MAY 2020 / GROWER CHAMPAGNE CLUB
HEUCQ AND SELEQUE : SUMMER BFF’s
André Heucq ‘Phase 2’ Rosé / Pinot Meunier / Cuisles, Vallee de la Marne, Champagne
A 3rd generation grower, André Heucq can best be described as a micro artisan. He does absolutely everything himself. Sounds simple, but to produce even the small amount of excellent Champagne that he does equals a ton of work. All the way down to leading his horse drawn plow. A true hands on artist, with a Zen like approach to his craft. So entrenched in Biodynamics both as a style of farming, but also as a guide to his philosophical relationship to the earth. He does absolutely nothing to manipulate the result of the juice he ferments. No additions at all, no decisions made for the sake of any desired profile. This level of minimal intervention is basically unheard of in the Champagne process. He doesn’t even brand his corks… which he still lovingly and laboriously puts each one in by hand.
Tasting notes : Is there such a thing as a Pinot Noir ice pop? Because if there were… I realize this Meunier, but for taste recognition example purposes, you get the idea. Ripe fruit, for sure, but oh so much more. Rainier cherries but with a touch quinine, Lychee fruit entangled with grapefruit rinds. Voluptuous and textured, with the deep satisfaction of a lingering finish that is more reminiscent of a dry red wine. The style sought after so often these days with Champagne tends to be much more nervy and focused than this, which is why I am enamored with the truly alive expressive ripeness of this wine, the lack of any forced restraint as to what Andre’s beautifully grown Pinot Meunier grapes truly taste like.
70% Pinot Meunier + 30% Chardonnay from his estate in Cuisles. No additions, no sulphur added. 36 months on the lees. Approx 1,300 bottles made.
Jean-Marc Sélèque / Pinot Meunier / Pierry, Les Côteaux Sud d’Epernay, Champagne NV
Jean-Marc Sélèque was considered a rising star in the small grower-producer Champagne world ten years ago, and yet he just continues to shoot higher with every vintage. He has vines in some epic sites, peppered in seven different villages – Pierry, Moussy, Epernay, Dizy, Mardeuil, Boursault, and Vertus (in the Côte des Blancs). Each site has soils that are teaming with life due to his tireless work with biodynamic treatments and organic farming practice. Jean-Marc also prefers to work with 35+ older vines so that he does not need to thin crops too much in order to achieve lower yields. After, he is another one man show when in both the vineyards and the winery.
Tasting Notes : Beautifully reflective color in the glass that is barely pink, but at the same time almost electric. Dried strawberries and rose petals on the nose with bright precision. At first taste, bitter orange peel and rose hips with that lingering wild strawberry flavor continuing to linger throughout. Ripping acid and highly mineral driven make this Champagne a textural funhouse for nerdy terroir lovers. Lastly the yeast complexion is quite delicate. Not a brioche bomb by any means (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but more a perfectly flaky french puff pastry.
45% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Meunier, 15% Pinot Noir. Fruit is blended from all seven villages Jean-Marc harvests. Stainlesss steel fermented and aged; pink color from short maceration (saignée) of Pinot Meunier, as well as a little Pinot Noir from barrel. Naturally fermented and aged on the lees for 18-30 months.