"Petraea" 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 Francis obtained organic certification for his own domaine in 2012, he and Delphine decided to start a new Petraea, which is named for the sessile oak or quercus petraea foudre in which this wine lives; therefore, the current bottling is single-vintage (2012) in its first year of life.
The fruit for Petraea comes from a small estate parcel called Les Murtets in the Boulards' home village of Cormicy in the Massif de Saint-Thierry in the far north of the Montagne de Reims. The vines are 60-80 years old and are planted on sandy, chalky soils over limestone. As for all Boulard vines, the farming is certified-organic and 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 in oak and undergoes malolactic fermentation. Each vintage from 2013 on has been added to the single 25-hectoliter Petraea cask, from which about 50% of the contents are pulled annually for bottling; the wine is bottled on biodynamic “fruit days” with no fining or filtering and with minimal sulfur. The 2012 Petraea was disgorged by hand in 2018 and finished with zero dosage.