Grower Champagne Club – February 2013

Dosnon & Lepage, Avirey-Lingey Recolte Noire
Like the Dumont last month, this Champagne comes from the southern Aube region, not far from Chablis, and with that limestone clay soil that imparts exceptional acidity and minerality to the wines. Dosnon & Lepage is a relatively young winery, and one of the smallest in the region, but what they lack in history, they make up for in talent and dedication. Founders Davy Dosnon and Simon-Charles Lepage both grew up in the region. But while Davy went on to study viticulture, working with both Burgundian and Champagne producers before moving back his hometown of Avirey-Lingey, Simon-Charles moved to Paris to study criminal law. When he returned to the peace and quiet of the village to work on his thesis, he connected with Davy and the rest is history. The two founded Dosnon & Lepage with a two-hectare vineyard that Davy inherited from his grandfather and a passion to craft complex and enticing wines expressive of the local terroir. Noteworthy is their strong commitment to the environment: they practice strict sustainable viticulture and are members of 1% For the Planet, donating a percentage of their annual sales to environmental causes around the world. As for their wines, they are all fermented in used Puligny-Montrachet barrels and they have very low dosage, hence their rich aromas and flavors and fresh, mineral-laced restraint. Although they purchase a small amount of fruit from select growers in and around their village, this Recolte Noire is made from fruit from their Avirey-Lingey vineyard. It is $55 and lovely now, though it will continue to develop finesse as it ages. This young estate is already garnering international attention. In July, 2011, Eric Asimov wrote in the New York Times: “The Dosnon & Lepage Champagnes are superb, especially the 100 percent Pinot Noir Récolte Noire, powerful yet graceful, wonderfully fresh and aromatic.” The producers suggest pairing it with braised Castilian lamb, or vegetable Pot-au-Feu.