Winemaker: Delphine Vesselle
(Montagne de Reims), Champagne
There is no better teacher of the character of Bouzy Champagne than Domaine Vesselle. The wines’ aromas suggest wild strawberries and other early-summer red berries, flavors of lemon and orange, and a spicy white-pepper finish.
Vesselle’s solid reputation for Blanc de Noirs Champagne rests on three pillars. The first two pillars are found in the remarkable patrimony that is the family’s collection of grand cru vineyards and generations of not only experience but also local leadership in championing Pinot Noir-based Champagne. The third pillar is the family’s dedication to making wine—with the right color, extraction and flavor—before making Champagne, unlike other producers who “fix” base wines or finished Champagnes later on in the process.
Recent vintages have produced riper and more flavorful grapes, resulting in wines with more concentrated aromas and flavors; so the wines, although dryer, seem fuller and share even more characteristics with fine Burgundian Pinot Noir.
The Vesselle family owns Champagne’s smallest walled vineyard, or ‘clos’: the ‘Petit Clos,’ located right outside Delphine Vesselle’s home. (There are less than two-dozen ‘clos’ vineyards in all of Champagne.)