CUVÉE MARIE LANCELOT
2015 Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Cramant Champagne Lancelot Pienne
Named for one of their daughters, the 2015 Cuvée Marie Lancelot is pure Cramant, from six parcels of vines in the village. Very Cramant, which is to say creamy and quite full with a rich intense flavour overlaying the saline, gunflint and refined spine, and finishing on a chalky tightness. Quite an intellectual style, it's polished purity is a joy. 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.
Cuvée Marie Lancelot is, to put it simply, Cramant in a bottle! The six plots - all located in Cramant- coming into its composition (Bouron, Buzons, Crayères, Goutte d’Or, Moyen du couchant, Porgeons), share the same soil but offer many different aspects, specific cultivations and particular harvests making possible a “deeper” expression of the terroir. Soil: chalk Vineyard age: 50 years on average Winemaking in temperature controlled stainless steel vats preserves all of its freshness and purity. Alcoholic fermentation at stabilized 18-20°C temperature. Controlled malolactic fermentation 100% Production: 2,500 bottles. Bottling: April 2016 Ageing on lathes in cellar Extra brut dosage (2.8 g/l) enhances the splendid bitter touches on finish. Here is a champagne that takes up space, not in the cellar! but in the mouth where it is at ease, spreading amply while respecting the precision and high definition of the terroir of its birth. No need to say more: cuvée Marie Lancelot is quite simply a great champagne. 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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