Champagne F&R Miniere

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New shipment soon to arrive including the new single parcel 2013 Voirmissa.

A new emerging grower in Hermonville – north of Reims in Massif Saint Thierry. This area is the most northerly part of the Champagne region and has had an interesting history. Champagne is a huge region stretching 200km from north to south, and Hermonville is way north. Ravaged by phylloxera and the world wars, many vineyards were replanted in the mid sixties. Brothers Frédéric and Rodolphe look after 8 hectares of vines mainly in Hermonville. 4.5ha Meunier, 2ha Chardonnay and 1.5ha Pinot with average vineyard age of 45 years. The estate was founded by their great grand father in 1919 and traditionally sold all their grapes to the big houses, but in 2005 they decided to start there own business and were fully operational in 2007 when their father retired. They only keep the best 2 hectares for their F&R Miniere range of Champagnes.  Frédéric (pictured above) spent some time with Anselme Selosse and no doubt this has had a profound impact on his philosophy towards champagne production. All the wines are fermented and aged in barrel with battonage, and malo-lactic fermentation is blocked for all the cuvées. About 70% of barrels are 5 years or older.

The brothers have some interesting terroirs to work with. The upper hills are covered in sandy-loam soil while the lower areas are loam, clay and sand. These well-draining soils contain high levels of minerals. Also there are numerous parcels of very old ungrafted vines. All parcels have unique and prestigious south to south-east exposure. The vineyards of Hermonville are like an amphitheatre. You walk out of Frédéric’s winery and stand at the back gate, and you can see all the vineyard parcels spread out across the valley.  Current production is about 15,000 bottles per year and slowly increasing. Vinification and selection is very much parcel by parcel and then barrel by barrel.