TERROIR TALK: An Interview with Clément Vergnon of Champagne JL Vergnon

2020 Harvest Notes from France - Part II!

 

This is one of the top estates in the Côte des Blancs today.Peter Liem, Champagneguide.net

Didier Vergnon and his dynamic son Clément are the 4th and 5th generations to lead this small, 5-hectare estate in the Grand cru village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Founded in 1950, it was in the 1980s that JL Vergnon first began estate-bottling and was an early pioneer of lower dosed wines, riper fruit, and no malolactic fermentation. In 1989, with the death of Jean-Louis, Didier and his mother Monique led the push towards practicing organic farming.

From choice sites in the Côte des Blancs, including parcels in and next to the legendary Les Chétillons, Vergnon is harvesting some of the finest Chardonnay in the region. For much of this journey they had the brilliant winemaker Christophe Constant as cellar master– and today, he is a consultant for the Domaine. These wines lead with ripe and perfect fruit, which result in a compelling lineup of Grand Cru Le Mesnil with a signature vinosity and transparency in every cuvée.

THE FULL INTERVIEW

A TIMESTAMPED BREAKDOWN OF THE INTERVIEW

0:00 – 1950s to 1980:The History of the Vergnon Family in Champagne

4:27 – The 80s: Clément’s Grandfather Develops His Own Style & Winemaking Philosophy

7:34 – 1988 to 1999: Clément’s Grandmother Manages the Domaine

11:31 – 1999: Clément’s Father Didier (& winemaker Christophe Constant!) Starts to Work With the Property

15:12 – 2017: Clément Starts to Lead the Domaine (around the same time that Guillaume Doyard returns to Champagne Doyard – link to that Terroir Talk here)

22:50 – Murmure Premier Cru Brut Nature

27:40 – Conversation Grand Cru Brut

34:02 – Eloquence Grand Cru Extra Brut

38:29 – Rosemotion Grand Cru Extra Brut Rose

43:30 – MSNL ‘Chetillons & Mussettes’ Grand Cru Extra Brut

50:55 – Hautes Mottes 2011

THE WINES

Wine and Spirit Label 1

Champagne JL Vergnon Conversation Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut NV

  • 100% Chardonnay
  • 30+ year old vines
  • 80% 2015, 20% Reserve wine
  • 90% Le Mesnil sur Oger Grand Cru, 10% Avize and Oger Grand Cru
  • Aged in 50% tank, 50% older barrels (400L)
  • No malo
  • Aged 36 months on the lees
  • 5 g/L dosage
Wine and Spirit Label 2

Champagne JL Vergnon Eloquence Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut NV

  • 100% Chardonnay
  • 30+ year old vines
  • 80% 2015, 20% Reserve wine
  • 90% Le Mesnil sur Oger Grand Cru, 10% Avize and Oger Grand Cru
  • Aged in 50% tank, 50% older barrels (400L)
  • No malo
  • Aged 36 months on the lees
  • 3 g/L dosage
Wine and Spirit Label 3

Champagne Jl Vergnon Murmure 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature NV

  • 100% Chardonnay
  • 30+ year old vines
  • 100% 2016
  • 50% Vertus 1er Cru, 50% Villeneuve 1er Cru
  • Aged in 50% tank, 50% older barrels (400L)
  • No malo
  • Aged 36 months on the lees
  • 0 g/L dosage
Wine and Spirit Label 4

Champagne JL Vergnon Rosémotion Grand Cru Rosé Extra Brut NV

  • 90% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Noir from Grand Cru Mailly
  • 45+ year old vines
  • 80% 2015, 20% Reserve wine
  • 90% Le Mesnil sur Oger Grand Cru, 10% Avize and Oger Grand Cru
  • Aged in 80% tank, 20% older barrels (400L)
  • No malo
  • Aged 36 months on the lees
  • 3 g/L dosage 
Wine and Spirit Label 5

Champagne JL Vergnon MSNL Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut 2010

  • 100% Chardonnay
  • From the Grand Cru village of Le Mesnil
  • 70% from Les Chetillons
  • 30% from Mussettes (borders Chetillons to the south)
  • 40-60 year old vines
  • Tank fermented and aged
  • No malo
  • Aged 84 months on the lees
  • 3 g/L dosage

A MAP OF THE PARCELS

Click the map to zoom in!

Terroir Talk: An Interview with Clément Vergnon of Champagne JL Vergnon