Production commenced in 2005 when Lois and Aurelien took over their seven hectares estate in the village of Villenauxe la Grande and nearby Bethon. Organic conversion occurred in 2009 and they broke away from the local cooperative and they started producing their own Champagne in 2011.
Although they work with 7 hectares, most is sold to negociants nearby and only 1.5 hectares is used in their production, although this number is sure to rise as popularity increases. They work with 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir pressing each of their 15 parcels separately. Vinification is done in both steel and oak with lees aging lasting 10 months. Malolactic fermentation has previously been selected if required but the thought now is to help the wine only when it needs it.
Their production is on the very edge of the region of Champagne and their wines really show that extreme.
Fleur de Craie is 100% Chardonnay from the town of Bethon. The wine is produced from a single year although not declared on the label. The wine is forcefully chalky, so crisp and clean. It has a lovely balance of tropical fruits and a superb lemon tart note on the finish.
Grain d’Argile is a 50/50 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It is produced without sugar and displays a lot more warmth on the palate with notes of clay and raspberry. The finish lingers nicely with a lovely bitterness.
Their Les Margannes is a fascinating step up in quality and mouthfeel but these wines are bracingly dry. Produced 50% in oak. The palate gives you butter and a hint of rum. Minerality drives this wine with a piercing acidity and an incredible level of precision. The tension on the end palate is epic. Unlike their other wines you do feel like this wine needs some time to gain balance.
They have recently released a Millesime with their 2011 vintage. Only produced in magnum and 100% in oak. The wine was tasted pre-release and clearly still shocked by the disgorgement that had been done a week or so before but it showed incredible potential and I can’t wait to see this wine evolve.
I will be fascinated to see where this producer heads as they move forward with their production. Superb wines.
Region: La Cote des Bar
Contact: Aurelie Masson
Cuvée De Prestige:
Year Founded: 2005
Bottles produced: 13000
Style: Fresh, bracing, soft mousse.
Vinification: No chaptelisation. Coquard press. La Margannes is fermented in oak at 16 degrees rest in steel. Partial malolactic fermentation. No filtration. Disgorged by hand.
Viticulture: Organic producer converting in 2009.
Recent Tasting Notes from Barrat-Masson
Barrat-Masson Fleur de Craie Extra Brut
Tasted:May 11, 2014
Fleshy nose. Bracing acidity and minerality. Lemon. Stone notes with fly. Interesting complexity to the mid-palate, broadens …read more…