"Les P'tits Vélos À Pignon Fixe"


100% Chenin Blanc. P'tits Vélos is Bellivière's only sparkling Chenin. The Nicolas family makes very small quantities of it, out of what they refer to as a sort of solera system, yielding a blend in this case of around 70% 2020 vintage wine and 30% from older vintages. The vines for the wine range from 10 to 30 years old; the farming is certified-biodynamic; the harvest is manual. This particular blend was in barrel until bottling with some fresh must in November 2021 to kick off another fermentation. The wine aged sur lattes for a year and was disgorged in November 2022. It finished with 18 grams/liter residual sugar and 4.4 grams/liter of acidity.

"P'tits Vélos" means literally "small bicycles" but is a euphemistic reference to the wheels turning in vigneron Eric Nicolas's mind. The descriptor of "à pignon fixe" or "fixed-gear" is an extension of the cycling metaphor, a reference to Bellivière's use of the stricter méthode champenoise (or traditionelle); sometimes they make the wine as a pétillant naturel, in which case they tag the wine as "En Roue Libre" or "freewheeling."

90 points
"The new release of Les P’tits Vélos à Pignon Fixé from Éric Nicolas, made entirely from Chenin Blanc, is from the base year of 2020, but with thirty percent of the blend composed of reserve wine from the solera started for this project in 2015. The wine was given a year aging sur lattes prior to disgorgement in November 2022 and ended up with eighteen grams per liter of residual sweetness. The wine offers up impressive depth in the complex bouquet of apple, sweet quince, chalky soil tones, warm biscuits, citrus peel and a topnote of dried flowers. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied, focused and complex, with a gentle veneer of sweetness, a superb spine of acidity, lovely balance and grip, frothy mousse and a long, vibrant and classy finish. This is a very good bottle of bubbly! 2023-2040+. "
John Gilman,
View From The Cellar
September 2023

Product Line: 
Chenin Blanc
Farming Type: