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N°167

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Champagne Maurice Vesselle

12/13
Winegrowers’ portraits

Winegrowers’ portraits Bouzy

Champagne Maurice Vesselle

An HVE-certified estate
and a New Cuvée Blanc de Noirs


A large family of wine-makers, the Vesselles, in Champagne! Five generations have taken root in the Bouzy terroir. In 1955 Maurice put his first name on the Champagne label. His sons, Didier and Thierry, cultivate the family heritage with passion and conviction. In 2013 the estate was certified Haute Valeur Environnementale (high environmental value). And for the end of the year, Champagne Maurice Vesselle has enriched its range with a new vintage, Cuvée Blanc de Noirs.



Didier and Thierry, the Vesselle brothers, presenting beautiful black grapes from Bouzy.

Five families of wine-makers bear the name Vesselle at Bouzy but none of them loosens up the earth quite as deeply as Didier and Thierry. The two brothers don't hesitate to define themselves as “the ones who plough”! With a vineyard located exclusively in Grand Cru, at Bouzy and Tours-sur-Marne, they make a point of preserving the terroir. “We have never ceased to earth up the vines in winter and earth down in spring, ploughing deeply to force the vine to put down deep and lasting roots. Maintaining the vineyard in this traditional manner is ecologically sound; it pollutes less than herbicides and helps to balance variations in humidity. Yesterday we were called old-fashioned, today we're avant-garde”, Didier explains.

When it comes to vinification, they are driven by the same desire to do things the right way and thus avoid malolactic fermentation in order to preserve the freshness and finesse of the powerful Bouzy wines. “We're looking for minerality, we vinify each variety and each plot separately in thermoregulated stainless steel tanks. Our estate has obtained the High Value Environmental certification in 2013, after three years spent audi­ting cultivation methods and the traceability of our wines”.

Many prizes in national and international wine guides ensure Champagnes Maurice Vesselle of a place on all five continents. The brothers are known for their large collection of vintages dating from 1976 to 2004. The latest addition, assembled with 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay, and aged eight years on laths, has a refined structure, a delicious fruitiness and a blended minerality, making it an ideal accompaniment for seafood. When asked which vintage they prefer, the brothers invariably respond: “The next one!”

Another speciality, the Rosé Grand Cru, obtained by maceration without the addition of red wine, is airy and easy to drink. And the innovation of the year is the Cuvée Blanc de Noirs, a 2005 vintage, 100% Pinot Noir from a single plot called Les Hauts Chemins (situated at the entrance to the area). It is available in standard bottles and magnums, making it a great idea for a surprise gift. A second original and less costly idea: offer a bottle of red Bouzy, a wine with a taste of cherries, elaborated in the grand old tradition yet again by Didier and Thierry Vesselle, members of the Académie des Vins de Bouzy!


Marie-Caroline Bourrellis

Champagne Maurice Vesselle

3 rue Gambetta - 51150 Bouzy – France
Tél.: +33 (0) 3 26 57 00 81
www.champagnemauricevesselle.com

Didier and Thierry Vesselle in their superb chalk cellars.