On one of my many trips to Champagne I found myself in Au Bon Manger. As usual I am instantly drawn to the wonderful selection of Champagnes. My eye drifts along the various shelves and Aline mentions a new one that has just arrived. Aurelien Lurquin. She points to a bottle which is obviously not Champagne. It has one of those weird corks that doesn’t pop out on it’s own. You need one of those pesky corkscrews. I believe they call it still wine. Whatever that is.
Anyway my interest is peeked by the idea that he might be making Champagne at some point so I jot his name down and get in contact…
Aurelien Lurquin works with 2.5 hectares in Romery. 40% Pinot Noir – 35% Chardonnay – 24% Meunier – 1% Petit Meslier. He started production in 2007 and was certified biodynamic in 2012. His first bio vintage went to producing Coteaux. In 2013 he started producing sparkling. He has five parcels around the village. We first visited the vineyards just after a terrible frost had destroyed upwards of 20% of the buds. You noticed instantly how different his production methods were. Tall grass and other growth was allowed throughout the vines and you can’t help but think this must have prevented a significant amount of damage occurring. Clever man. As we went around admiring all of his vineyards you got a sense that he understood every single vine, his green fingers picking away at various ‘out of place’ plants.
And so to his winery. Not the state of the art system you would have thought! A 2000kg traditional press sits in an open, rather dishevelled, brick outhouse. Beneath the house some traditional cellars house the tiny production and the small number of barrels used to make it. A portion of which goes to Leclerc-Briant.
No production has yet, as of June 2016, hit the shelves but we did get a chance to try his Meunier and Chardonnay a la volee.
Blanc Meunier (not it’s real name) was intently fresh with a surprising hit of fruit. The mousse dances beautifully around the palate. It is pure and linear in style but with a wonderful mid palate and finish. To be released October 2016.
Blanc Chardonnay (again, not it’s real name) was epic. A lovely opulent entrance, mineral driven with superb structure leads to a palate of lemon zest, salinity and chalk. Notes of pineapple, melon. It is pure energy in a glass. To be released 2017.
Both wines show superb winemaking skill coupled with excellent base product. The mousse on both is sublime. The energy, richness and excitement on the palate is incredible. I am sold.
Oh and he makes pretty stonking Coteaux too.
Region: La Vallee De La Marne
Contact: Aurelien Lurquin
Cuvée De Prestige:
Style: Rich, intense, terroir, saline, pure, energetic
Vinification: Oak used throughout. 2000kg traditional press.
Recent Tasting Notes from Aurelien Lurquin