Grower Champagne Club – October 2013

J. Lassalle, Cuvée Préférence, 1er Cru
The underlying philosophy of Champagne producer J. Lassalle is: Un Esprit, un Style, une Femme, which translates as, “One spirit, one style, one woman.” This family-owned Champagne house based in the village of Chigny-Les-Roses in the Montaigne de Reims, was established in 1942 by Jules Lassalle. But when he passed away in 1982 his wife Olga and daughter Chantal Decelle-Lassalle took over, and in 2006 Chantal’s daughter Angéline joined them as winemaker. Together these women are committed to preserving the house style established by Jules, while bringing a certain femininity to the wines. All of their wines are allowed to finish malolactic fermentation, which gives them their characteristic complexity and elegance, and all are aged at least four years before release. Lassalle’s vineyards, all premier cru, are planted with about half Pinot Meunier, and the rest to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. They say that their Cuvée Préférence, a blend of 60% Pinot Meunier and 20% each Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, embodies the spirit of their house style, with its finesse, depth, and purity. This richly textured, expressive, and yes, feminine Champagne is $54.