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.
Champagne Piollot 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.
RRP: $139 for MAGNUMS (SOLD OUT)
Champagne Piollot Champagne Côte des Bar Cuvée Come des Tallants 2015
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 2018.
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! “
RRP: $91 (SOLD OUT)
Champagne Piollot Champagne Côte des Bar Cuvée Champs Rayés Brut Nature 2012
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 December 2017 after spending nearly five years on lees.
RRP: $101 (SOLD OUT)
Champagne Piollot 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 by the Piollot family in 1955 using selection massale rather than clonal varieties.
The vineyard is one of the best in Roland’s care. It has wonderful 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.
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 July 2018.
RRP: $94 (SOLD OUT)
Champagne Piollot Côte des Bar Les Gravelées Rosé Brut Nature 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)
Champagne Marie Courtin 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
Champagne Marie Courtin Cuvée Concordance 2013
Another exceptional Champagne from Dominique Moreau. This one comes from vines that are 50 years old and which grow in the famous Kimmeridgean limestone on a slope that faces east. The wine matured for three years before being bottled. It was disgorged in July 2017.
RRP: SOLD OUT (limited quantities)