2014 Extra Brut Champagne Lancelot Pienne
|Grapes||Chardonnay, Pinot Noir|
50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay. A fuller-bodied wine than all the others on the range. Only made when the Pinots are exceptional - and only 900 bottles were made of this one. The Chardonnay is all Cramant, the Pinot from Boursault and Monthelon. It's a punchy characterful wine - and wine is the right word here - it's perfectly capable of handling food - the 2014 vintage is intense and full, capable of long ageing - if drinking now you can even decant it - it's certainly worth following the evolution of the flavours as it opens up. Long complex finish on a firm, driving acidity. L&S (Oct 2021)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
Always a vintage, this prestige cuvée is only produced in small quantities in the best years. Gilles Lancelot will look for the best pinots noirs from Monthelon and Boursault which he combines with Cramant chardonnays. Soil: clay, chalk and sand Vineyard age: 40 years on average Winemaking: This 2014 is the result of a perfectly balanced blend of pinot noir (50%) and chardonnay (50%) vinified in temperature controlled stainless steel vats. Alcoholic fermentation at stabilized 18-20°C temperature. Controlled malolactic fermentation 100% Production: 900 bottles. Bottling: May 2015 Ageing on lathes in cellar Pinot noir contributes its touch of spicy fruit (enhanced by a 6 g/l dosage), its generosity, power and structure. Quite ample in the mouth, here is a wine with … table manners! It will go well through a meal. Winemaker's notes (Jan 2022)
Champagne Lancelot Pienne
Gilles Lancelot, a qualified oenologist, is the fourth generation of his family to have his own vines in Cramant. It was his grandfather Jean who became the first one in the family sell his own Champagne, shortly after the second world war. Gilles' father Albert married Brigitte Pienne, from another Champagne-producing family, and she brought with her the vines in the south Épernay hills (in Mancy and Monthelon) and the Marne valley.
The 8.3 hectares of vineyard supply all their grapes, so as Gilles says, they know exactly what goes into each bottle. 3 hectares are in the Grand Cru villages of Cramant, Avize and Chouilly, another 2-3 in Mancy and Monthelon, and the rest in the Marne valley, including Bisseuil. The domaine is 60% Chardonnay, 30% Meunier and 10% Pinot Noir. They have 70 different parcels of vines, which demand a lot of attention, but give a wide palette when it comes to blending.
The vineyard is certified HVE3, and the approach is 'balanced viticulture'. The domaine is entirely worked by their own employees and soils and ploughed and only organic fertiliser is used. They try to use only natural treatments to stimulate the vines to defend themselves. Gilles wants ripe grapes in good condition and is, as he puts it, quite slow to pick, but 'but then again you have to preserve the acidity too'. The vinifications are entirely in stainless steel to preserve the purity of their Chardonnay, and the élevage continues until bottling in July - the object being to make wines which are straight and pure, all in delicacy, with freshness as well as aromas and flavours. Malolactic fermentation is a choice - for example in 2017 all the wines went through malo, but in the very ripe vintage of 2018, all were blocked.
There's a temptation, of course, if you are called Lancelot, to refer to the Arthurian legends, and it's a temptation that is irresistible if you then marry a girl whose maiden name is Perceval. As Gilles says, at least they didn't name their children Arthur and Guinevere. But the winery dog is called Hector (Hector de Maris was Lancelot's half-brother). Watch this space - when their son takes over, the domaine may change its name to Lancelot-Perceval. All of which explains the discreet logo and the name of the Cuvée 'La Table Ronde'.
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