We are delighted to be adding 3 NEW CHAMPAGNE GROWERS to our portfolio. We found we were running short of Champagne and the message has been to source one or two more growers for our portfolio.
We last added Paul Dethuné Grand Cru Ambonnay to our portfolio early in 2000 and previously Veuve Fourny, Gallimard and Bernard Robert in 1993/4. Much has changed in Champagne during the last 20 to 30 years, and outside the big houses, Champagne is becoming much like Burgundy. Terroir, viticulture, vinification and the individual families who look after their vineyards, and create these diverse Champagnes, are all of so much fun and interest. We have been exceptionally lucky with our four current Champagne families and they understand our need to expand our Champagne portfolio with their superb champagnes on allocation.
The following Champagnes will gradually be arriving over the Summer and they will be shown at our autumn tasting on Wednesday 14th September at 67 Pall Mall.
CHAMPAGNE GUY MÉA
Louvois Grand Cru and 1er Cru
Champagne Guy Méa have owned vines for over a century in the South West of the Montagne de Reims, in the villages of Louvois & Bouzy (Grand Crus) and Valeurs-Mutry (Premier Cru). The 7 hectare estate is now looked after by granddaughter, Sophie, now winemaker, and her husband Franck Moussie. The plots are mainly limestone and clay-limestone soils with Campanian chalk. Chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides are not used and they are HVE certified. When it comes to the wine making nothing is fixed, everything is interpretation: they work on each plot, each vintage on a case-by-case basis and adapt their intervention to the vine cycle or in the winery to showcase its expression. They still use an old ‘coquard’ press, which they say works perfectly!
Guy Mea is a hidden secret. In addition to making their own champagnes they sell juice to Pol Roger (Cuvee Winston Churchil), Louis Roderer and Gosset.
CHAMPAGNE LUCIEN COLLARD
Bouzy – in organic conversion
1 hectare in Bouzy and 1 hectare in the Cotes des Bar
The Collard family settled in Bouzy in 1919 through the marriage of Lucien Collard (grandfather of the current owner of the House) and Julia Bara. She came from a family of winegrowers who had settled in this Grand Cru since 1833.
Lucien Collard and his God Daughter Auriane now create fabulous champagnes from the 2 hectares of vines, 1 in Bouzy and 1 in Celles sur Ource in the Aube. They maintain strict quality standards to ensure maximum respect for the terroir. Vines are treated with organic products (with supplements borrowed from biodynamic farming), they limit the use of sulphur, low dosage and extended ageing time to maintain top quality throughout. Prior to joining Lucien , Auriane spent a year with Jacqueson.
CHAMPAGNE ROLAND CHAMPION
Chouilly – 18 hectares, 70% in Chouilly Grand Cru
22% Pinot Meunier and 8% Pinot Noir in the Marne
The Champion family have been growing grapes in Chouilly since the 18th century and today the estate is run by Francois and two of his daughters, Carole in charge of all the administration, and Clemence is the wine maker.
Until recently most of their juice has been sold to the big houses but they intend to keep more for sale under their own label and we were fortunate to knock on their door just at the right time. All their champagnes have extremely low dosage and are fine, minerally and delicate.