Champagne Benoît Lahaye Blanc de Blancs (sans soufre)


Only 3 left!

Alcohol: 12%

Grape(s): Chardonnay

Localization: Côte des Blancs, Champagne, France

Tasting notes: Dried fruits, acacia, citrus zest, fresh white fruits, a delicate gourmet touch reminiscent of marzipan and whipped cream, fine chalky notes: Benoît signs here a great Blanc de Blancs that immediately rivals the best.

2,000 bottles made. Blanc de Blancs is a new cuvée for Benoît Lahaye as he decided to no longer make the ‘Naturessence.’ He took this decision from a sense of “terroir purity”. This Blanc de Blancs is made exclusively from a vineyard in Voipreux planted in 1952, on the very limits of the Côte des Blancs between Vertus and Mesnil-sur-Oger. The clay soils give this wine its power and style, so Lahaye has truly achieved his goal of a pure terroir wine. It is broad yet with pure fruit delineation. No added sulfites. The base wines were from 2014 and 2015.

Food pairing: Enjoy it as an aperitif. Superb to accompany a fillet of sea bass, scallops, or roasted langoustines.

The Domain: Benoît Lahaye is located in Bouzy, a Grand Cru village in the Montagne de Reims region. His family has been making Champagne since the 1930s, and he and his wife Valérie now work in their winery with their two sons. The estate covers a tiny 4.8 ha, with 3 ha in Bouzy, 1 ha in Ambonnay and .6 ha in Tauxières. Bouzy brings structure, power, and fruit, while Ambonnay brings acidity and roundness. The vineyards are mainly planted with Pinot Noir (just under 90%) on south/southwest-facing slopes. The vines average 35 to 40 years old. In addition, a .2 ha parcel of 50-year-old Chardonnay is planted in Voipreux, in the southern Côte des Blancs. Since it is far away from Bouzy, these vines are worked by Pierre Larmandier. The total production is less than 40.000 bottles per year.

Farming practices: in 1995, Lahaye took the decision to allow grass to grow in the totality of the vineyards. He works the soil in order to aerate it and limit competition regarding water intake by the vines during certain periods of the year. The estate is fully organic since 2003, and 2007 was the first vintage Certified Organic. Lahaye only uses his own compost, and also some organic manure as a complement. Various herb infusions are applied, along with other fermented extracts from plants, copper-based (in regulated quantities) and sulfur-based preparations, and essentials oils in order to combat plant disease. Since 2009, Lahaye has been applying the principles of biodynamic viticulture to further the everyday work, improve the characteristics of the terroir, and reveal the full potential of the soil and the vines. Benoît says that the switch to biodynamic practices has brought higher potential alcohol at harvest, but also higher acidity and more anthocyanins. Tamise, a 7-year-old working-horse from the Auxois breed, joined the team in 2010. Tamise helps in the vineyards, from ploughing to spreading the compost or picking up the frames. Since 2010, the estate has been certified as biodynamic by Biodyvin.