Day Four

Today we visited three houses in grand cru villages: Bouzy in the Grande Montagne de Reims, Chouilly in the Cotes des Blancs and Ay in the Grande Vallée de la Marne.

Bouzy is renowned for its ripe full-bodied pinot noir, historically as a still wine.  The vineyards are mostly south facing and in belemnite chalk soils.  Chouilly is located in the northern most aspect of the Cotes des Blancs, just east of Épernay.  Vines are planted on flatlands and slopes, almost exclusively with Chardonnay noted for a round, full bodied style.  Ay is one of the largest villages in Champagne, located just north of Épernay. Most of the vines are south facing and planted with pinot noir known for producing powerful wines.

Delavenne Père & Fils, Bouzy Photo Jun 21, 5 39 15 AM

This is a house that we know well and have enjoyed visiting and tasting their cuvées. Founded in 1920 by Marcel Delavenne, this house is now under the care of fourth generation Jean-Christophe and his wife Maelle. The juice from each grape variety is vinified separately in stainless steel tanks with no malolactic fermentation allowed.  The vineyards are worked with integrated agriculture, maintaining the soil, allowing biodiversity, with no pesticides and a progression towards organic farming.  We met with Maelle and Jean-Christophe and tasted with Susan the export and communication manager.

Cuvées Tasted:

  • Brut Nature Grand Cru
  • Brut Réserve Grand Cru
  • Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru
  • Brut Tradition Grand Cru
  • Brut Millésimé 2006 Grand Cru
  • Brut Rosé Grand Cru
  • Demi-Sec Grand Cru

Legras & Haas, ChouillyPhoto Jun 21, 3 41 40 PM

This was our second visit to this house. Founded in 1991 by Brigitte Haas and Francois Legras, passionate grower and winemaker, respectively of champagne. The estate of 38 hectares is run as a family affair.  Vinification is by individual plots and malolactic fermentation is carried out.

We tasted with  Laetitia.

Cuvées Tasted:

  • Tradition
  • Rosé
  • Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut
  • Blanc de Blancs Brut
  • Blanc de Blancs Millésime 2011
  • Les Sillons 2012
  • Exigence N9
  • Exigence N9 Brut Nature

Roger Brun, AyPhoto Jun 23, 6 53 01 PM

This was our second visit to meet with the dynamic winemaker Philippe Brun. The Brun family has been generations of grape growers and winemakers dating back at least to the French revolution. His wines are known to be full bodied yet focused.

We discussed wine and politics with Philippe and even tasted his cuvées.

  • Grande Réserve Brut
  • Grande Réserve Sec
  • Grand Cru Brut Réserve
  • Cuvée Des Sires Millésime 2013
  • La Pelle Blanc de Noir Millésime 2012
  • 4 Nuits Rosé Saignée Millésime 2013
  • Rosé Romance Millésime 2012

Visit What’s Open to learn more about these cuvées.

Continue the tour with Day Five!