Champagne village profile: Cuisles on the right bank of the Marne valley

Diagram Cuisles 201505Key facts

Located in subregion / area: Vallée de la Marne / Vallée de la Marne Rive Droite
Vineyards and grape varieties: 33.0 hectares (81.5 acres), of which 75% Pinot Meunier, 16% Pinot Noir, and 8% Chardonnay.
Classification: ”Autre cru” (86%)

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 Vallée de la Marne Rive Droite highlighted.

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

Neighbouring villages

Northnortheast: Jonquery
Southeast and south: Baslieux-sous-Châtillon
Southwest: Châtillon-sur-Marne
Northnorthwest: Olizy
Comment: the neighbouring village Anthenay is not part of the Champagne appellation and doesn’t have a village profile.

The village

Coat of arms of the Cuisles commune. Picture linked from Wikimedia Commons (created by Chatsam, 2014).

Cuisles is located on the right bank of the Marne river, which means north of the river. The village is located in a side valley along the stream Ru de Jonquery, which empties into Ru de Belval just south of Cuisles.

The Cuisles commune covers 277 hectares and has 142 inhabitants (as of 2014).

1973-2006 Cuisles was a part of Châtillon-sur-Marne commune, their larger neighbour, but since 1 March 2006 they are again a commune of their own. This change should have increased the number of Champagne villages (or more precisely put the number of communes that are part of the zone de production of Champagne, where the villages can be located) from 318 till 319.

Vineyards

The vineyards in Cuisles are located to the west of the village and consist of mild east- to southeast-facing slopes that are dominated by Pinot Meunier.

A particularity of the soils in Cuisles and a few surrounding villages, is a layer of illite (a greenish clay soil) between the more superficial sandy clay and the deeper chalky clay. Illite is claimed to give a richer mineral character to the Champagnes than other (non-chalky) clay soils do.

The current vineyard surface in the Cuisles commune is 33.0 hectares (81.5 acres). There are 24.9 ha Pinot Meunier (75.5%), 5.4 ha Pinot Noir (16.4%), and 2.7 ha Chardonnay (8.2%). Numbers from CIVC, as of 2013. The combined vineyard area of Cuisles and Châtillon-sur-Marne has increased from 257 ha in 1997 to 272 ha in 2013. There are 34 vineyard owners (exploitants) in the Cuisles commune.

Single vineyard sites

Single vineyard sites in Cuisles include:

  • Les Fortes Terres is an east-facing slope to the northwest of the village, located in the upper half of the slope. Moussé Fils produces their Special Club using Pinot Meunier from this site.
  • Les Varosses is an east-facing slope to the west and southwest of the village, located in the upper half of the slope. (Les Varosses is the southern neighbour of Les Forts Terres.) Moussé Fils produces their Anecdote using Chardonnay from this site.

The other sites are Les Avocats, La Billette, Le Bout de la Ville, Les Pentes de Vaurois, Les Plants de l’Église, Les Ratraits, Les Vignes Blanches, and Les Vignes du Pâtis.

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.

  • Sébastien Pascal (NM), also called Château de Cuisles for the château where the producer is located. This building was purchased in March 2000 by the wine growing family Pascal Delette. The family vineyards are spread over 14 villages.

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.

  • Bonsant & Fils (RM), formerly also Vincent Bonsant, has 4 ha of vineyards with 65% Pinot Meunier, 20% Pinot Noir, and 15% Chardonnay. The range includes a vintage Champagne composed of a third each of the three common grape varieties.
  • Emilien Fresne (RM), member of Vignerons Indépendants with 4.6 ha of vineyards in Cuisles, Marfaux, Jonquery, and Châtillon-sur-Marne. The range includes a  vintage Champagne composed of 70% Pinot Meunier, 25% Pinot Noir, and 5% Chardonnay (refers to the 2010 vintage).
  • Froment-Assailly (RC)
  • Heucq Père & Fils (RM, Facebook page), member of Vignerons Indépendants and Meunier Institut with 6 ha vineyards, mainly in Cuisles, with 70% Pinot Meunier, 15% Chardonnay, and 15% Pinot Meunier. Today (2015) led by André Heucq. Practices biodynamic cultivation and works on becoming organically certified (AB), which they plan on being in 2017. Parts of the range is vinified in oak barrels. Several of the non-vintage Champagnes are composed of 100% Pinot Meunier. The rosé is a rosé de saignée using old vine Pinot Meunier from the site L’Etau. Cuvée Antique is a vintage Champagne partially vinified in oak barrels composed of 50% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, and 20% Pinot Meunier (refers to the 2008 vintage). Cuvée Originel is fully vinified in oak barrels and is composed of 70% Pinot Meunier and 30% Pinot Noir. H-60 is a blanc de blancs with some oak barrel influence which is stored at least one year 60 meters below the surface of the sea, and is produced in a very small edition. The source of inspiration was the geological history of Champagne, having been on the bottom of the sea 90 million years ago.
  • J. Lécurieux (RC), whose range includes a vintage Champagne.
  • Moussé Fils (RM, Facebook page), a Special Club producer with 5.6 ha of vineyards in Cuisles, Jonquery, Châtillon-sur-Marne, and Vandières with 85% Pinot Meunier (which is the focus of this producer), 12% Pinot Noir, and 3% Chardonnay. The annual production is about 50 000 bottles and they have produced their own Champagnes since 1923. With the exception of a blanc de blancs, the proportion of Pinot Meunier in the cuvées is 80%-100%, and their slogan is Profondément Meunier. L’Or d’Eugène (used to be Or Tradition) is a non-vintage cuvée where the reserve wine comes from a solera. L’Extra Or d’Eugène is the same cuvée but disgorged two years later and shipped with a low dosage. Anecdote (used to be Opale) is a blanc de blancs from the vineyard site Les Varosses in Cuisles, which is also stated on the label. Terre d’Illite is a vintage Champagne namned for the soils in the village, composed of about 95% Pinot Meunier and 5% Pinot Noir. Moussé Fils produced the first Special Club which is 100% Pinot Meunier. (Joseph Loriot-Pagel in Festigny also produces a 100% Pinot Meunier Special Club since the 2009 vintage, launched in 2014. José Michel in Moussy is known for Pinot Meunier but their Special Club consists of 50% Pinot Meunier and 50% Chardonnay.) 2005 was the first vintage, the same year they became members of the club, and it has later been followed by 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011m and 2012. A Special Club Rosé de Saignée will also be launched in the 2012 vintage. In the video below, Cédric Moussé gives a general presentation of the 2014 vintage:

  • Nathalie Neveux (RM)
  • Lucien Orban (RM) with the company name Hervé Orban.
  • Schreiner (RM), also Jean-Pierre Schreiner.

Comment: the list may be incomplete.

Links

© Tomas Eriksson 2015-2017, last update 2017-09-14

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