With the Champagnes from George Remy we have the chance of following a producer from his beginnings, who without doubt is going to be a name worth following. My first encounter with his champagne was at the 2018 Printemps du Champagne in Riems. His champagne 4 Terroirs stood out for its freshness and the purity of fruit. More exceptional was his Coteaux Champenois from Bouzy. On that evening I had tasted numerous Pinot Noir Coteauxs, the aroma spectrum takes getting used to, the producers are looking for a sort of Mon Cherie taste; Remys Coteuax did not fit into this mould, ephemeral and aromatic,closer to the Pinots of Burgundys rather than Bouzy.
What is interesting is Remys biography. His family had been grown grapes and produced champagne over three generations, his father stopped in 1989 and had sold since then the grapes to Deutz. Remy worked part-time for his father and contracted machinery to other producrs. Seeing how other producers treated their land, Remy wanted to change how he worked the familys land, Benoit Lahaye is a big influence. Eliminating pesticides and chemical herbicides on the 4-6 hectares owned by the family and gradually converting to organics. At first Remy only produced red wine, the vines are on average 40 years old, which result in good concentrated aromatics. Also of interest, Remy buys only new barrels instead of buying used barrels from different region which bring aromas not typical to the region.
With Burgundy we have have the advantage of decades if not centuries of knowing the ideosyncracies of each lieux dit. With champagne, the blenders at the big house know how the single vineyards taste, but for us as normal drinkers, we are entering new territory. Remy gives us through his small production operation the chance to discover the indivuality of single vineyards like Les Muits, Mont de Tauxieres, Vaudayants etc. These are not champagnes for beginners and probably not for testers.
Minerality and intensity is accentuated through his choice to do all the champagnes as zero dosage. Due to the age of the plants the grapes have enough concentration not to de dominated by the wood.
These champagnes will definitely profit from ageing.
I also had the chance to taste the 2018s from the barrel, the quality of the fruit is very impressive, I would be happy to drink these vin clairs without bubbles, but the feeling is with experience each vintage it will only get better.