A Special Treat from Jean-Jacques Lamoureux


One of the most exciting wines that I tasted on my last trip to Champagne was from Les Riceys, just three miles from the boarder that separates Champagne from Burgundy. I was with Vivien Lamoureux and his adorable dog, Noughat, in the families 17th century cellar underneath their home. He told me he had an exciting surprise for me and pulled out his first release of his Jean-Jacques Lamoureux Pinot Blanc Champagne. Now it has arrived in California.

The wine comes from a plot of just over ½ an acre, and this batch is all 2015. We won’t be seeing it again for a while, because that plot was frosted out in 2016 and again in 2017. Farming in the Aube department is tough- the climate is much more continental here than in the Marne and subject to real extremes. Spring frost has been a near constant here lately, with warm weather in the early spring being followed by super low temperatures, catching out the precocious buds, and destroying the harvest.

He made one press load of this wine, and allocated us, his US importer, 300 bottles. This wine is as big and exotic aromatically as Champagne comes. The traditional frame of fresh baguette from three years of ageing on the lees holds a basket of fruit; I smelled kiwi and mango as well as the more classic nectarine aromas. On the palate the breadth and texture of this Champagne is remarkable, but this richness is punctuated by a refreshing fountain of small bubbles and backed up by good acidity. This is not a flabby wine, but certainly not an austere one. The finish showed the complexity of the wine, with very interesting pumpkin spice intertwined with the classic warm earth that wines planted on the kimmeridgian clay of Chablis and the Aube have when they are good.

I am very much looking forward to trying this with spicy food. Perhaps tonight is the night… My wife Cinnamon is making bo ssam, the Korean pork speciality!

A toast to you!

Gary Westby

Gary Westby