2018 Adrien Renoir Les Epinettes Extra Brut Champagne
Adrien Renoir is one the brightest new talents to emerge from Champagne in recent years. Working with his father Vincent for several years at their 7 hectare domaine in Verzy, in 2019 the wines were re-launched under his name, and in quick time has caught the attention of educated Champagne drinkers the world over. One of the first changes he insisted on was abandoning herbicides completely, and the estate vineyards are certified organic as of 2020. Oak use too has increased, along with more focus on specific parcels for his lieu-dits bottlings. In the cellar fermentations occur with native yeasts, lees stirring is practiced, and there is no sulphur used at bottling.
Les Epinettes is 100% Pinot Noir from a vineyard planted selection massale in 1971 where the soils are primarily clay-limestone with some chalk. Raised 100% in older barrels, the wine spends 36 months on lees before disgorged at very low Extra Brut levels around 1g/L.
Entirely Pinot Noir, the 2018 Champagne Les Epinettes has a rich straw hue and a seductive cologne of bergamot, clove, currants, and kirsch. Continuing to the palate, it is saturated and full-bodied, with its pillowing mousse creating a weightless feel before it becomes more savory, with notable salinity, a glycerol-rich texture, and notes of citrus oils. A serious wine, it will hold up over the coming 10-15 years. Drink 2024-2040.
Audrey Frick - jebdunnuck.com