Pretty pretty pretty, that’s how our note started for Diebolt Vallois’s Fleur de Passion 2007. Of course there was more, alluding to flowers, a note of fresh bread, a lacy fine citrus character and plenty of chalk but it was those first three words that set the tone. It is not that this lacks any sort of presence, simply that its qualities of grace and elegance are so dominant as to render any suggestion of force obsolete. With a little air, notes of jasmine and honeysuckle overlay richer Cramant notes of brioche and ginger; it is very beguiling. And while it is true that this may not be the most fashionable of vintages, this cuvee, showing so well now, is as good a Fleur de Passion as we can remember.
Diebolt Vallois have been crafting great chardonnay based Champagnes from their base in Cramant on the Cote de Blancs since 1978, though the family has been cultivating vines in Cuis and Cramant since the 16th and 19th centuries respectively. Village legend Jacques Diebolt is still very much on site, though the day to day winemaking and running of the estate falls to his children Arnaud and Isabelle. The grapes for Fleur de Passion come from their finest parcels of 50-65 year old vines in the Grand Cru village of Cramant, undergo fermentation and elevage uniquely in wood, and never undergo malolactic fermentation. Ageing sur lie lasts for between 7 and 8 years.
"An estate which sets the standard for 'blancs de blancs'....The racy Champagne Fleur de Passion 2007 belongs to the class of the greatest Chardonnays from Champagne. It wonderfully offers the broad expression of exotic fruits and brioche typical of Cramant. A delicious vinous champagne” 2017 "LES MEILLEURS VINS DE FRANCE" WINE GUIDE
"Several producers in the Cramant village make supremely enjoyable champagnes, but personally I think Diebolt gives the cru another dimension, especially with those wines that haven't gone through malolactic fermentation, and which were harvested from the 65-year old vines in Les Pimonts or Les Buzons. There is a thought-provoking depth reminiscent of Mesnil, combined with Cramant's creamy structure." Richard Juhlin