The last three months have been very hard for all of us. Covid-19, this new infectious virus, has changed our lives in a big way. The impact on people’s physical and mental health is enormous. Our social behaviors are changing and we are continuously learning how to adjust to this new reality, but our need to feel close to our friends and family and to our community has not changed. Before the pandemic, it was easy to grab a bottle and get together. We still can do so, but we need to keep safe distances between us.
During this awkward time, I think we all need to reward ourselves for putting up with all of these new restrictions. We are trying to do our part by providing you with one of the most uplifting libations: champagne!
The two new additions for our Club are from Mouzon-Leroux and Chartogne-Taillet. We hope you drink these bottles as you celebrate our resilience and as an augur to better times . Let’s also raise our glasses to those who are on the front lines everyday fighting this pandemic. We will win this together!
Champagne Mouzon-Leroux & Fils, L’Atavique Tradition, Grand Cru Extra Brut, NV
About the Winery: Sébastien Mouzon is the 9th generation of this family to grow grapes in this village, and he officially took over as winemaker in 2008, though his first vintage was 2009. He was interested in farming organically and in using biodynamic treatments and indigenous fermentations from the beginning. Sébastien is one of the so-called “third wave” of grower-producers—the producers of a new generation, who are pushing the boundaries of what’s being done in this region.The estate is just over 7 hectares, almost all in Verzy, split over 50 different plots. Almost sixty percent of the vineyards are planted to Pinot Noir, while Chardonnay makes up just under 40 percent. Viticulture is certified organic and tinctures of horsetail, dandelion, wicker, nettle, yarrow and oak are used in addition to the biodynamic horse manure preparation. Horses are used for plowing and sheep are used to control cover crops.
Vinification: Only indigenous yeasts, no filtration, no fining. Malolactic fermentation in stainless steel and oak barrel. 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir, of which 60% 2015 vintage and 40% 2014/2013 vintage. 36 months on the lees. Residual sugar: 1.5g/l
Tasting notes: A bright, warm yellow gold color welcome you in the glass. Scent of dry jasmine, loquat fruit, and green almond kernel. The taste buds detect a saline note that reminds you of capers under salt and crunchy stone fruit. Fresh and long finish.
Champagne Chartogne-Taillet, Sainte Anne, Brut, NV
About the Winery: The village of Merfy, northwest of Reims, is distinctive for its sand and clay soils, and while it has been renowned for its wines since the Middle Ages, it’s been largely ignored of late. Alexander Chartogne is the sole contemporary champion of this forgotten terroir, and his viticulture aims to express these soils with clarity and precision. He uses organic treatments, promotes biodiversity through cover crops, and encourages deep-root systems through regular plowing, often by horse rather than by tractor. In the cellar, each parcel is vinified separately with indigenous yeasts, in oak barrels, stainless-steel tanks or concrete eggs, depending on the individual wine. Alexander took over his family estate in 2006. He learned his craft from probably the most charismatic name in Champagne: Anselm Selosse. Alexander calls him his “wine father”. Today Chartogne-Taillet estate has about 12 hectares of vineyards spread between the villages of Merfy, Chenay and Saint-Thierry. They produce 6700 cases of wine per year.
Vinification: After careful selection and harvest, the wine is pressed in a 4,000kg pneumatic press. Fermentation is done mostly in wood: 228 liter barrels with some 600-liter French Oak. 50% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Meunier; using 60% 2017 vintage as cuvee base and 40% between 2016 and 2015 vintages. Aging: 24 months on the lees Residual sugar: 5 g/l
Tasting notes: Brilliant hay yellow gold. Fresh hazelnut, candied citron, and new wool are the olfactory sensations. More citrus notes are brought up by the pleasant acidity, and there's a suggestion of almond croissant to the palate. The bubbles are fine and delicate, a starry contrast in the flute.