Grower Champagne Club – August 2013

J.L. Vergnon, Brut ‘Résonance,’ 2006
The house of J.L. Vergnon has been in the same family for five generations. When Jean-Louis Vergnon decided to begin producing wines, and not simply grow fruit for other producers, his goal was to “make exceptional wines from exceptional grapes.” And he did just that: he produced his first wines in 1985, and in 1987 received a “coups de coeur,” the highest honor awarded by the Hachette Guide to French wines (a bible of French wines, similar to what the Michelin Guide is to restaurants) for his Extra Brut. Today the Vergnon wines are made by Christophe Constant, aided by family members who together manage their Côte de Blancs vineyards in the grand cru villages of Le Mesnil sur Oger and Oger. The chalky soil in this region gives the wines their characteristic minerality and elegance. This cuvée blends fruit from vines averaging around 30 years in age, grown in several plots with different exposures. Aged over five years in their cellars, the 2006 Résonance has fine, gentle bubbles, and a rich, silky texture. It is 100% Chardonnay, of course, and beautifully combines both the fruity and floral characteristics of the grape, with inviting notes of toasty biscuits and almonds. A very elegant and refined Champagne, it is $64.50 and is in quite limited supply. Enjoy it now or over the next four to five years as an aperitif or paired with delicately flavored grilled fish.