2018 Georges Laval Les Chenes Brut Nature Champagne
While the Laval family has been growing vines for four generations, it was not until 1971 that Georges Laval began producing estate-bottled Champagne. Now under the direction of George's son Vincent, this is one of the great under the radar properties in the region. Laval’s vineyard holdings comprise just 2.5 hectares, most in the premier cru village of Cumières. Across the seven parcels the average vine age is over 30 years, with the oldest vines of the estate over 70 years of age. Organic viticulture has been practiced since 1971, and despite the challenges of this approach in Champagne, they are now certified by Ecocert. Laval’s wines are harvested ripe and almost never chaptalized, and fermentation takes place in barrel, with indigenous yeasts. The wines are bottled late, usually about ten months after the harvest, and they are neither fined, filtered nor cold-stabilized.
Les Chenes is Vincent Laval's dense and powerful 100% Chardonnay cuvée from a lieu-dit of the same name, made only in exceptional years. After harvesting fully ripe grapes, the wine spends around 10 months in barrel before another 4 years in bottle prior to disgorgement with zero dosage.