Pétraéa Brut Nature (2012)
100% Pinot Noir. Petraea is a special Boulard bottling, begun by Francis in the 1990’s when still at his family’s Raymond Boulard domaine. It is a “perpetual reserve”, which works something like a solera: each year some of the new vintage is added to a blended wine that consists of the previous vintage plus those before it, back to the start of the blend. When Boulard obtained organic certification in 2012, Delphine and Francis decided to start a new perpetual reserve, named for the sessile oak or quercus petraea foudre in which this wine is perpetually aged; thus this current bottling is single-vintage in its first year of life.
The fruit for Petraea comes from a single estate parcel called Le Murtet in the Boulards' home village of Cormicy, which lies in the extreme NE of the Montagne de Reims in the zone called the Massif de Saint-Thierry. The vines are 60-80 years old and are planted on deep, sandy limestone soils. As for all Boulard-owned vines, the farming is certified-organic and fully biodynamic. The fruit is harvested at high ripeness in order to achieve balance with little to no dosage. The hand-harvested bunches are gently pressed, and only first-press juice is used. It is fermented spontaneously with indigenous yeasts and aged in 25-hectoliter cask. The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation and remains on its lees with periodic batônnage in accordance with the lunar calendar. It is bottled on biodynamic “fruit days” with no fining or filtering and with minimal sulfur. Boulard bottle aging tends to be lengthy: the 2012 Petraea was disgorged by hand in 2018 and finished with zero dosage.