Piollot and Marie Courtin

Roland Piollot and Dominique Moreau are serious winemakers who are just as serious about the quality of the soil in which their vines grow – they each have their own vineyards and make their own Champagne but help and advise each other.

Roland assiduously attends to his long mounds of organic compost (see photo below) that he prepares with care for application to his vineyard. The vineyard is being converted to biodynamic practices therefore no chemicals are used, no chemical fertilisers are used and no herbicides are used.

Working with his wife Dominique their compost recipe involves starting with the left overs from the press after harvest then adding manure in January, followed by a biodynamic preparation towards the end of winter. Everything in the compost comes from within 12 kilometres of Polisot, including straw and sawdust.

Roland explains that unlike chemical fertilisers, once applied, their home-made slowly-matured compost “brings what the vineyard needs but slowly”. It make more even growth, not a quick burst and they also like the assurance of knowing exactly what we are putting in the vineyards. He also thinks that the vines like the warmth that comes from the compost.

His vineyard is a special place with sweeping views across the valley in which his home village of Polisot nestles. Here ducks swim contentedly in the tranquil upper reaches of the Seine River and vegetable gardens line its banks. It is an idyllic location. The nearest major town is the ancient city of Troyes.

Dominique has a smaller vineyard than Roland therefore her wines are produced in smaller quantities. She does, however, farm using the same biodynamic practices. This ensures the quality of the fruit is exceptional and we are delighted to be able to offer two of her Champagnes for sale in limited quantities. Dominique is certified as organic and biodynamic by Ecocert and Demeter.

Dominique and Roland also etch the lot numbers of each wine on the bottom of the bottles. You will be able to see a number etched into the glass such as LR15D1117. The letter L stands for “lot”, the R stands for “Réserve”, 15 stands for 2015 which is the vintage of the wine and D stands for the date of disgorgement which in this example was “1117” which means that the wine was disgorged in November 2017.

Piollot Champagne Côte des Bar Cuvee de Reserve Brut NV

When we first tasted this elegant Champagne we remarked on its beautiful light golden colour, the citrus aromas and the silky freshness on the palate and very good length. The base wine is made from Pinot Noir (70%) and Chardonnay (30%) providing additional richness. The 750 ml bottles were disgorged in December 2018.

Further complexity is gained from using base wine from two different vintages (2015 and 2016) to make the Champagne. This is an ideal aperitif and represent amazing value at this price.

The wine in 750ml bottles was disgorged in November 2020 and the Magnums were disgorged in September 2020.

This wine is certified organic through CERTIPAQ FR-BIO-09.

RRP: $82 (SOLD OUT)

Piollot Champagne Côte des Bar Cuvée Come des Tallants 2017

The Come des Tallants is an exciting cuvée from Roland Piollot that represents a step-up in quality in a range that is already very, very good. The parcel of land called Come des Tallants is less than one hectare on a hill behind the town of Polisot that has direct southern exposure and scree slopes of Upper Jurassic chalky marls.

This champagne is a classic “Blanc de Noir” – a white Champagne made from a red grape variety, namely 100% Pinot Noir picked from 40 year old vines. This Champagne has small but persistent bubbles, a beautiful golden hue, a bracing freshness, and great length that you would be lucky to find in wines of twice the price. It also reflects the care taken with the health of the soil, displaying intense minerality and depth of fruit flavour.

It is a perfect aperitif wine that can be used to break the ice at the beginning of the evening but it also pairs very nicely with a range of foods, especially rich seafood dishes such as crab and lobster.

Matched with smart new labels and the fact that there is not any added sugar in the wine (zero dosage), we have here the perfect wine for a celebration at an amazingly good price. The wine was disgorged in November 2019.

Chambers Street Wines in New York are big fans of Roland’s wines. They say of this release:

“The palate is finely chiseled with a nervy minerality, buoyed by a weighty concentration and a full aromatic range of wild flowers, which continues through to a finely pointed finish. A fantastic effort and Champagne from Roland Piollot! “

This wine is certified organic through CERTIPAQ FR-BIO-09.

RRP: $95 (SOLD OUT)

Piollot Champagne Côte des Bar Cuvée Champs Rayés Brut Nature 2014

The Champs Rayés is another new cuvée from Roland Piollot and is the finest Champagne from that estate. The Champs Rayés cuvee comes from an area known as Noé les Mallets where Roland has two plots of vines “Champs Rayés” and “Derrière le Bois” planted entirely to massale selection Chardonnay and both of which have clay, marl and limestone soils.

The resulting Champagne is a fine, elegant and rich wine of incredible finesse.

By the way, the Champs Rayés vineyard gets its name (striped field) from the two different types of marl rocks found in this area.

Notice that this Champagne bears the term Brut Nature on the label. This can only appear in wines that have had no sugar added at any time during the maturation of the wine. The wine has neither been fined or filtered.

As with the Come des Tallants, this wine sports a new label. It was disgorged in January 2021 after spending around six years on lees.

