Grower Champagne Club – August 2018

Jean Lallement & Fils, Verzenay Grand Cru, Brut, $58
We’re not sure how we’ve let this producer fly under our radar for so long, but we’re excited to get to know their wines now and, more importantly, to share them with you. Importer Terry Theise says Lallement’s Champagnes have always been his subjective favorites, not just in his portfolio but among them all. A tiny producer, Lallement makes only about 1,700 cases a year and produces only four wines. But, says Theise, “What wines!” Lallement is based in the Grand Cru village of Verzenay in the Montagne de Reims, with holdings in Verzy as well. This offering is 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay, blended from two vintages and sourced from younger vines in both Verzenay and Verzy. All of their wines go through malolactic fermentation, adding lovely richness and depth to the pure, refined flavors of apples and toasty nuts. With its silky texture and long, compex finish, it is a classic example of wines from Verzenay, a profile hard to define according to Theise but, especially in Lallement’s hands, gorgeous, ethereal, and satisfying. Enjoy it on its own or with appetizers or seafood (think lobster or crab).