Champagne, Montagne de Reims (France)
LVF Green Guide 2 Stars
Benoit Lahaye is located in Bouzy, a grand cru village in the Montagne de Reims. His family has been making Champagne there since the 1930’s, and today he works in the winery with his wife Valérie and their 2 sons. The domaine, which covers a surface area of 4.8 hectares, is situated in the regions of Bouzy (3.2 hectares), Ambonnay (1 ha) and Tauxières (0.6 ha). Bouzy brings structure, power and fruit to the wines while Ambonnay brings acidity and roundness. The estate is mainly planted with Pinot Noir (just under 90%) on south- and southwest-facing slopes. The vines average 35 to 40 years old. The total production is less than 40,000 bottles per year.
Lahaye uses only his own compost and organic manure to enrich his soil. Various herb infusions are also applied, along with other fermented extracts from plants and essential oils in order to combat
plant disease. Since 2009, Lahaye has also been applying biodynamic principles to further improve the expression of his terroir and reveal the full potential of his soil and vines. He says that the
switch to biodynamic practices has brought higher potential alcohol at harvest, but also higher acidity. His 9-year old work horse Tamise, who became part of the family in 2010, leads Benoit
around the vineyards, plowing the soil and spreading compost.
This superb Grower Champagne is crowned with 2 stars from LVF Green Guide.
GRAND CRU BRUT NATURE NV
– 1st place from La RVF, a well-known french wine magazine –
Robert Parker, “Based on the 2015 vintage and complemented by fully 50% reservewines, Lahaye’s NV Brut Nature Grand Cru is derived from holdings in Bouzy (which represents 80% of the blend) and Ambonnay, which he feels are better blended than bottled separately. Offering up a complex bouquet of yellow orchard fruit, toasted nuts and dried white flowers, the wine is medium to full-bodied, racy and precise, with fine depth at the core, a delicate mousse and a chalky, sapid finish.”
Jancis Robinson, “This is 90% Pinot Noir, 10% Chardonnay. From 30-year-old vines in Ambonnay and Bouzy. Base 2014. Barrel-fermented, with 30 months on lees in bottle and disgorged January 2019. Deep flavoured and apparently fairly long-aged on the nose though with massive vivacity on the palate. Still a bit aggressively youthful. Tastes minimally dosed.”
BLANC DE NOIRS EXTRA BRUT NV
Robert Parker, “The NV Extra Brut Blanc de Noirs (Lot 571160518) is 100% Pinot Noir that spent at least 24 months on the second lees. The wine displays a lovely white-golden color with a very fine, elegant bouquet of red fruits (redcurrants, raspberries, cherries) and lemon zest. Round, pure and fresh on the palate, this wine reveals remarkable complexity and a firm, refreshing, mineral-structured finish with remarkable fruit concentration. Still young, this wine will benefit from further bottle aging.”