Members Case No 5 - October 2019

Members Case No 5 - October 2019

The October edition was characterized by truely unique Champagnes. Staying North of the Marne River we started off with a Blanc de Noir from Solemme with zero dosage. Continuing with Lelarge-Pugeot, whom from their impressive cellars presented Honey Harmony - a Blanc de Blanc sweetened with honey - this was an absolute first for us. We finished off with a tribute to the old grapes with Festival from Léguillette Romelot a fun and playful Champagne boasting 6 out of the 7 allowed grapes.

Champagne Solemme

About the Grower

Nestled in the small village of Villers aux Nœuds just a handful of kilometres away from Reims, Champagne Solemme is grower-producer par excellence with several premier cru vineyards to its name. Olivier Langlais is a man committed not only to crafting exquisite terroir-driven Champagne but also dedicated to the vines and the land they are rooted in.

Olivier has 6 hectares of vines across Montagne de Reims and Vallee d l'Ardre which contain soils based on chalk, limestone, clay, silt, and sand with the vines basking in a southern exposure for maximum ripening. The conversion to organic farming began in 2010 with the Chardonnay vines, with the Pinot parcels in Montagne de Reims following in 2015. The Vallée d l'Ardre vineyards were the final sites to receive organic certification only last year. Going one step further, Olivier employs biodynamic techniques in his vineyards, improving the quality of the soils with each vintage and allowing the vines to thrive in the most natural ways possible.

Olivier grows Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier in his various parcels and has created seven different cuvées, each of which captures different facets of how the three noble grapes of Champagne express themselves across varying terroirs. He allows the terroirs and the grapes to speak through his wines, opting for a minimalist approach during winemaking that elevates his Champagnes into the very best sort of masterpieces – ones you can taste.

Annual production: 22.000 bottles

About the Champagne

Ambre de Solemme - Brut Nature

Terroir: Villers aux Næuds

Grapes: 100% Pinot Meunier

Dosage: 0 g/L

Tasting notes: Raw honey, golden-delicious apples and baked white peach.

Food pairing: Spicy food and creamy dishes

Champagne Lêguillette Romelot

About the Grower

Based in Charly-sur-Marne, Champagne Léguillette Romelot has a long, storied history in the region. Both the Romelots and the Léguillettes have worked the land in the region for centuries although it wasn't until the 1960s that the two families joined forces, first helping to form a cooperative in the region, then forging more permanent ties when Marie-France Romelot and André Léguillette married. Their union saw the creation of the artisan Champagne house we know today.

Their son Laurent has introduced sustainable viticulture to the vineyards since taking over from his parents. The approach at Champagne Léguillette Romelot is a seamless blend between the traditional and the modern, using organic techniques and employing regular soil tests and minimal treatments. This allows the exquisite terroir of the western Marne to shine through.

The majority of the house's 8 hectares of vineyards are planted to Pinot Meunier (which thrives in the clay, chalky limestone soils of Charly) with some Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In addition to the classic Champagne trio, Laurent is proud to grow three historic grape varieties which have nearly faded into obscurity with regard to many Champagne cuvées: Pinot Blanc, Arbane, and Petit Meslier.

Laurent offers nine different cuvées, in addition to the beautiful but increasingly rare ratafia de Champagne. The production is small but the quality of the expressive Léguillette Romelot wines is unparalleled.

Annual production: 40.000 bottles

About the Champagne

Festival - Brut

Terroir: Charly-Sur-Marne

Grapes: 45% Pinot Meunier, 18% Pinot Noir, 4% Chardonnay, 21% Pinot Blanc, 10% Petit Meslier, 2% Arbanne

Dosage: 9g/L

Tasting notes: Floral notes, lime tree, jasmine and mature yellow fruits.

Food pairing: Aperitif, Poultry, Veal and Pork

Champagne Lelarge-Pugeot

About the Grower

This exceptional boutique Champagne house is based in the premier cru village Vrigny right in the northeastern corner of Montagne de Reims. The Lelarge family's winemaking roots stretch back to the 18th century although it was until 1930 that they created their first Champagne. Today, Dominique Lelarge is at the helm of growing and producing the wines of this excellent house, working alongside his wife, Dominique Pugeot.

 

Pinot Meunier dominates the domaine's vineyards although there is Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to be found across the 8 hectares belonging to the Lelarge-Pugeots as well. Sandy loam and marl feature prominently in the soils. Since 2010, the Domaine has completely abandoned the use of all pesticides and herbicides, opting instead to farm organically. In 2014, they decided to embrace biodynamic viticulture, earning Demeter certification in 2017.

In addition to farming biodynamically, only native yeasts are used in fermentation, and the wines themselves contain very low amounts of sulphur. Dominique’s winemaking ethos is firmly rooted in nature and allowing the terroir and the grapes to speak for themselves.

It’s no wonder that these superlative Champagnes enjoy such praise at international competitions and such adoration amongst connoisseurs.

Annual production: 75.000 bottles

About the Champagne

Honey Harmony - Extra Brut

Terroir: Vrigny

Grapes: 100% Chardonnay

Dosage: 3g/L (Honey rather than the traditional sugar)

Tasting notes: Citrus notes, honey, light in nose and mouth yet surprisingly powerful.

Food pairing: Aperitif, dished with light spices, veal and creamy dishes


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