La Vallée du Petit Morin, Côte des Blancs, Champagne, France
Truly a treasure, this tiny family domain was founded in 1964 by Michel & Marie-Claude Jeaunaux and is now run by husband and wife Cyril & Clémence Jeaunaux-Robin. The estate is only 5.7 ha, with vineyards beginning at the end of the family garden, just behind the children’s trampoline, where the grass of the lawn merges into the grass between rows of vines. With the proximity of the vineyards to the family home, it’s no surprise that they’ve been fully biody-namic since 2010 and organic for far longer.
Jeaunaux-Robin is located in the village of Talus Saint-Prix in La Vallée du Petit Morin, so named for the Le Petit Morin river (a tributary of the Marne), at the very southern tip of the Cote des Blancs. The entire village has only 39 ha of vineyards planted on south facing slopes . La Vallée du Petit Morin is known for its flint-rich, silex soil which imparts unmistakable texture and minerality to the wines. Average vine age on the family’s property is 40 years, which is ancient by Champagne standards and only increases the depth and richness of the wines.
Jeaunaux-Robin produce only about 40k bottles in their tiny cellar. There are two basket presses in the garage and grape must flows by gravity into settling tanks under the back door and into the winery beneath the house. Cyril uses old oak barrels to vinify around a quarter of the wines, with malolactic fermenta-tion, with the rest in stainless steel, also with malo.
Champagne Eclats de Meulière Extra Brut NV
60% Pinot Meunier, 30% Pinot Noir & 10% Chardonnay. 20% barrel fermented in large oak foudre, 30 months on the lees. Eclats de Meulière means "Burst of millstone" recalling the nature of soils. The wine starts with a juicy, fruity attack, a medium/full mid-palate and an exceptionally long, min-eral finish.
Champagne Rosé Le Dessous de la Cabane Brut NV
60% Pinot Meunier, 30% Pinot Noir & 10% Chardonnay . 20% barrel fermented in large oak foudre, 30 months aging on the lees. “The underside of the hut" is the name of the Pinot Meunier plot which gives the wine its color. The grapes are macerated for 48-72 hours to extract color. Light strawberry notes and tart, lip-smacking minerality.
Champagne Les Grands Nots Brut Nature 2006
33% Pinot Meunier, 33% Pinot Noir & 33% Chardonnay. 100% barrel fermented in large foudre, 10 years on the lees. “Nots" means springs in old French. A yeasty brioche-like character with notes of green apple, lemon curd, peach, white flowers and crushed stones. The palate is beauti-fully balanced with notes of cream, fresh lemon, green apple and a concentrated finish.
Champagne Le Talus de Saint Prix Extra Brut NV
60% Pinot Meunier, 30% Pinot Noir & 10% Chardonnay | 20% barrel fermented in large oak fou-dre, 42 months aging on the lees. "The Slope of Saint Prix“ - Similarly juicy to wine above but softer and rounder due to the additional time on the lees.
Champagne Fil de Brume Brut Nature NV
80% Chardonnay & 20% Pinot Noir 20% barrel fermented in large oak foudre. 42 months aging on the lees. Zero dosage. Fil de Brume means "Wire of Mist," which is inspired by the mist banks that top the valley in the early morning. Chardonnay gives extra structure and density to this wine which remains balanced and full despite the lack of dosage; tremendous persistence.