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Our “Champagne of the Month” for July 2019 is produced by Benoist Perseval who is the fifth generation to be at the helm of Champagne Perseval-Farge. Located in the village of Chamery on the Montague de Reims, Benoist has 4 hectares at his disposal spread across 6 plots situated exclusively within the village limits. Pinot Noir accounts for the majority of vinestock with a good proportion of Chardonnay and some Meunier. Complementing the three traditional varieties is a little Arbanne, Petit Meslier and Fromenteau. The estate is farmed sustainably, resulting in it being awarded HVE certification. Champagne Perseval-Farge perfects the art of blending using a minimum of 40% of reserve wines in its blends and a further nod to tradition is the high percentage of oak used in vinification or aging and their traditional 4000kg Champagne press.
The Chamery sited parcel “La Pucelle” measures 0.5 hectares and was planted in 1985 with Pinot Noir. The plot has a North-West exposure and consists of sand and clay topsoil with sandy subsoil. As stated, the vines are farmed sustainably and the Chablis method of pruning is used.
Our version of “La Pucelle” is a Blanc de Noirs, consisting of 100% Pinot Noir with 60% of the blend coming from the 2012 harvest. 2012 turned out to be an excellent year despite its very difficult start. Minimum average temperatures in February were -4 degrees. The endless winter continued into April making it hard for the vines to begin the vegetative cycle. Heavy summer rainfall then followed until 20th July causing further problems to flowering whilst increasing the risk of disease. Summer finally arrived at the end of July and near perfect weather with balanced sunny days endured until harvest. This ensured that despite the low yield, grapes were in perfect sanitary health and were able to attain excellent phenolic maturity.
The 40% of reserve wines come from the years 2011, 2010 and 2009. 70% of the blend was vinified in thermo-regulated Cuve Inox with the remaining 30% vinified in 228 litre fûts of three years age from Meursault in Burgundy. 90% of the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation, it was disgorged in July 2015 without dosage and sealed with a Mytik cork. Alcohol is at 12% abv.
Tasted: Friday 21st June at 18:55 (Earth day in the lunar calendar)
Appearance: Pale gold.
Characters: Pronounced intensity with primary aromas of passion fruit, honeydew melon, lychee, pineapple, raspberry, blood orange, preserved lemon, pink grapefruit, cranberry, red apple, stewed fruit, apple compôte, lavender, white pepper, flint, and mineral. Secondary notes of buttered toast, vanilla, cloves, buttered brioche, chausson, bread dough, sablé biscuit and shortcrust pastry. There were tertiary aromas of marzipan, hazelnut, carob, caramel, caramelised peanuts, peanut brittle, praline, marmalade, honey, gamey and mushroom. The mousse is delicate and the finish is long.
This is an outstanding wine that has a beautiful balance and harmony between primary, secondary and tertiary aromas which is the result of an expert hand when it comes to the traditional art of blending. Whilst the 2012 base is now harder to find, it is well-worth the effort – stunning!
Price circa €55.00