Georges Laval 'Les Chênes' 1er Cru, Brut Nature, Champagne, France 2018 (dis. 05.22)
After finishing his studies in 1991, Vincent Laval has taken over operations at this historic property as the fourth generation at Georges Laval. The family has resided in Cumières since 1694! Since 1971, the domaine has been fully organic, one of the first wineries in the region to make this conversion.
Of the 2.5 hectares of vines that the Laval’s own and farm, 2 of them are in Cumières and only a 1/2 hectare is in Chembrecy in the Montagne de Reims. The fruit from the Chambrecy parcel goes into Vincent’s only wine produced with reserve juice, Garennes. However, the wines of the domaine are really all about Cumières and the family’s holdings in the village. Laval produces some of the most profound, flavorful and terroir driven Champagne within the tiny 1er Cru of Cumières.
Although the entire production rarely hits 10,000 bottles annually, Vincent does manage to carve out 3 distinct bottlings from single vineyard sites alongside his two village labeled bottlings. His single vineyard bottlings include Les Chênes, Les Hautes Chèvres and the most recent addition to the line-up Les Longues Violes. All wines are made in a similar fashion; after meticulous selection at harvest the grapes are pressed in a traditional 2000kg Coquard vertical press. The vins clairs are fermented with native yeasts, aged in barrels, bottled with low sulfur and typically without dosage.
The Laval plot in Les Chênes lies mid slope with a due south facing on chalk subsoil and a very thin topsoil layer of clay-loam | this bottling is from an old vine selection of 100% Chardonnay | the first bottling of this stand alone lieu dit was with the 1994 vintage.
A truly special wine. It is a rarity to find a wine that you can cellar for 10+ years but it is singing upon opening. An immediate rush of herbs and mint, giving way to a layer of baked orchard fruits, rising bread and preserved lemon. The length is never ending. Truly something.
Soil: Limestone Clay, loam