Grower Champagne Club – December 2020

Hugues Godmé, Fins Bois Grand Cru, $84
The Godmé family has been growing grapes in the village of Verzenay, in the Montagne de Reims, since the 19th century. Just after World War II, Joseph Godmé began making his own Champagne and soon became one of the first growers to bottle all of his own fruit himself, selling nothing to the large houses. Hugues Godmé, Joseph’s grandson, received his first vineyard from his grandfather in 1976 when he was still a student at enology school and for many years, Hugues and his sister Sabine jointly oversaw operations. But they had different sylistic ideas, which prevented Hugues from crafting his Champagnes exactly the way he wanted to. Eventually they split up the family property and created their own individual estates. Today Hugues Godmé is considered by many to be one of the best grower-producers in Champagne. He is passionate, humble, and hard-working and produces pure, terroir-driven wines from his lovingly and impeccably grown fruit. He farms completely biodynamically and picks his fruit relatively early in order to achieve maximum freshness. In the winery he uses native yeasts, with no fining or filtration, ages his wines on the lees, and vinifies in neutral wood. “What I want to achieve for all of my wines,” he says, “is a certain lightness… I prefer sensuality and lace to something too overt.” His Fins Bois is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, from the Grand Cru villages of Verzenay and Verzy. It includes a relatively large proportion of reserve wines (typically around 70%) from at least five different vintages and is vinified and aged six years on the lees in oak, adding texture and depth to this clean, focused Champagne with its relatively low dosage (around four grams per liter). With it’s great minerality and subtle touch of umami, this would be great on its own or with appetizers or a special meal.