Our tasting impressions
This 2014 is a bit bigger than the lovely 2011. It retains the signature Dubois brightness and energy. There is pronounced mineral flavors - mainly chalk and saline - overlaying the citrus and fall fruit. The mousse is very refined and the length is a pleasure. This continues to be an extraordinary value in vintage Blanc de Blancs. It also confirms that Hervé and Nina are masters of less exemplary vintages.
About this wine
100% Chardonnay from select Grand Cru plots, all with vines at least 50 years old. Vinified in steel tank without malolactic fermentation to emphasize freshness and terroir. Aged about 5 years. Bottled after a light filtration. Disgorged October 2014 with a dosage of 5g/L.
About the grape
Chardonnay is the most popular wine variety in the the US. Winemakers love the green-skinned grape as well because it’s so easy to grow and adaptive to many different production techniques. Grown everywhere, Chardonnay’s greatest expressions are widely believed to come from Burgundy. Indeed, this is believed to be where the grape originated. Chablis, in Northern Burgundy and Champagne also offer superlative examples of Chardonnay.
About the vintage
2014 was a challenging vintage for most of Champagne but Chardonnay fared better than the norm. The spring was terrific but the summer was chilly and very wet. A return to fair weather in early fall, provided the opportunity for conscientious growers to produce some very good wine with ample ripeness.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Mineralité
The roots of this Grower Champagne estate dates back to 1920. Hervé's grandfather Paul was in the business of transporting wine to the big Champagne houses by horse. He bought land in Avize in order to feed and raise the horses and this land eventually was designated Grand Cru vineyards. A decade later, he developed the property to focus on wine production.
In 1981, Hervé began bottling their wine under his own name. His daughter, Nina is heir apparent, managing the commerce and gradually learning winemaking from her father.
The 7.5ha estate in the Côte des Blancs near Épernary is 60% Chardonnay (mostly Grand Cru in Avize. The estate also comprises 1.5ha Pinot Meunier, 1ha Pinot Noir and .5ha 1er Cru Chardonnay in Montagne de Reims. Other vineyards are in Oger and Cramant.
Thirty-eight years ago, Hervé discontinued using malolactic fermentation in his Chardonnay and has remained committed to this less common practice. He believes it results in fresher, livelier wines that more transparently reflect the terroir.