I have always been seduced by the incredibly soft and silky mousse of this producer and their playful fruity wines. Never too serious. Never pushing things to the extreme.
6th Generation wine makers they started in the late 19th century. They were key to Champagne production in the village of Festigny, owning the first press,but it wasn’t until the 1930s that they started producing their own wines. The house is now in the hands of Jean-Philippe Loriot, though Joseph is still heavily involved in proceedings.
The bulk of their vineyards are in Festigny, 6 hectares, however Joseph married into the Pagel family who hail from Cote des Blancs and have vineyards in Avize, Cramant and Oger. Thus the name Joseph Loriot-Pagel and a range with a surprisingly high percentage of Chardonnay in them for a producer in Festigny.
Carte d’Or Brut, a Meunier heavy cuvee is crisp and fruity.
Their Chardonnay is always released as a vintage as they feel they want to soften the intensity of the Chardonnay from the Cote de Blancs. Their Blanc de Blancs 2008, a 70/30 Cramant/Avize blend, is smokey, creamy and really shows off the creaminess of Loriot-Pagel’s wines. Silky stuff.
Cuvee Reserve 2008 is a 40/30/30 Pinot Noir/Chardonnay/Meunier blend has a sweet toasty palate delivering oodles of Pinot! Great texture too.
The Brut Rose uses 9% Meunier red wine addition and shows a touch of stalk on the nose. Good balance of red fruits.
They joined the Special Club recently and produce a single plot wine for this from Festigny. 100% Meunier, the 2009 delivers creamy milk chocolate and lots of blackcurrant and pepper. It does need some time in bottle to build up the back end a bit.
No 6 cuvee is a complete right angle to their production. 100% old oak. No malolactic fermentation. No cold stabilisation. No filtration. Named after the 6 generations of producers (apparently No 5 had been taken by another company!). A 40/30/30 blend of Chardonnay/Meunier/Pinot Noir it gives buttery toast and surprising crisp precision on the front end then explodes with salinity and spice on the mid palate. Nice.
I must admit I give off a bit of a smile every time I drink or taste Joseph’s wines. They aren’t complicated, perhaps even a touch sweet (which in other producers I find difficult to tolerate) but I really enjoy their balance. Oh and did I mention how beautifully soft their mousse is!?
Region: La Cote des Blancs
Contact: Joseph Loriot
Cuvée De Prestige: Cuvee No 6
Year Founded: 1890
Style: Feminine, creamy, delicate.
Terroir: Festigny, Le Breuil, Cramant, Avize, Oger.
Vinification: Steel apart from prestige cuvee in oak (No malo, no filtration and old oak). Moving to single plot vinification. Malolactic done. Dosage made from reserve wines. New press in 2005.
Viticulture: Average age of vines 35 years. Grass in the vineyard.
Recent Tasting Notes from Joseph Loriot-Pagel