In November 2019 we were announcing you the launch of our 2009 vintage Brut Nature, our first vintage champagne, a rather crazy project which began in 2009, at the very start of our champagne house.

Vintage, many questions hide behind this word, and it depicts one of the greatest specificities of the Champagne region.

But what is a vintage wine? Aren’t all wines vintage?

 

You’ve most certainly never seen Bordeaux or Bourgogne year-less bottles, well neither have we.

As odd as it may seem, the best way to explain it is to first and foremost understand how the year could not be indicated.

Around 80% of wines from Champagne are not vintage, we then call them « Brut without year. »

A classification which is debatable seeing as they are not « without year », but rather the fruit blending various years.

It is far more seductive when worded this way.

Why is the Champagne region more concerned about it than others?

Champagne is the wine-growing region which is furthest north of France, with the lowest sunshine rates. As you can imagine, with low temperatures and bad weather, some years can be very difficult, if not nearly impossible to work.

It is therefore impossible to produce a cuvée with 100% of the same harvest.

The cellar master then comes into play, he will select the wines which have been stocked in previous years called “reserved wines” in order to:

  • Bridge gaps when the harvest is tough
  • Give the champagne a particular style (ex. Krug which mixes tens of different years, or our Grande Cuvée 6 ans which mixes two of our best harvests since 2002: 2008 and 2007.)
  • Favour the regularity of the wine

No one wonders whether this year’s Laurent-Perrier will be nicer than last years.

And this is all thanks to the cellar master’s work! The flavour must be constant, it is the signature of a champagne house.

 

 

When it comes to vintage champagnes, only two rules apply:

  • All the grapes must originate from the same year.
  • It must age in a cellar for at least 3 years before commercialisation.

The best houses will wait at least double that time and only produce vintage champagnes with their best harvests.

1990, 1996, 2002, 2008 are exceptional vintages.

And what about 2009 ?

It’s not a coincidence we picked 2009 to be our vintage, it was a very sunny year with naturally sweet grapes, a true delight.

At the time, we knew that it would be the perfect blend to make a champagne with no added sugars, which we call either Brut Nature or Zero dosage.