Grower Champagne Club – July 2019

Chapuy, Livrée Noire, Grand Cru, 2012, $79
Chapuy is a small, eight-hectare family estate with a long history in the Grand Cru village of Oger, in the Côte des Blancs. One of their ancestors, they point out, was mayor of the village just after the French Revolution. Serge Chapuy created the brand in 1952 and his son Arnold succeded him in 1981. Since 2008 Arnold’s daughter Aurore has been in charge of both the vineyards and winemaking, while her sister Élodie, is their overseas ambassador (she visited the shop several years ago to pour their wines for us). Most of Chapuy’s vineyards are located in the Côte des Blancs with three hectares in the Grand Cru village of Oger, all planted to Chardonnay. They also source fruit from family plots in the Côteaux Sud d’Épernay, on the left bank of the Marne River in the Vallée de la Marne, from which they get Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Because this is technically purchased fruit, albeit from a family member, they are labelled NM (or négociant-manipulant). But definitely a grower in spirit. Their Livrée Noire from the excellent 2012 vintage is a blend of half each Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, aged sur lattes (maturing on lees in the bottle) for five years. It has wonderful structure and complexity, with inviting aromatics, broad fruit flavors, and balancing minerality. Élodie credits their exceptional soil for her Champagne’s remarkable finesse. Lovely on its own, you could also enjoy it with lobster, crab, poultry, or duck.