Grower Champagne Club – July 2015

Diebolt-Vallois, Blanc de Blancs, NV
The Champagne house of Diebolt-Vallois was established in 1959 in the Grand Cru Côte des Blancs village of Cramant. It is run by the husband-and-wife team of Jacques Diebolt, whose family has lived in Cramant since the end of the 19th century, and his wife Nadia Vallois, whose family has been cultivating vines in the neighboring Premier Cru village of Cuis since the 15th century. Today they are increasingly assisted by their children Arnaud and Isabelle. The majority of their vineyards are in those two villages, but they also have parcels in Chouilly (Grand Cru) and in the Coteaux d’Epernay, all planted to Chardonnay, plus a few plantings of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in the Montagne de Reims and the Côte des Bar. But it is from the chalky soils of the Côte des Blancs that they produce their classic, elegant Chardonnay-based Champagnes. All of the fruit is hand picked with each plot picked and vinified separately. Their wines all go through malolactic fermentation and are then aged in the winery’s underground cellars, carved out of the Cramant chalk. This one is sourced from their holdings in Cuis, Chouilly, Epernay, and younger vines in Cramant. It is a blend of two vintages and has delicate flavor and texture, underlaid with the racy minerality and long finish one expects from a Blanc des Blancs. It is $63 and is at once both lively and elegant. A perfect Champagne to begin a special meal with.
(You may notice that this producer is registered as an NM (négociant-manipulant). In 2004, Diebolt applied for a négociant license so that he can supplement his fruit with a small amount from other trusted growers, when and if he chooses, in order to keep up with demand from his loyal customers.)