RDJ Inflorescence 2009
Grower Champagne – small producers, superb quality, great value
Since we first listed Cedric Bouchard’s Rose de Jeanne and Inflorescence champagnes last year, the world has gone a bit bonkers for them with his Haut l’Emblee and Creux d’Enfer achieving stratospheric scores in the US press.
In case you have missed all the fuss, here is the story:
Cedric took over the Rose de Jeanne vineyards in the Aube in 2000, amounting to a not exactly massive 1.4 hectares. Yup, that’s about one tenth the size of micro-estate Petrus, and approximately 0.5% the size of the owned vineyards of Veuve Clicqout (which are a tiny part of the whole production). Oh but don’t worry, he recently took over his father’s vineyards, amounting to an expansive 1.5 hectares. Just to make things difficult, Cedric then decided to produce possibly the lowest yielding champagne in production, with the top cuvees being a ludicrous 26hl/ha. Multiply this all through, and you get just about …. Umm …. nothing.
OK, so there isn’t much of it, but so what? Well, these champagnes are a bit strange – they are all from single parcels of vines, from a single vintage, from a single grape variety, made without added sugar or dosage, bottled without fining or filtration, at low pressure, and released young.
The idea is to try to present the terroir of the vines as purely as possible – no bottle ageing or sweetness or froth to get in the way of the purity of the wine. The result is an incredibly delicate, elegant, balanced champagne. As Jancis Robinson said when she tasted the Creux d’Enfer last year, it’s a champagne that whispers rather than shouts.
A long-term staff favourite for its delicacy, precision and elegance. Dry but in no way austere, this is a lean champagne but still has a depth of red fruit flavours.
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir
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