Terroir Talk: An Interview with Guillaume & Yannick Doyard of Champagne Doyard

Terroir Talk: An Interview with Guillaume & Yannick Doyard of Champagne Doyard 16

1677(ish) to 2020 – An Abbreviated History of Champagne Doyard

History runs deep with the Doyard family with records of viticulture going all the way back to at least 1677. Yannick Doyard, the driving force that has led this Domaine to greatness, loves history and is convinced his ongoing research on this family will take him back even further. The first Doyard to make wine in Vertus was Maurice  in 1919, with estate bottling beginning in 1927. Like Yannick, years later, Maurice was a leading voice in improving quality in Champagne, as president of the Syndicat General Vignerons from 1925 to 1944 and co-leader of the Interprofessional Champagne Wines Committee (CIVC), created in 1941. Their stated mission was to “regulate all Champagne and promote quality the world over.”

In 1979, at the ripe old age of 20, Yannick Doyard took over as the 11th generation to lead the domaine. Yannick began eliminating chemicals in the vineyards in 1992 and in 2006 started the path towards organic viticulture. In the 1990s he created the remarkable signature wine of the domaine – the Cuvée Vendémiare Brut – which remains today the most remarkable “entry-level” Chardonnay-based Champagne that exists. In 2010, Yannick was among the first members of the prestigious group – Les Artisans du Champagne – which assembles the top growers in the region.

THE FULL INTERVIEW

A TIMESTAMPED BREAKDOWN OF THE INTERVIEW

0:00 – The Doyard Family in Vertus

3:52 – Yannick’s Beginnings

8:38 – Charles & Yannick

11:22 – Yannick & Les Artisans du Champagne

14:49 – Yannick’s Winemaking Philosophy

18:14 – Vendémiaire 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut

24:52 – The Two Coquard PAI Presses at Doyard

27:25 – Révolution Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Non Dosé

32:37 – Clos de L’Abbaye 1er Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut

40:39 – Oeil de Perdrix Extra Brut Grand Cru

49:00 – Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Grand Cru

52:38 – Les Lumières Grand Cru Extra Brut

59:28 – Coteaux Champenois Blanc ‘En Vieux Fombres’

1:03:37 – 2015 Coteaux Champenois Blanc ‘En Vieux Fombres’

1:06:57 – La Libertine

1:14:01 – Two Future Cuvées

THE WINES

Vendémiaire 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne Doyard

  • Cépages: 100% Chardonnay
  • Assemblage: 50% 2014, 30% 2013, 20% 2012
  • Vineyard/Village: 45+ year old vines. Primarily from Vertus, along with parcels in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger Grand Cru, Oger Grand Cru, Avize Grand Cru, and Cramant Grand Cru
  • Malo: 15%
  • Élevage: Aged in 40% older Burgundy barrels (228L)
  • En Tirage Aging: 60 months
  • Dosage: 4g/L

Révolution Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Non Dosé, Champagne Doyard

  • Cépages: 100% Chardonnay
  • Assemblage: 50% 2012, 25% 2011, 25% 2010
  • Vineyard/Village: 45+ year old vines. 70% Avize Grand Cru, 10% Oger Grand Cru,
    10% Le Mesnil-sur-Oger Grand Cru, 10% Cramant Grand Cru
  • Malo: 0.15
  • Élevage: Aged in 50% older Burgundy barrels (228L)
  • En Tirage Aging: 78 months
  • Dosage: 0g/L

Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Grand Cru, Champagne Doyard

  • Cépage: 100% Chardonnay
  • Assemblage / Village: 50+ year old vines. 70% Avize Grand Cru, 10% Oger Grand Cru, 10% Le Mesnil-sur-Oger Grand Cru, 10% Cramant Grand Cru
  • Malo: No
  • Élevage: 100% older barrel
  • En Tirage Aging: 114 months
  • Dosage: 2g/L

Clos de L’Abbaye 1er Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne Doyard

  • Cépage: 100% Chardonnay from 60 year old vines
  • Vineyard/Village: A true walled clos worked biodynamically in Vertus, just behind the Doyard estate.
  • Malo: No malo
  • Élevage: Fermented and aged in older Burgundy barrels
  • En Tirage Aging: Aged on the lees for 54 months before release
  • Dosage: 2g/L

Oeil de Perdrix Extra Brut Grand Cru, Champagne Doyard

  • Cépage: 75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay
  • Vineyard/Village: Pinot Noir comes from Aÿ Grand Cru and Chardonnay from Avize Grand Cru
  • Malo: No
  • Élevage: Pinot Noir is barrel aged, Chardonnay is aged in tank
  • En Tirage Aging: 36 months
  • Dosage: 3g/L

Les Lumières Grand Cru Extra Brut, Champagne Doyard

  • Cépage: 65% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir
  • Vineyard/Village: Chardonnay from Avize Grand Cru and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger Grand Cru and Pinot Noir from Ay Grand Cru
  • Malo: No malo
  • Élevage: Fermented and aged in older Burgundy barrels
  • En Tirage Aging: 120 months
  • Dosage: 0.8g/L

La Libertine, Champagne Doyard

  • Cépage: 100% Chardonnay
  • Assemblage: A wine made to represent the style of 18th century Champagne – an assembly of four to five vintages
  • Malo: No
  • Élevage: 100% older barrel
  • En Tirage Aging: 144+ months
  • Dosage: 65g/L

Coteaux Champenois Blanc ‘En Vieux Fombres’, Champagne Doyard

  • Cépage: 100% Chardonnay
  • Vineyard/Village: 50+ year old vines from a single-vineyard in Vertus 1er Cru
  • Malo: No malo
  • Élevage: Fermented and aged in five to six-year-old barrels
  • 4 barrels produced

This Vertus domaine numbers among my favorite addresses on the Côte de Blancs, and the Doyard family’s vinous, incisive Champagnes deserve a place in any well-stocked cellar. Deep, concentrated and characterful, everything that bears the Doyard label is well worth serious attention.William Kelley, Wine Advocate
Sophisticated and elegantly harmonious, Doyard’s wines number among the finest in the Côte des Blancs, demonstrating a remarkable personality and individuality.  While they feel in keeping with the sensibilities of contemporary natural viticulture in their vitality and vinosity, there is nothing about them that is severe or aggressive – they do not lose sight of balance in their quest for expression.Peter Liem