Our cuvée of the month for June comes from the excellent Champagne Benoît Lahaye, located in the Grand Cru village of Bouzy on the Petite Montagne de Reims.
This house controls just 4½ hectares of vineyards, situated in the Grand Cru villages of Bouzy and Ambonnay as well as the Premier Cru village of Tauxières. The plots are planted with predominantly Pinot Noir where the average age of the vines is 35-40 years.
Since 1995, the decision was taken to allow grass to grow throughout the vineyards and in 2003 the conversion to organic agriculture began. From the 2007 harvest, Champagne Benoît Lahaye has been certified organic by ECOCERT. Since 2008, the viticulture has been carried out biodynamically in order to further enhance the characteristics of their parcels terroir.
Using only their own compost with some organic manure as a complement, various herb infusions are applied to the vineyards; an almost homeopathic ethos. The land is worked thanks to Tamise, an Auxois working-horse along with two friendly donkeys who are on hand for a bit of additional support.
The Blanc de Noirs is a blend of 100% Pinot Noir with two parcels used from Bouzy: “Les Vaux Bétins” and “Les Hannepés”, both of which have deep soil. Also used is one parcel from Tauxières: “Les Argentières”, which has a more filtered soil type.
As with any quality-conscious producer, the grapes from each parcel are pressed separately. Fermentation for the most part (70%) is in oak barrels whilst the remainder is in temperature regulated stainless steel tanks.
Malolatic fermentation is allowed and there is no fining or filtration.
Dosage is 5gl, meaning the wine is Extra-Brut.
This is a complex, multi-layered and aromatic wine. It has a rich fruitiness from the Pinot Noir with a deep honeyed influence. A stunningly good cuvée that is remarkably good value for money.
There is no doubt in our minds that natural viticulture coupled with a talented winemaker produce the very best champagnes.
Price at source = €23.60
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