Jean Baptiste Geoffroy Les Houtrants Complantes 1er Cru Brut Nature MV (disgorged Nov 2019)
A blend of Pinot Noir, Meunier, Chardonnay, Petit Meslier and Arbanne. These days, many of the grower-producers are selling all the Champagne they can make. Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy, who has 14 hectares in the Vallée de la Marne, is the fifth generation in his family to grow grapes in the region. While his family has always made a little wine, they began to emphasize Champagne production in the bad years after World War II, when they were unable to sell their grapes to the big houses. In the 1970s Mr. Geoffroy’s father decided to keep all the grapes and turn them into Champagne. Walking through a hillside vineyard in Cumières overlooking the Marne, Mr. Geoffroy’s parcels were easy to distinguish from the others. The lush green grass growing between his rows of bare vines was evidence of his distaste for chemical pesticides and herbicides. Geoffroy’s vines average about 20 years of age, and the oldest is from 1926. Viticulture is described as lutte intégrée, or “integrated pest control”—it is heavily aimed at sustainability, eschewing all chemical weedkillers and employing methods such as the planting of cover crops, tilling of the soil, and the encouraged habitation of predatory insects to combat vine pests. Les Houtrants Complantes is a blend of Pinot Noir, Meunier, Chardonnay, Petit Meslier and Arbanne. The grapes were planted in 2004 in the Cumieres 1er cru vineyard of Houtrants which has soils of clay with silex and sandstone over calcareous Marne deposit. Multiple vintages from 2008 to 2012 are in here and the bottles are aged for 5 years before disgorgement with no added sugar, aka Brut Nature. Enjoy one of the most unique champagnes on the market as we enjoy it. With friends and family.