The world of Champagne has expanded greatly in the last few years. We still have the big brand names of course, but behind them are a multitude of smaller, quality-focused growers taking on the challenge of making and bottling their own wines. Bertrand-Delespierre are a family domaine with some excellent Premier Cru vineyards and an abundance of winemaking talent, and this wine is tremendous value. Precise, expressive, fresh and moreish, it's a shining example of what riches are available in Champagne if you look beyond the familiar.
The vineyards are spread over four premier cru communes, three in the Petite Montagne (Chamery, Ecueil and Villedomange), and Montbré in the Grande Montagne just north of Rilly. The soil in this part of the Petite Montagne tends to be less uniform in its composition than further south, with clay generally found at the top of the slopes, marl from mid to lower slopes and sand on the plains. Montbré is an exception to this rule with its wind-swept plateau on marl soil.
This cuvée comes from vineyards in Chamery, Ecueil, Villedomange and Montbré, all 1er Cru villages on the Montagne de Reims. Fermented and aged in stainless steel for about eight months, it spent three years 'sur lattes'. It is based on the 2015 vintage (60%) blended with reserve wines from the previous three vintages. The combination of completed malolactic and low dosage help sustain the fruit beautifully, it also brings bite and precision to the wine.