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Our “Champagne of the Month” for September 2018 is produced by Jean-Marc Sélèque who is based in the village of Pierry on the Côteaux Sud d’Épernay.
Jean-Marc has 7.5 hectares at his disposal located in 7 villages: Pierry, Moussy and Épernay on the Côteaux Sud d’Épernay, Vertus and Boursault on the Côte des Blancs, along with Dizy and Mardeuil in the Vallée de la Marne.
The cuvée “Solistes Meunier 2011” is a vintage wine born from a single plot of old Meunier vines planted in 1951 and 1953 at “Les Gouttes d’Or” in Pierry. Since 2011 this plot has been worked by horse whilst Jean-Marc favours strict pruning and yield control in a quest to produce the best quality grapes whilst maintaining a harmonious balance of nature. The plot has clay topsoil where the old vine roots reach deep down to the subsoil which is a mixture of earth and chalk.
Vinification takes place 50% in fûts – small oak barrels and 50% in a climatic concrete egg neither of which undergo malolactic fermentation. Natural cold stabilisation is carried out and there is no fining or filtration. The wine is bottled under cork with staple which is the traditional method as opposed to the more common crown cap used more regularly today. Ageing on the lees for 3 years prior to disgorgement in March 2015 with a dosage of just 2gl. Alcohol is at 12.5% abv. 1800 bottles were produced.
Tasted 5th August 2018
Appearance: Pale lemon.
Characteristics: Pronounced intensity with primary aromas of fresh lemon, lemon rind, blood orange, orange peel, roasted pineapple, red apple, green apple, pear, raspberry, damson, apple compote, fresh coriander and a chalky salinity. There are secondary notes of brioche, pastry, toast and tarte tartin. We have tertiary aromas of marmalade, dried apple, cobnut, walnut, hazelnut, hay, honey, caramel, dark chocolate, coffee, coffee and walnut cake, ginger, mushroom and mango chutney (an Indian condiment made with green mangoes). It is medium bodied with a delicate mousse and a long finish.
This is a stunning, complex and unctuous champagne perfectly balanced and a pure joy to drink. Whilst drinking excellently at present, it does have potential for further ageing. Our suggestion is to serve the wine in large glasses such as the Lehmann “Jamesse Grand Blanc” (see photo). Such a glass will considerably enhance the tasting experience.
Price circa €48.00