This Champagne comes from Laval's lieu-dit "Les Chênes" which is planted to Chardonnay and is a wine that is fermented in cask. Vincent Laval works thoughtfully in all his vineyards, doesn't spray synthetic chemical - his father refused in the 1970s - and is looking to create soulful Champagnes you can age.
If you love, love, LOVE minerality in your Champagne, this is the bottle for you. Wet stone and chalk are the immediate impressions the wine makes, with spiced pear and quince fruit, citrus oil, and a little anise coming in on the palate. For all that, this not a wine without richness or immediate pleasures. Fermentation happens in oak barrel with indigenous yeasts and is followed by substantial lees aging, lending spice, nuttiness, and body to this zero dosage wine. Les Chenes is a small parcel planted to 100% Chardonnay, part of the Laval holdings in the village of Cumieres. The estate has been fully organic since 1971, rare in Champagne. Working a scant 2.5ha, their total production rarely exceeds 10,000 bottles. Now is the time to get acquainted, before Champagne-heads who love the Laval wines' steely intensity snap them all up!
- JON (Astor Wines)