Grape: Pinot Meunier
Localization: Gueux, Champagne, France
Tasting notes: Jérôme Prévost has the magic touch when it comes to expressing the full potential of Meunier in rich, vinous Champagnes full of character
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: The NV (2009) Brut Nature Les Beguines is pure seduction. At once fabulously rich yet understated, 2009 impresses for its overall balance and finesse. Sweet yellow stone fruits of all sorts flow effortlessly from the glass. Hints of tar, smoke, incense, and hazelnuts are layered into the polished finish. This is a Champagne of exceptional elegance and refinement.
Food pairing: Shellfish, crab, and lobster
Notes: The La Closerie Les Beguines cuveé hails from a small plot in the hamlet of Gueux, 10km west of Reims, in the north of Champagne. Planted in the 1960s, this vineyard was handed down from Prevost's grandmother and is comprised of almost exclusively Pinot Meunier. A decade ago, small parcels of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Pinot Blanc were planted close by and find their way into the blend.
Around 40% reserve wine was blended into this disgorgement making for a more approachable example of the cuveé in its youth. Only released in tiny quantities, this is one of the region's most sought-after examples of the Meunier grape.
The Domain: Jerome Prevost is a pint-sized artisan Champagne grower based in Gueux. Prevost was encouraged to start vinifying his small inherited plot by Anselme Selosse, one of the most important figures in modern Champagne. Prevost made his first cuvees alongside Selosse until 2003 and has developed a similar style, producing focused, intensely vinous cuveés with very low levels of dosage.
Though these are not vintage releases, per se, a single harvest forms the basis of each wine and is indicated on the label: e.g. LC18 indicating "LC" number (Lot Consigné) 2018 vintage.
The wines are based on super low-yielding Pinot Meunier predominantly - regarded by many as some of the region's finest expressions of the variety.Two hectare vineyard of Les Béguines in Gueux, inherited from Jérômes grandmother. Planted in 1950s with massale selection cuttings. Harvested by hand and at a high degree of ripeness. Ferments with indigenous yeasts using mix of used barriques and 600L demi-muids. Disgorged 18 months after bottling, finished with no dosage as to preserve the sanctity and purity of wine underneath. Very low SO2 levels. Aged 18 months on the lees, zero-dosage. Only 800-850 cs per year.
Jerome Prévost is part of a small but growing group of tiny producers making intense, vinous-styled Champagnes. Rather than follow the traditional Champagne model of blending grapes, vintages, and vineyards to produce a "standardized" product, Prevost and his fellow "Champagne Renegades" produce single vineyard, single vintage and single-variety wines. Quantities are extremely limited and Prévost wines have reached cult status in recent years.