Grape(s): 35% Meunier, 35% Pinot noir, 30% Chardonnay
Blend: 49% 2016, 51% perpetual reserve started in 1970
Localization: Aÿ, Champagne, France
Tasting Notes: This wine gets better every year. There are lovely aromas; it's silky and stylish now – even starched. It's lighter on its feet than ever.
Notes: Approximately 50% of this wine each year comes from a perpetual cuvée started by Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy’s father, René in 1970. This makes it the oldest and most complex blend of vintages in any non-vintage wine we work with. For the base of Expression, half of the total perpetual cuvée is drawn off from two large concrete vats and replaced with the current harvests’ wine. Small amounts of wine from every vintage stretching from the year the Beatles broke up, through the last harvest is in these vats – this is a 50-year-old reserve. When you taste this wine, think about the history in the glass and how rare it is to have a non-vintage wine this complex and layered.
92 points Vinous: The NV Brut Expression is a beautiful wine. A fine line of acidity runs through the Expression, lending notable brightness and cut throughout. Orchard fruit, spice, mint, and dried flowers are all beautifully delineated in a Champagne that impresses for its transparency and cut. I loved it. This release is a blend of 2015 and 2014. The dosage is 5 grams per liter. Disgorged: December 2019. Drinking window: 2020 - 2028
The Domain: These days, many of the grower-producers are selling all the Champagne they can make. Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy, who has 14 hectares in the Vallée de la Marne, is the fifth generation in his family to grow grapes in the region. While his family has always made a little wine, they began to emphasize Champagne production in the bad years after World War II, when they were unable to sell their grapes to the big houses. In the 1970s Mr. Geoffroy’s father decided to keep all the grapes and turn them into Champagne. Walking through a hillside vineyard in Cumières overlooking the Marne, Mr. Geoffroy’s parcels were easy to distinguish from the others. The lush green grass growing between his rows of bare vines was evidence of his distaste for chemical pesticides and herbicides. "If you don't have passion, you won't make very good Champagne," he said as he strolled the vineyard, waving at local hunters who also walked the rows, shotguns in hand, searching for rabbits and pheasants.
While this prominent grower estate has recently moved to the village of Aÿ, the Geoffroy name is inextricably linked to that of Cumières, where the family has winegrowing roots that date back to the 17th century. Today Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy and his father René farm 14 hectares of vines, 11 of which are in Cumières. A few parcels are located just across the border to the west in the adjacent village of Damery, while the rest is all Meunier in the nearby village of Fleury-la-Rivière.
Geoffroy’s vines average about 20 years of age, and the oldest is from 1926. Viticulture is described as lutte intégrée, or “integrated pest control”—it is heavily aimed at sustainability, eschewing all chemical weedkillers and employing methods such as the planting of cover crops, tilling of the soil and the encouraged habitation of predatory insects to combat vine pests.