Jérôme Prévost La Closerie Les Béguines LC17

“Today there are a handful of wines from elite, artisanal grower-estates in Champagne that have attracted a nearly cult-like following. One of the most sought-after of these is the meunier of Jérôme Prévost.” Liem

Extra Brut. As you probably know, Jérôme Prévost doesn’t make vintage labelled Champagnes, but his wines are always of a single vintage and he puts a code on the bottle to indicate the year of harvest. This “LC” number (Lot Consigné), printed on the base of the label indicates the vintage. This bottling is LC17, so 2017.

As always the wine was vinified without any additions in large-format, used barrels for ten months and bottled unfiltered. Prévost disgorged the wine after 17 months on lees and added approximately 2g/L dosage, so the wine is Extra Brut. It is always tricky to pen a wine note for a wine that has just landed but here we go. Typically we speak of Les Béguines needing plenty of time in bottle yet this 2017 is already drinking beautifully with an open, pulpy texture (so long as not served ice cold) and layers of ripe pear, lemon curd, and hay-like notes. It’s a much more seductive example of Les Béguines than other recent releases and will give enormous pleasure from the get-goThe note below sums this beautiful wine very well.  

The NV Extra Brut Les Béguines LC 17 will be disgorged in October, and it has clearly turned out very well despite the challenging year, wafting from the glass with aromas of citrus oil, candle wax, white flowers, warm bread and spices, with only hints of the further complexity to come. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, lively and concentrated, with a ripe and enveloping core of fruit underpinned by racy acids.” 94 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate

$210.00

Only 2 left in stock

Why is this Wine so Yummy?

2017 was nothing if not a year of contrasts for Jérôme Prévost. On the positive side, this was the year that Prévost finished his new cuverie and house, right on the edge of the Les Béguines vineyard. Sadly, the excitement of the new cellars and home was tempered by a disastrous April frost that wiped out around 80% of his potential crop. For a grower with only 2.2 hectares of vines and who only makes vintage wines, this was devastating.

The French have a saying, apres la pluie le beau temps, which closely aligns with our every cloud has a silver lining. Prévost’s neighbour in Les Béguines offered him the fruit from 40 acres (0.4 hectares) of vines, on an ongoing basis, to add to the wine he was able to produce from his own vines in 2017. Of course this meant that Prévost needed to apply (hastily and successfully) for Négociant Manipulant (NM) status—his Récoltant Manipulant (RM) status would not have allowed him to purchase fruit. It was this conversion to NM that brings us to the silver lining. Not only was Prévost able to purchase enough fruit from nearby vines to make an outstanding Les Béguines, he has also secured some additional parcels of fruit from two new Grand Cru sites from a couple whom Jérôme refers to as “lovely, young and talented” growers. The first vintage from this fruit is currently in bottle.

2017 was nothing if not a year of contrasts for Jérôme Prévost. Prévost’s new cuverie is now up and running, and not a moment too soon. Prévost had long outgrown his previous cellars—the small barn-cum-winery behind his former house where, quite literally, you couldn’t swing a cat—so the new bespoke digs are just what the doctor ordered. Sadly the excitement of the new cellars (and new house) were tempered by Prévost’s smallest harvest imaginable. To paraphrase Dickens, in 2017 the [weather] did what it liked, and what it liked was destruction. Prévost’s Les Béguines lost 80% in the much-publicized April frosts, a figure that was then exacerbated by the freakish summer rains and subsequent humidity. For a large or medium-sized producer, the final losses of roughly 90%, would have been grim enough.

For a grower with only 2.2 hectares of vines and who only makes vintage wines, it could be devastating. For this reason Prévost decided to apply (successfully) for négociant status and was able to supplement his own harvest with fruit from some of his neighbour’s vines in Les Béguines. But that’s another (exciting and positive) story for another day, one that will be relevant for the 2017 release next year. For now let’s just say that Prévost’s brand new cuverie isn’t quite are bare as it might have been.

Nothing is forced. The fruit is picked ripe and the wine is vinified without any additions in large format, used barrels for ten months. Bottled unfiltered, Prévost disgorges the wine after roughly 17 months on lees and adds approximately 2g/L dosage, (so extra brut). These are wines that always show better after time in bottle, five + years is ideal, but even a year or two makes a great difference. Frustrating but true. That’s not to say these wines won’t give pleasure when young!

Jérôme Prévost’s tiny cellar outside of Reims is barely big enough to hold a few barrels, a bit of rudimentary equipment and a visitor or two. That’s about it. But the wines, well, they don’t really need anything else when there is so much attention to caring for the land.” Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com

“Today there are a handful of wines from elite, artisanal grower-estates in Champagne that have attracted a nearly cult-like following. One of the most sought-after of these is the meunier of Jérôme Prévost.” Peter Liem, www. ChampagneGuide.net

“… one of the most courageous and creative of Champagne’s many growers” Michael Edwards, The Finest Wines of Champagne

Les Béguines, is in Gueux, 10km west of Reims in the north of the region.

Where in Champagne are Agrapart’s Vineyards

Prévost’s 2.2 hectare vineyard, Les Béguines, is in Gueux, 10km west of Reims in the north of the region. Inherited from Jérôme’s grandmother, the site was planted in the 1960s with an old, slow growing, rootstock that descends deeply. Les Béguines is close to 100% Pinot Meunier, although there is a small amount of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Blanc, that was planted about a decade ago. The soil of Les Béguines is a layer cake of calcareous sand (Thanetian sand), and clay. The vineyard management is of course organic, with the soils cultivated and yields kept at balanced levels.

The map below shows the main sub-regions of Champagne

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From left to right Champagne vineyards by Soil Type, Aspect and Dominant Varietal

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Where in the world does the magic happen?

Prévost Jérome, Rue Michel Duroy, Bernay, France

France

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Champagne

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