Grower Champagne Club – November 2019

Champagne Pierre Trichet, L’Exception, Premier Cru, 2013, $60
This month we present a brand new producer to this club. Pierre Trichet’s grandmother Antoinette and her husband Edmond planted the family’s first vineyards between 1945 and 1950 in Trois-Puits, a Premier Cru village not far from Reims in the foothills of the Montagne de Reims. In 1961 Pierre’s parents married and settled in the village. They continued to work the vineyards they had inherited but, although the cellars already existed at the time, the family didn’t begin making their own Champagne until 1970. When they decided to expand their cellars, they discovered a huge underground gallery dating back to 1789 (the year of the French Revolution), large enough to store up to 45,000 bottles. Pierre took over in 1989, and began work on completely renovating the main building and modernizing the estate. Today, he says, he crafts Champagnes that are true to his personality: “All my wines are fragrant. Should they have no aromas, I would not bottle them. I love round wines that remain in memory. I prefer frutiness to minerality. I appreciate the scents of a basket of fresh fruits.” We got a wonderful introduction to his Champagnes last month when his importer Murielle Claudel brought a selection of them by for us to try. This Blanc de Blancs was one of our favorites. Although Pierre grows all three of the traditional Champagne grapes, this vintage offering is 100% Chardonnay, aged in used Burgundy barrels for six months, with a further six years of bottle aging before release. It is complex and elegant, with notes of stone fruit and subtle hints of toasty brioche. Enjoy it over the next few years, on its own, or with shellfish.