- Montagne de Reims, Champagne, France
Jean-Yves Pérard is a small grower in the village of Cernay-les-Reims in the Montagne de Reims, east of Reims and about twenty minutes north of the Grand Cru villages of the Grand Montagne. The Pérard family has been in Champagne since 1639 and, like many growers, sold to the big Champagne houses for generations. In 2012 Jean-Yves decided that he wanted to break this cycle and make wine under his own name from his five hectares of vines.
Most of Jean-Yves’s vines are in Cernay-les-Reims, where chalky soils over clay support mainly Chardonnay, an unusual scenario in the Montagne de Reims. He is lucky enough to work with Chardonnay vines that are 40-60 years old. He also owns Pinot Noir and Meunier vines in the Vallée de la Marne in the villages of Festigny, Mareuil-le-Port and Leuvrigny. His vineyards are certified sustainable by HVE3 since 2019 and he works the soils. Jean-Yves has never used herbicides or pesticides; he will treat for mildew only when absolutely necessary. He makes his wine where he always has, in a cellar shared by a dozen or so other growers who all sell to two of the well-known houses.
There are four wines in the Pérard line-up: a blend called “Extravagance”, two Blanc de Blancs with different dosage levels, and a rosé. Two of the wines are available in the United States. One is the Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs, which I found particularly intriguing, given the rarity of pure Chardonnay wines from the Montagne de Reims. It feels nice, bright, and fresh with pear notes. The “Extravagance” comes from his Pinot Noir and Meunier vines in the Marne, blended with 5% Chardonnay. It’s a bit richer, with a creamy mouthfeel and toasty brioche notes. Jean-Yves mainly vinifies and ages in stainless steel but he does use foudres occasionally.
We are very excited to launch these wines in the US and follow Pérard in his new adventure!
-Michele Peters, French Portfolio Manager