This wine is certified organic through CERTIPAQ FR-BIO-09.

RRP: $105 (SOLD OUT)

Piollot Champagne Côte des Bar Extra Brut Pinot Blanc Cuvee Val Colas Robin 2014

This is a special new cuvee for Roland Piollot made entirely from Pinot Blanc grown on his estate. The vines thrive on the slopes near the village of Polisot overlooking the upper reaches of the Seine River.

The Val Colas Robin vineyard was planted entirely to Pinot Blanc (with a little of the very rare Arbane as well) by the Piollot family in 1955 using selection massale rather than clonal varieties, meaning that the vines are an incredible 65 years old.

The vineyard is one of the best in Roland’s care. It has wonderful southern exposure so the grapes ripen easily and the soil is based on limestone with a mix of red clay which provides the minerality that is so obvious in this very special wine. Approximately 80% of the juice was transferred to tank and the rest to oak barrels.

This is a very elegant, savoury wine with lots of fresh fruit aromas and lovely, balanced acidity. It has a very fine bead and you also notice the light golden colour. There is a complexity in both the aroma and the flavour with lots spice and citrus notes and the intense minerality that we mentioned above.

It is very rare to find a Champagne made almost exclusively from the Pinot Blanc grape, however once you taste it you will wonder why more producers don’t do it! We say almost because there is also .5 of an are of slightly more acidic Arbane planted beside the Pinot Blanc and it is included as well.

The wine was disgorged in March 2020.

This wine is certified organic through CERTIPAQ FR-BIO-09.

RRP: $98 (SOLD OUT)

Piollot Champagne Côte des Bar Les Protelles 2018

The Les Protelles is an exciting new cuvée from Roland that is a Rosé de saignée (meaning that it is a rosé that has gained the pink colour through a short, 3 day maceration which was enough time to extract colour from the skins to produce the vibrant pink colour of this wine). It is made entirely from Pinot Noir.

The juice was transferred to a tank for the fermentation (both the alcoholic fermentation and the malolactic fermentation) prior to bottling.

It spent two years on lees before being disgorged in September 2020. After disgorgement 3 grams per litre of dosage was added to create an Extra Brut wine.

The Les Protelles vineyard has a beautiful southern exposure that ensures the grapes ripen well. The age of the vines is a minimum of 45 years.

Roland recommends drinking this Champagne with a chocolate dessert and we don’t think too many people would disagree with the concept!!

This wine is certified organic through CERTIPAQ FR-BIO-09.

RRP: $99 (SOLD OUT)

Piollot Champagne Côte des Bar Cuvée Chevry 2014

This is an amazing Champagne that really shows off the benefit of two important parts of the Champagne-making processes. The first is the benefits that accrue when the wine is allowed to age gracefully on lees for a long period of time. This wine is from grapes harvested from the 2014 vintage and it has only just been released.

The second positive about this wine is that two out of the three grape varieties were red (Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier) that were direct pressed to produce white juice. We find that this process provides a more interesting texture than just direct pressing white grapes and here the combination of the three most popular Champagne grapes works very well indeed.

As mentioned above, the Roland Piollot Cuvée Chevry is a blend of the three main Champagne grape varieties, namely Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

The wine was made in 2014 and the bottles were disgorged in January 2021!!

This wine is certified organic through CERTIPAQ FR-BIO-09.

RRP: $108 (SOLD OUT)

Piollot Champagne Côte des Bar MePetit 2016

This cuvée from Roland Piollot is composed of 100% Pinot Meunier, but has been direct pressed so that the juice is white and hence is named as a Blanc de Noir (white from black).

This term has been designed to signify that the wine has been made from red grapes (even though the juice is red, the colour of the grapes is often closer to black, viz Pinot Noir). Similarly, the term Blanc de Blanc  indicates that it is a white wine made from white grapes.

The grapes for this cuvee were sourced from the MePetit vineyard which faces south-east and hence has good exposure. The soil is clay made from calcareous rocks (limestone which is quite common in this area) which provide good minerality for the wine.

Note: When we talk about minerality we do not imply that minerals from the soil are transported into the grapes, however with biodynamic and organic soils there is a myriad of life such as bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi which can break down components of the soil into salts and other compounds and pass these through to the vines.

The wine was aged for nearly 3 years on lees and then bottled with no dosage and no residual sugar, hence it can display Brut Nature on the label. The wine was disgorged in May 2019.

This wine is certified organic through CERTIPAQ FR-BIO-09.

RRP: $114 (SOLD OUT)

Piollot Champagne Côte des Bar Les Gravelées Rosé 2013

It is back!!! This stunning rosé Champagne sold out very quickly in the previous shipment, but we have been able to secure another small allocation.

The Côte des Bar region of Champagne is slowly emerging as an area capable of producing some of the finest wines, due to the mild climate and excellent terroir which consists of marl and Kimméridgian limestone.

