais wines.
  • Boutillez-Guer, member of Vignerons Indépendants, has 5.25 ha of vineyards with almost only Chardonnay. The vintage Champagne is a 100% Chardonnay.
  • R. Boutillez Marchand, has 6.4 ha of vineyards, all in Villers-Marmery, with 97% Chardonnay and 3% Pinot Noir. Members of Le Cercle des Créateurs de Champagnes Confidentiels, where all produce oak barrel-influenced Champagnes. The vintage Champagne is a blanc de blancs. The range also includes a Ratafia from 100% Chardonnay (which is more unusual than Pinot-based versions) produced in a solera with rather long cellaring time.
  • G. Boutillez-Vignon (RM, Facebook page), whose range includes a vintage Champagne.
  • Chanoir-Dayer (RC)
  • Pascal Cheminon (RM)
  • Alain Delabarre (RM)
  • Michael Hautem (RM)
  • Henriet-Bazin, has 5.93 ha of vineyards in Verzenay (2.13 ha), Verzy (0.93 ha), and Villers-Marmery (2.87 ha). The range includes four vintage Champagnes: Millésimé is composed of 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay (refers to the 2006 vintage), Carte Or is composed of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay (refers to the 2007 vintage), Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut is a 100% Pinot Noir, and Marie-Amélie is a vintage blanc de blancs from old vines in Villers-Marmery (in the 2008 vintage from the sites Les Clos Ouest, Les Basses Allouettes, and Les Couloirs). Nicolas Rainon of Henrit-Bazin also run vineyard tours under the name Oenovasion.
    Here a video clip with Marie-Noëlle of Henriet-Bazin from the 2011 harvest:

  • Lapoulle-Mailliet (RC)
  • Lejeune Père et Fils, member of Vignerons Indépendants with vineyards in Villers-Marmery, Verzy, and Ambonnay. The vintage Champagne is an oak barrel-vinified 100% Chardonnay.
  • A. Loncle (RM), whose range includes a vintage Champagne.
  • Longis-Langlais
  • Roger Lustig (RM), with the company name Tarradou-Lustig.
  • Sadi Malot (RM), member of Vignerons Indépendants, has 10 ha of vineyards of which 80% Chardonnay in Villers-Marmery and 20% Pinot Noir in Verzy. Coup de Foudre is a vintage blanc de blancs from old vines in Villers-Marmery. The range also includes two still wines (Coteaux Champenois), a white from Villers-Marmery and a red from Verzy.
  • A. Margaine (RM), a Spécial Club producer (member of Club Trésors de Champagne since 1976) with 6.5 ha of vineyards with 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir, and an annual production of about 70 000 bottles. The Special Club of Margaine is a blanc de blancs, produced using 100% Chardonnay from Villers-Marmery, and partial oak barrel vinification. (Oak barrel is unusual in the Special Club Champagnes.) In the 2011 vintage, the grapes originated from the sites Les Voies de Prêtre(?), Les Levoies, and Les Cugnets. Other vintages produced include 2008 and 2012. The range includes two other vintage Champagnes: Millésime is a vintage blanc de blancs. In the 2009 vintage, the grapes came from the sites Champs d’Enfer, Bayon, and Brocot, and 30% was vinified in oak barrels. Rosé de Saignee is a vintage rosé composed of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. The range also includes a Villers-Marmery Rouge, a still red wine (Coteaux Champenois) produced using Pinot Noir from the site Les Bourbonnes (at least in the 2005 vintage).
  • Noël Bazin (RM), has 2.5 ha of vineyards in Villers-Marmery and Verzy, with only Chardonnay. The range includes a vintage blanc de blancs.
  • Pierre-Emmanuel Paquay (RM), has 4 ha vineyards with 98% Chardonnay and 2% Pinot Noir. Vieux Chène is a oak barrel-vinified blanc de blancs.
  • S. Rémy, who also has 7 ha of vineyards in Villers-Marmery, Verzy, Verzenay, and Bouzy. The annual production is 25 000 bottles.
  • Didier Rothier (RC)
  • Christian Roy & Fils
  • Jackie Simonet (RM)
  • Urbany-Chemion (RM)

Comment: the list is probably not complete.

Cooperative

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 des Vignerons Réunis, doesn’t seem to have a website.
  • Coopérative Rurale Vinicole de Villers-Marmery is a cooperative founded in 1927 with 28 members with 17 ha of vineyards. Since 2004, they are members of the major cooperative Union Champagne (with their own brand De Saint Gall and 13 member cooperatives) which has its site in Avize. Also delivers to Moët & Chandon, Charles Heidsieck, and Marne et Champagne. Also see the video below.

Video clips

A short video clip from the 2011 harvest in one of Henriet-Bazin’s vineyards in Villers-Marmery:

A video showing activities at Coopérative Rurale Vinicole during the 2015 harvest (French audio without subtitles):

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2014-2016, last update 2016-07-19

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