Domaine Jean Vesselle

Bouzy | Champagne

 

vesselle_producerFor nearly 300 years, the Vesselle family has been tilling the chalky soils of Bouzy and cultivating some of the village’s best-placed Pinot Noir vines.

The family’s collection of grand cru vineyards and generations of leadership in championing Pinot Noir is what makes wines from Domaine Jean Vesselle such eloquent examples of Blanc de Noirs Champagnes.

Wines here combine a classic Champagne elegance with the signature Bouzy power, especially in wines such as ‘Oeil de Perdrix.’

This unique rose de saignée is a taste of Champagne history, a style of wine long forgotten before winemakers Delphine and David Vesselle—to honor the traditions of their Champagne-making forefathers—brought it back with great success.

The family owns one of Champagne’s smallest walled vineyards, the ‘Petit Clos.’ Located just outside the Vesselle home in Bouzy, ‘Petit Clos’ is the pinnacle of the powerful yet elegant Bouzy style, pure grand cru Pinot Noir fermented in barrels made from oak trees from the Champagne region, and aged for a decade in bottle.

FARMING & WINEMAKING

Domaine Jean Vesselle crafts “grower” Champagne, a récoltant-manipulant house that grows its own grapes and makes its own wine all on site. This qualitative difference is crucial for those seeking the ultimate in Champagne flavor and character.

The family’s vineyards are planted to 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay, a fidelity to Pinot Noir that’s much greater than other houses in the region. Vines are cared for according to lutte raisonée principles, concentrating mostly on organic practices and avoiding chemical treatments. Vineyard rows are plowed to avoid the use of herbicides. The estate too uses solar energy and recycles rainwater to reduce its energy footprint.

Soils in general are the classic chalk of the Montagne de Reims. Grapes are harvested exclusively by hand and pressed gently, then fermented in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks. Wines undergo second fermentation in bottle (méthode Champenoise) and are cellared for two years to 10, depending on the cuvée. Wines are disgorged just before they are shipped.

WHITE WINES

Brut Reserve

A finely balanced, fresh wine, with flavors of brioche, wild strawberries and white pepper spice. A blend of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay, aged for three years. Dosage less than 11 grams/L.

 

VESSELLE_brutreserve

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Extra Brut

A dazzling, super-dry cuvée with no added dosage; aged for three years. A blend of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay. Lemons, green apples, blood oranges.

 

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'Pur B3' Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs de Bouzy Brut Nature

A special wine with just 1,752 bottles produced, ‘B3’ is a unique look at Chardonnay as grown on terroir traditionally known for Pinot Noir, a “Blanc de Blancs” from Bouzy.

 

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Grand Cru Brut Millésime Prestige

A richly perfumed, graceful Champagne aged for more than nine years in bottle and crafted only in the finest of vintages. A blend of 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay. Dosage less than 7 grams/L.

 

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Grand Cru Brut Millésime ‘Petit Clos’

‘Petit Clos’ is the heart of the family domaine, a quarter-acre walled Pinot Noir vineyard and one of the smallest ‘clos’ vineyards in Champagne. Fermented in barrel, with no malolactic fermentation; aged for more than 10 years in bottle. The domaine’s finest cuvée and the pinnacle of pure Blanc de Noirs Champagne. Dosage less than 4 grams/L.

 

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ROSÉ WINES

Brut ‘Oeil de Perdrix’

The orange-pink color of this “eye of the partridge” Pinot Noir-based wine historically was the hue of most Champagne made in Bouzy in the nineteenth century.  (The wine’s singular hue is like the color of a partridge’s eye.) Pinot Noir grapes are macerated briefly to extract color then pressed. Pink roses, lavender, wild strawberry and pomegranate. Dosage less than 6 grams/L.

 

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Brut Rosé de Saignée

An elegant Pinot Noir-based Champagne with the body and structure of a fine red wine; textured and complex. The rosé de saignée method is as follows: grapes macerate briefly for color, then the juice is “bled” off to ferment separately. Dosage less than 9 grams/L.

“Singular, fascinating…could handle rich red meat dishes or the richest, funkiest cheeses with ease.”—Stephen Tanzer

 

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Demi-Sec Rosé ‘Cuvée Friandise’

A bountiful and seductive, semi-dry Champagne with a sweet nose of cherry pie and night-blooming jasmine flowers in summer. Fruity and full-bodied. Aged for three years in bottle; dosage 32 grams/L.

 

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WHITE (STILL) WINES

Bouzy Blanc Coteaux Champenois

RED (STILL) WINES

Bouzy Rouge Coteaux Champenois

A delightful, delicate red that reminds of a fine Vosne-Romanée in its floral aroma and silky texture. Pure Pinot Noir from the chalky soils of the Montagne de Reims.

 

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Established: 1800s
Winemaker:  Delphine Vesselle
Region: France • Champagne • Bouzy
Vineyard size: 37 acres

I was quite taken with the Vesselle Champagnes…Vesselle is based in Bouzy, right in the center of prime Pinot Noir country, where the wines are naturally ample and generous. Rich and vinous, the Vesselle Champagnes deliver considerable intensity and personality. This might very well be the finest range I have tasted here.

—Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media