Domaine Petit & Bajan

Avize | Champagne

Richard Petit’s family roots in Avize go back centuries, caring for Chardonnay on the chalk soils of the Côte de Blancs. Véronique Bajan’s clan hails from Pinot Noir terroir in Verzenay, grand cru land on the Montagne de Reims.

Love, then marriage, came first in 1997. In 1999, Richard took over his family’s winery in Avize, and the idea that they might create wine together began to take root. Yet their vision wasn’t just to “make” Champagne, but to push farther, seeking to truly understand what their grand cru soils could give.

With Richard’s attention to detail in the fields and Véronique’s tasting prowess in the cellar, the small-batch, grand cru wines of Petit & Bajan are very much the voice of Champagne’s new generation.

Like their neighbor and mentor in Avize, Anselme Selosse, Richard and Véronique start by harvesting perfectly ripe grapes. At every step in the winemaking process, no detail is too small to be further perfected.

This attention to detail, to the soil and soul of true Champagne, is more than evident in the glass. Theirs are bold, aromatic and vinous wines that set a higher bar for grand cru Champagne.

FARMING & WINEMAKING

Domaine Petit & Bajan 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 estate’s vineyards are split between the Côte des Blancs and the Montagne de Reims, with just over two acres of Chardonnay vines in Avize, Cramant and Oger, and five acres of Pinot Noir in Verzenay. All vineyards are rated grand cru and are cared for sustainably.

Crucially, the estate aims to harvest only perfectly ripe fruit, resulting in many local growers finishing the harvest before they even start. (A telling anecdote from the couple: most years, the very last two winemakers to finish the harvest in Avize are Richard Petit and Anselme Selosse.) Grapes are harvested by hand, and sorted in the fields and cellar.

Grapes are pressed in a traditional, upright wooden press in small batches, immediately after harvesting. Juice is settled naturally, and fermented on selected yeasts. Malolactic conversion is allowed. Wines are aged in bottle for a minimum of three years. Dosage as a rule is low, no more than 3 grams/L for all Champagnes.

WHITE WINES

Grand Cru Brut ‘Ambrosie’

70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir. A selection of grand cru-rated Chardonnay fruit from Avize, Oger and Cramant and grand cru-rated Pinot Noir from Verzenay. Suave, supple, richly aromatic. ‘Ambrosie’ is the French word for ambrosia, the nectar of the gods.

 

 

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Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut ‘Nuit Blanche’

100% Chardonnay. A selection of grand cru-rated fruit from the villages of Avize, Oger and Cramant. A delicate bouquet of lemon blossoms opens to a velvety, intense and suave mouthful of pure, racy Chardonnay fruit. A gorgeous wine. ‘Nuit Blanche’ means “white night.”

 

 

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Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru Brut ‘Obsidienne’

100% Pinot Noir, selected from grand cru-rated terroir in the village of Verzenay. So much complexity, so much soul. Wildflowers, small red berries, roses, stone fruit. A bold and very beautiful blanc de noirs. It is named after the French word for obsidian, a midnight-black, volcanic glass.

 

 

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ROSÉ WINES

Grand Cru Brut Rosé ‘Nymphea’

90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir. A selection of Chardonnay fruit from grand cru-rated vineyards in Avize, Oger and Cramant. Pinot Noir from Verzenay added as a dry red wine. Lacy and refined, with wonderful notes of summer berry and stone fruit, blood orange rind and light spice. ‘Nymphea’ is a tribute to nymphs, female deities usually associated with nature.

 

 

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Established: 2008
Winemaker: Richard Petit
Region: France • Champagne • Avize
Vineyard size: 7.5 acres

PRACTICING SUSTAINABLE FARMING

Domaine Vincent Dureuil Janthial Burgundy France