Les Gravelées Rosé is testimony to the search for quality in this region. It is a “rosé de maceration”. The grapes (only Pinot Noir is used) are first crushed by foot and the grapes then macerate for up to two days before the juice which, by this time, has developed cherry, strawberry and raspberry overtones is taken out of the tank. However there is more! This wine has had no sulphites added at any time during production resulting in a Champagne that is very lively and very fresh due to not having the dampening effect of sulphites. It was disgorged in March 2015 and has had no sugar added at any time.

This wine has an appealing intensity and a lingering freshness. It is a Champagne of true elegance and one that we are delighted with. It is difficult to stop drinking this lovely wine.

RRP: $86 (SOLD OUT)

Marie Courtin Champagne Cuvée Allégeance 2013

This is a delightful Champagne from the talented Dominique Moreau. It is a rosé wine made from a maceration of 100% Pinot Noir. The wine was disgorged in November 2018.

We are very excited about this Champagne because, like her husband’s Les Gravelées, it is a rosé that has been made without adding any sulphites so it is bright and lively as well as being delicious!

RRP: SOLD OUT

Marie Courtin Champagne Cuvée Présence 2017

Présence is a blended Champagne which is unique for Marie Courtin cuvées. This wine is a blend of two-thirds Chardonnay and one third Pinot Blanc to which no sulphites and no sugar (dosage) has been added. The wine was fermented in tank.

The wine was disgorged in September 2019.

RRP: $165 (SOLD OUT)

Marie Courtin Champagne Efflorescence 2014

Marie Courin’s Efflorescence is made from 100% Pinot Noir and hence is classified as a Blanc de Noir. The wine spent over 5 years in old barrels and then bottles before being disgorged in March 2020.

RRP: $133 (SOLD OUT)

Marie Courtin Champagne Resonance 2017

The Marie Courtin Resonance 2017 is a lovely Champagne made from grapes picked from vines that grow at the top of the slope where Dominique tiny parcel of vines lies. The wine was disgorged in November 2020 and no dosage was added.

RRP: $101 (SOLD OUT)

Marie Courtin Champagne Eloquence 2015

The Eloquence is an extra dry Champagne made from 100% Chardonnay grapes, picked from vines that have been grown from a sélection massale from the property. The vines have been tended using both organic and biodynamic approaches. Dominique is certified for both organic and biodynamic viticulture.

The wine was matured for over 4 years (fermented in old barrels) before being disgorged in March 2020. There was no dosage added.

The name Eloquence reflects the wine – it is very persuasive, you only need a sip to make you realise you are drinking something very special!

RRP: $151 (SOLD OUT)

Marie Courtin Champagne Cuvée Concordance 2016

Another exceptional biodynamic Champagne from Dominique Moreau. This one comes from Pinot Noir vines and is therefore classified as a Blanc de Noir. The vines are 50 years old and grow in the famous Kimmeridgean limestone on a slope that faces east.

The wine matured in a tank for three years before being bottled without the addition of any sulphites. It was disgorged in September 2020 and had no dosage.

RRP: $165 (SOLD OUT)

Marie Courtin Champagne Cuvée Indulgence 2009

We have just received two vintages of this amazing Champagne. We have the 2015 (which has now sold out) and, amazingly, the 2009!

Indulgence is a rosé de maceration which is traditional in the Cote des Bar in the south of Champagne where the vineyards of Dominique are situated.

The grapes were trodden by foot to extract the juice and the fermentation occurred very rapidly. The maceration was only carried out for about four days before the juice was removed. The grape variety for this wine is Pinot Noir.

The 2009 Cuvée was disgorged in July 2020 and had no dosage. The 2015 was also disgorged in July 2020 and had no dosage.

It is not often that we have a wine of this age (for the 2009) and there is only a tiny amount available, but it is well worth trying!

RRP: $191 (SOLD OUT)

Marie Courtin Coteaux Champenois Blanc 2016

This is the first time that Dominique and Roland have produced a still wine from the Coteaux Champenois appellation which is a sub-appellation in the Champagne region famous for the still wines produced here.

The Coteaux Champenois appellation rules allow the production of red, white and rosé wines from the same seven grape varieties as in Champagne, namely Arbane, Chardonnay, Petit Meslier, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir with the first four being white grapes, one being grey and the last two red. The two red grapes can be direct pressed to produce white wine as is the case with this wine.

This wine is derived from Pinot Noir grapes that are 40 years old and which benefit from southern exposure. The wine was direct pressed to create white juice then naturally vinified and aged in two amphora, one of which was made from clay and the other from sandstone.

It was aged for 11 months before bottling on July 2017 without the addition of any sulphites and without fining or filtering.

It is a very sophisticated wine with racy, yet controlled, acidity and great length. Try it with just about any food.

This wine is certified organic through CERTIPAQ FR-BIO-09. The vines are also managed biodynamically.

RRP: $135 (SOLD OUT)