Le Printemps des Champagnes in 5 steps
It’s been a week since the ending of Le Printemps des Champagnes so we’ll try to sum up the themes and news emerged from the 21 exhibitions (maybe too many) and the tasting sessions of the week.
First off, we all know that 2017 was a problematic year because of the difficult weather conditions. The harvest was characterized by small quantities. However, speaking of quality, the new products are very promising both in terms of vine variety and terroir recognition.
We very much enjoyed the Pinot Meunier bottles, rich in fruit, clear, precise and mineral despite the high level of humidity that hit this vine variety. The exclusive champagne tasted at the fair proved to us that the Meunier’s appearance is becoming more important, not only when assembled but also when used pure.
In Aube the pinot blanc is making a comeback giving fruity depth, sourness and longevity to wines that will soon surprise us.
A very interesting practice is the use of musts in the dosage phase: Agrapart, Nowack, Gratiot are some of the vignerons that use jus from the latest harvests in this fundamental phase with some remarkable results (also because jus is already good on its own).
The Solera method is also becoming very important during the assemblage phase: a sort of Maisons’ historical memory that year after year build a narrative route on their productive path. Among all, Boulard’s cuvée Petraea back since 2011 and Memoire which celebrated 30 years of harvests at Maison Huré. Speaking of building a vineyard’s historical memory, we must mention Jean Baptiste Geoffroy and his plan of planting in a single parcel every vine variety of Champagne as already expressed by cuvée Les Houtrants which became a productive and qualitative point of reference.
Lastly, the women who are conquering Champagne. LA transmission is an association that reunites some of the most important female workers of the wine sector eager to share experiences, cultures and values.
Some names such as Agnés Corbon and Delphine Boulard (among the new generations) and Bénédicte Ruppert-Leroy and Dominique Moreau (among the most known) are also doing an incredibly good job. Some brand new faces are emerging too. And we’ll talk about them in the future.