A Champagne with plenty to say…

A Champagne with plenty to say…
There’s something highly compelling about great Blanc de Blancs Champagne. From the great single vineyard releases of Ulysse Colin to the long aged, complex food loving Champagnes of Pascal Doquet there’s arguably never been a better variety of top-quality Blanc de Blancs on the market. In the right hands Chardonnay can be moulded into many wonderful expressions, from the rich and gourmande to the steely and refreshing. Falling firmly into the latter camp, we are delighted to be able to offer, for the very first time, JL Vergnon’s Conversation Brut NV, a Blanc de Blancs made exclusively from Grand Cru domaine grown fruit in the heart of the Cote des Blancs.

JL Vergnon is a family estate with over 20 hectares of vines, primarily situated in the Grand Cru villages of Mesnil, Oger and Avize. The family have been exploiting these hallowed slopes for over 200 years but today the young Clément Vergnon runs the estate aided by the aptly named oenologist Julian Goût. Farming is done sustainably, which is to say without herbicides and with the absolute minimum of treatments needed to maintain vine health. Yields are kept low. Pressing is done in a traditional, vertical press, while vinification takes place in a mixture of steel and oak. Malo-lactic fermentations are avoided, all the better to maintain freshness, while ageing takes place for no less than 3 years before disgorgement.

The house style is very much in keeping with what we look for from great Côte de Blancs Champagnes– noble, pure and mineral driven Chardonnay with great tension, salinity and nerve. Their Brut cuvée Conversation, composed of fruit from Mesnil, Oger and Avize, delivers the domaine style at a very reasonable price, particularly given the provenance of the fruit, with remarkable purity and a very fine structure. Those who love the racy detail of Champagne’s purest chardonnays should find much to admire here…