I am sat at my kitchen table pondering my next profile after a rather large weekend family wedding. After trips to Champagne I tend to take a few weeks to collect my thoughts and put pen to paper over the various producers I have visited. Sat in front of me is a lovely fine Zalto glass, which promises to break if I stare at it too hard, filled with Cuvee CCCI, Marc’s 100% Pinot Noir using old vines.
Whenever I visit producers I tend to buy a case or so of various wines so that I can take them home and ponder their produce in my own time. Sometimes, simply I just like their wines and sometime something about our meeting doesn’t quite tickle my fancy and I need a more neutral environment to form an opinion.
I first met Marc on a terrible November day. The rain was pounding the car as we arrived and I was greeted by him and an umbrella as he selflessly ran out to keep us dry. It was at the end of a long trip and I was probably suffering from a bit of palate fatique and general tiredness but the wines didn’t quite hit the spot for me.
How wrong was I!? And most importantly, how glad am I that I bought a few bottles! So complex, so beautifully layered. A faint touch of salinity, with blackcurrant, peach and a wonderfully weighted mousse. Impressive!
Working with 9 hectares in Avenay Val d’Or he sells most to a few well know negociants and keeps the best 3 for himself. He will expand with some vines in Vertus in the next 2 years.
He has been biodynamic since 2012.
Millesime 2009 was disgorged a la volee and is a pre biodynamic wine. A 50/50 blend of Avenay Val d’Or and Vertus and 100% Chardonnay it had a delightful toffeed palate with cinnamon notes and good sugar notes. It is also comes in one of the most peculiar bottle shapes I have ever seen on my travels!
Cuvee CCXCI La Terre, 100% Pinot Noir and 1 g/ltr of sugar. Loads of gooseberry and rhubarb and a beautifully silky palate.
Cuvee CCXIV L’Air is a 50/50 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It shows incredible complexity and intensity. Hugely powerful and one of his most impressive wines.
Cuvee CXVI Sans Soufre is a 100% Pinot Noir 100% Natural wine. Dry, pure and delicate. It has a beautiful touch but I find the lack of weight a touch concerning.
Cuvee CCCI Le Feu. 100% Pinot Noir, old vines. It dances across the palate with beautiful light steps. Blackcurrant, salinity and an impressive mousse. It is as I wrote on both tastings, a ‘proper wine’.
A lesson for all who enjoy Champagne. Never settle on your first opinion. Try, try and try again!
Village: Avenay Val D'Or
Region: La Vallee De La Marne
Contact: Marc Augustin
Cuvée De Prestige:
Bottles produced: 20000
Viticulture: Biodynamic on 6 hectares since 2012, remaining 3 in 2015.
Recent Tasting Notes from Marc Augustin