Champagne Lelarge-Pugeot is a boutique, organic grower based in Vrigny, a Premier Cru village situated in the north east of Montagne de Reims. The Lelarge family has been making wine since 1789 and Champagne since 1930. Today the estate is headed up by seventh generation Dominique Lelarge, along with his wife Dominique Pugeot and their children. The wines are dominated by Pinot Meunier due to the north eastern orientation of the vineyard. They believe in letting the grapes thrive as naturally as possible in order to express the pure essence of terroir. Biodynamic principles are practised in the vineyard and they were certified organic in 2013. Champagne LelargePugeot follows a philosophy of minimal intervention in the winery and their handcrafted wines are poised, elegant and a true reflection of the Vrigny terroir.
Lelarge-Pugeot’s eight hectare vineyard is spread over 42 distinct parcels in and around the Premier Cru village of Vrigny, at altitudes of 150 metres above sea level. The grapes for this cuvée come from a blend of four of the parcels from Vrigny Premier Cru, where the soils are sandy loam and calcareous marls. The Pinot Meunier vines are pruned according to the Cordon method, restricting the yields and concentrating the flavours. The vineyard is certified organic and uses biodynamic methods; it is ploughed by horse during the year, to prevent soil compaction, allowing the top layers of soil access to oxygen and boosting the overall health of the soil, vines and grapes. Grasses are planted between the rows to impart valuable nutrients to the soil. Hand harvested.
Made from 100% Pinot Meunier, something of a rarity in Champagne. The grapes were pressed using a pneumatic press, followed by a long ‘débourbage’ or settling period. Alcoholic fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks using their “pied de cuve”, which is a technique used in natural winemaking to employ natural yeasts. A small batch of must is used to start a spontaneous fermentation using indigenous yeasts, once this has been deemed successful, this “pied de cuve” is then added to the remaining must to start the fermentation process. This cuvée underwent natural malolactic conversion and was bottled the following April. The wine spent six years ageing on its lees in bottle.
This stunningly poised and textured Champagne is made from 100% Pinot Meunier and has a rich palate, which is beautifully balanced by crisp notes of green apple and lime freshness. Creamy, with a lovely purity of flavour through to an endless finish.
Pinot Meunier 100%.
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