Our “Champagne of the Month” for November is the Cuvée “Violaine” from Benoît Lahaye who is based in the village of Bouzy on the Montagne de Reims.
Benoît Lahaye controls just 4½ hectares of vineyards, situated in the villages of Bouzy, Ambonnay and Tauxières. The plots are planted with predominantly Pinot Noir where the average age of the vines is 35-40 years. He also has a tiny plot of Chardonnay on the Côte des Blancs in the Premier Cru village of Vertus. 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.
Violaine is a vintage wine born from the 2009 harvest, consisting of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay, the origins of which are 50% from “Les Argentières” and 50% from “Les Monts de Tours” in Bouzy and consisting of a dry chalky soil, planted in 1989/90. Vinification is in fûts de chêne with spontaneous alcoholic fermentation, bâtonnage and malolactic fermentation. There is no racking or filtration and this wine is without dosage and without the addition of sulfites (so headache free)! Certified organic. This wine was still a little young when tasted at the domaine in autumn 2013. Whilst it still has plenty of ageing potential, it has developed with intense red fruits and berries plus a hint of almonds and honey. A very interesting cuvée.
Price (purchased 2013) = €52.00
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