It has been quite a while since we have introduced a new Champagne to our portfolio of direct buys, but this past April I was lucky enough to meet Delphine & Christophe Boudard-Prévoteau and fell in love with their wines.
This family started making their own wine in 1946, after generations of selling their grapes to big negociants. They are located in the Western Valley of the Marne, next to the church in the picturesque village of Damery, where Rene Collard had vines. Delphine & Christophe Boudard-Prévoteau now have 55 acres of vines from the Marne all the way down to Chouilly in the Cote de Blancs. Additionally they rent another 5 acres from family and buy another 12 ½ acres worth of fruit. They do all stainless steel fermentation and malolactic fermentation in their own cellars. The only wine that sees wood is the red for the rose.
Two things make this producer different from any other that we bring in. They love the consistency of their non-vintage blends, and do not make any vintage wines, preferring to keep the best of what they make for reserves. Also, they only keep the very first press of the juice and send the rest to the distillery, preferring to harvest a slightly bigger crop and take only the most elegant juice. They make about 300,000 bottles a year.
The wines are among the most restrained and elegant that we bring in, and I find them very easy to drink as a group. These wines are a very safe bet for a party, as they are very easy to like. I think that big fans of Champagne like you will find depth in these wines, especially the rose and the Adrienne Lecouvreur cuvee which have plenty of complexity underneath their easy to drink façade. This is what we have:
Prévoteau-Perrier "Tradition" Brut Champagne $29.99 (half bottles $15.99): This is a blend of 50% Meunier, 35% Pinot Noir and 15% Chardonnay. It has a light straw color, clean golden apple aromas framed by pastry dough and a direct, refreshing personality. The quality of the Meunier is very high here, and the Champagne has fun fruit as well as nice toast.
Prevoteau-Perrier Rosé Brut Champagne $34.99 (magnums $69.99): This is a very tasty and refined rosé Champagne for not a lot of money! It is made with the same base wine as the Brut Tradition; 50% Meunier, 35% Pinot Noir and 15% Chardonnay, but they add about 10% red wine to give it the rosé aromatics, flavor and color. This red wine is from old plots in Damery in the western Valley of the Marne and is mostly Pinot Noir with a touch of Meunier. The Prevoteau-Perrier Rosé has a pretty salmon-pink color and lovely fresh bread and red cherry aromatics. It is very easy to drink, but has some serious savory complexity if you take the time to search for it. It finishes crisp and dry.
Prevoteau-Perrier "Adrienne Lecouvreur" Brut Champagne $39.99: The Adrienne Lecouvreur cuvee from Prevoteau-Perrier is given a lot of time in the cellar, and the results are fabulous, integrated, and elegant Champagne. This wine is given over four years on the lees and is assembled from more than half reserve wines from three past harvests. It is comprised of half each Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the family's own estate. I find the wine to have a lot of concentration and vibrancy without sacrificing the great creamy texture. On the nose, the wine is very forthcoming with baguette, nougat, and even some citric elements. The Lecouvreur has a lot of laid-back complexity for such a low price!
I hope that you enjoy them as much as I have. A toast to you! -Gary Westby