Champagne Spotlight | Roger Coulon, Vrigny

by Caroline Tanner

‘One of the most electrifying discoveries for me (at the L&S Champagne tasting in May) was Champagne Roger Coulon. The very first taste of the first wine on the table set my spine tingling. These are exhilarating, idiosyncratic wines.’

Tamlyn Currin – JancisRobinson.com 2023

A tiny part of the wine market as a whole (as explored in Charles Lea’s blog here), grower Champagne has a disproportionate share of characterful, remarkable wines, thanks to the passionate vignerons behind the wines. We’re shining a spotlight on our portfolio of grower champagnes this year, each month highlighting a different producer – this month: Roger Coulon.

Eric and Isabelle Coulon, now joined by their children Edgar and Louise (the ninth generation), have around 11 hectares of vines in Premier and Grand Cru sites in Vrigny, Gueux and Coulommes-la-Montagne on the Montagne de Reims, and Chouilly on the Côte des Blancs. Most of the Coulon’s labels show a map of their vineyards in Vrigny – the plots used for each cuvée are highlighted in gold.

The vines are in around 100 parcels and all farmed organically. Such is the family’s attention to winemaking detail, they aim to press these individually. Around one third is vinified in tank, the rest in barrel.

Both Edgar and Louise have trained in wine-making elsewhere, Louise at Domaine Ott, and Edgar with Philippe Pacalet and Fredéric Cossard in Burgundy, but also in England and Australia before returning to their grower Champagne roots.

Champagne Roger coulon

The grapes are given a slightly longer hang time, ensuring decent maturity and giving the wines a natural balance and feel. The second fermentation is at around 4.5-4.8 bar, a little lower than the classical 5 bar pressure, giving what Eric describes as ‘measured effervescence’.

‘I make wine of Champagne, not Champagne’, he adds, ‘Everything at Roger Coulon needs to be harmonious, that’s what counts the most for me’.

An excellent introduction to the range, ‘Heri Hodie’ embodies the Roger Coulon style. The Latin name, meaning ‘yesterday today’, is a nod to both the winemaking knowledge, passed down between generations and the solera of Pinot Meunier (established in 1995) that provides the base for this remarkable cuvée

 

Cuvée Herie HodieHERI HODIE Brut 1er Cru Champagne Roger Coulon NV

France, Champagne
Pinot Meunier | 12%
Certified Organic

100% Meunier, 98% from their perpetual solera.

“Roger Coulon’s wines took my breath away, across the board. This ‘entry’ wine was thrilling. Quince, loquat, brine and edging towards kombucha and oolong tea and texture. So much tucked into one wine. Vibrating, spicy, but dense. Pulsing with energy and gingerbread and edges; lines and curves and ribbons and a hint of something feral. Super-exciting. Long toasty finish, like roasted chestnuts on a winter evening.”

Drinking range: 2024 – 2030
17.5 | Tamlyn Currin – JancisRobinson.com

£53.50 single bottle
£49.95 in a full or mixed case of 6

Order Here

 

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