Tuesday inventory … in the wine cellar

Picture of Björnstierne Antonsson

Björnstierne Antonsson

Went down to the Champagnebar as I always do on Tuesday mornings to do the inventory. My eyes searched for the new version of Jérôme Prévost’s LA CLOSERIE ‘LÉS BÉGUINES EXTRA BRUT’ – the 2011-based blend.

LA CLOSERIE ‘LÉS BÉGUINES EXTRA BRUT’  – the 2011-based blend.

GUEUX | CHAMPAGNE | FRANCE | LA CLOSERIE | Swedish importer: vin&natur  | 100PM | BJpoints 90(92)

TASTING NOTE Yet another wonderful, Selosse-like wine from Prévost. It is of course reminiscent of Lieux Diets and has the same exotic bouquet with Asian influence. Sesame seed, mango, peach and musk. Dry and fine with exemplary freshness tending to ginger. Selosse’s disciple makes a sensational wine here. He work with grapes from the Marne Valley, avoid malolactic fermentation, and vinify wholly in small, new oak barrels. I thought in a blind tasting that it could be Selosse, as certain notes are identical to what the great master does. Incredibly interesting to find that it’s possible to vinify such a wine only using Pinot Meunier. It must be the first time it’s been done from new oak barrels, which shows that it isn’t so strange that Krug and José Michel make such big and storable wines with a high proportion of Pinot Meunier. I long to follow a vintage Champagne from Prévost into the future.

THE VINTAGE 2011 Pinot noir especially stood out this year, while pinot meunier was affected partly by attacks. The winter came unusually early, in November of the previous year, but a mild late spring still led to a flowering in May. The blending wines still have a fairly thin structure and a disturbing note of bubblegum. Actually, this was one of the few autumns I have been present at harvest. I went around and made unannounced visits here and there. The strongest impres- sion and question mark was actually the huge amount of invasive ladybugs that were caught in the presses and left a nasty, urine-saturated stabbing scent in the press houses. Will this leave an impression? I fail to see it disappear given how strong it was. Apart from that, I will never forget it was 86°F and the autumn sun radiant, when we celebrated with a magnum and fireworks into the wee hours in Moulin de Verzenay.

RJ ON LA CLOSERIE One of Anselme Selosse’s disciples, who works with exactly the same methods – and partly together with Anselme in Avize. Prévost is an incredibly exciting newcomer who, for the moment, only works with Pinot Meunier. On my first encounter with wine from Prévost, my guess was Tarlant at Oeuilly where they use grapes from the Marne Valley, avoid malolactic fermentation and vinify exclusively in new small oak barrels. I also said that it could be Selosse because certain tones are identical with those achieved by the great master. Immensely interesting to see that it is possible through vinification to produce such a wine only from Pinot Meunier. It must be the first time this is done in new oak barrels, which only goes to show that it is not at all strange that Krug and José Michel make such great and storable wines with a high proportion of Pinot Meunier. I long for a vintage champagne from Prévost, as a follow-up in the future. The greatest secret of this success seems however to be the cuttings from from Selosse and Dauvissat in Chablis.

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