Le Printemps des Champagnes (part 3)
Les Artisans du Champagne is Champagne Week’s second oldest exhibition. Hosted at Domaine Les Crayères, it reunites some of the most renowned names of the Champagne sector.
We must say that the place was too small to accommodate the huge number of visitors, but we put aside the tasting inconveniences thanks to the quality of the event. We started with Jérôme Dehours’ two Brisefer, vin clair and vintage 2018, energetic and intense. Then we moved to Fluery’s Sonate 2011 which seemed to be in wonderful shape after a few tastings that did not convince us. Laurent Champs, from Vilmart, is doing a great job trying to mix the tradition that defines the brand with a fascinating mineral and salty tension, both in the Grand Cellier d’Or 2013 and in the perfect 2010 version of Coeur de Cuvée. Speaking of tradition, we must mention Rodolphe Péters: L’Esprit 2013 (we’ll hear a lot about it especially in Côte des Blancs) was elegant, long and fascinating; L’Etonnant Monsieur Victor Mk 11 (with some gorgeous labels!) was round and meaty; finally, the latest addition, Les Monts Jolys which will hit the market in its 2012 version next year. We tasted its vin clair: Mesnil to the core. We also sampled the new cuvées by Christophe Mignon, a Meunier expert. Last but not least, two names that represent the present and the future of Champagne: the Huré brothers who made Solera the true identity of their Maison so clear in the wonderful Mémoire which tells the story of 31 years of harvests; Frédéric Savart’s champagne is getting better and better: Le Mont Benoit 2014, a dynamic pinot noir, and a new cuvée, Le Mont des Chrétiens, a Chardonnay with a rare tense taste.
From Origines Champagne we must mention Nathalie Falmet and her convincing Le Val Cornet as well as Robert Moncuit even if Les Vozémieux 2010, at its first appearance, and Les Chétillons 2012 seem to be still unfinished.
Grands Crus d’Exception was dominated by Côte des Blancs with Legras & Haas presenting two versions of Les Sillons (2012 and 2013) that highlight the differences between the two (we prefer the second), and Pertois-Lebrun, who presented the dynamic Fond du Bateau n.9 and the Millésime 2009, with a nice mix of minerality and fruits, Cramant to the core.
At Pépites des Vignerons Indépendants we admired Michel Furdyna’s work on vineyards of yesteryear and the pinot blanc leading of La Romane, where it’s clear the role that this vine variety has had in Aube, together with arbanne, petit meslier and chardonnay for a cuvée that will be released in 2021. We tasted its vin clair version and we already like it. Then we met Trudon from Festigny. In his Monochrome cuvée the meunier is evident in fruity and clear notes. Finally, Michel Genet who’s been doing a revolutionary work for his family Maison in Chouilly, experimenting with Chardonnay in a new way.
Finally, the last two exhibitions of Champagne Week. L’Académie du Vin de Bouzy, 17 vignerons from Montagne de Reims who presented their red wines, Coteaux Champenois, and their rosé. Among these, we really liked Benoît Lahaye’s Rosé de Maceration 2015 and Gaston Collard’s cuvée with the same name from the 2012 harvest, elegant and tense. Camille Savès’ Cuvée Rosé was very pleasant, while Maurice Vesselle’s Brut Rosé Grand Cru confirmed its eternal and rustic vein. Lastly, a less common type of Champagne, the rosé demi-sec, saignée version, 32 g/l dosage, for a more than right wine.
LA Transmission, Femmes en Champagne, is the association that reunites ten women that share experiences, cultures and values. We’ll talk about it soon in details. What we can say now is that we really liked Cazals’ Chapelle du Clos Cazals 2012, maybe the best version yet; Quattour by Drappier, exemplary in its way of expressing Aube’s vine varieties and terroirs; the classicism of Taittinger’s Prélude 2013 and the indestructible Krug’s Grande Cuvée, in its 163° edition. Krug also gave us the chance to taste the best vin clair of the fair, a Les Riceys pinot noir that paves the way for the future Grande Cuvée.