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After a long, dark, and anxious winter, spring is finally here! The days are longer, the tariffs have been suspended, and the air is sweet (though it's certainly hard to tell from behind our masks). And with spring we are finally seeing the arrival of a passel of new wines. And of the new arrivals, we're especially excited for the new Champagne releases from Emilien Feneuil, a prodigiously talented organic grower from Chamery, whose inaugural vintage dazzled us last year.
Biodynamically farming 17 small plots (for a total of 2.37 ha) across the villages Sermiers, Chamery and Ecueil, , Emilien produces Champagnes that display magnificent energy, coupled with fine precision, and grounded by a deep sense of earthiness. Following viticulture school in Avize he returned to his familiy's domaine in 2006. After attending a meeting about organic viticulture in 2008 Emilien began converting the domaine with an eye to biodynamics and a holistic approach to farming as it relates to his surroundings, focusing especially on biodiversity in the vines. And one area where we see his committment to biodiversity is the occurence of 'volunteer' trees growing in the vines, which appeared on their own and which he considers as much an expression of terroir as the grapes his family planted.
Fermentation is in used barrels with native yeasts and a minimum of sulfur at the press, eleveage is just shy of a year before the mise and bottling is without dosage. Last year's releases were extraordinary for their frank minerality, purity of fruit, vinous character, and an ineffable character one could ascribe to 'soulfullness.' We'll be following Emilien's progress with a keen eye as he grows as a winemaker.
Please note this is a pre-offer and the wines will arrive on April 12.
Feneuil, Emilien 2016 Champagne Cuvée Totum
Totum stands for “tout en un, un en tout” (“all in one, one in all”) and it embodies Emilien’s philosophy, trying to marry and blend in one unity an infinity of elements. All his 17 plots and the four grape varieties are used, in roughly the proportion represented in the vineyard : 60% Pinot Meunier, 30% Pinot Noir, 8% Chardonnay and 2% Petit Meslier. Spontaneous fermentation in barrel, bottled without dosage. Though this could be considered Emelien's base cuvée, the same diligent farming and nuance vinification result in a a Champagne of focus and finesse.
Feneuil, Emilien 2016 Champagne Chamery 1er Cru Les Basses Croix
Comprised of 100% Chardonnay from Les Basses Croix & Les Gillis (Sermiers and Ecueil). The vines are between 36 to 40 years old, growing in sandy clay over limestone soils, with more chalk in Ecueil. Spontaneous fermentation in barrel with long lees aging, bottled unfiltered and unfined.
Feneuil, Emilien 2016 Champagne Chamery 1er Cru Les Puits
Les Puits comes from a northeastern facing plot in Chamery on the north slope of the Montagne de Reims. The wine is comprised of of 35 year-old Pinot Noir grown on rich sandy clay over chalk soils. Fermentation is with native yeasts in used barrels. The robe has a faint peach hue. The nose is expressive with pretty aromas of stone fruit, pear skin, and wet stone. The palate is ripe and concentrated with Rainier cherry and Mirabelle plum. The mid-palate is expansive and there's great brio to the finish. This has come together admirably and is a real joy to drink. John McIlwain
Feneuil, Emilien 2016 Coteaux Champenois Blanc Les Basses Croix (Arrives 4/12
Comprised of 100% Chardonnay from Les Basses Croix & Les Gillis (Sermiers and Ecueil). The vines are between 36 to 40 years old, growing in sandy clay over limestone soils, with more chalk in Ecueil. Spontaneous fermentation in barrel with long lees aging, bottled unfiltered and unfined. This wine is pre-arrival. Wine arrives 4/12.
Feneuil, Emilien 2016 Coteaux Champenois Chamery Rouge Les Goulats Arrives 4/12
100% organically-farmed Pinot Noir. Les Goulats is a single parcel located in Chamery. The northeast-facing slope is comprised of sandy clays over limestone. For the Coteaux Rouge, the grapes are destemmed. This wine is pre-arrival. Wines arrive 4/12.
100% organically-farmed Pinot Noir. Les Goulats is a single parcel located in Chamery. The northeast-facing slope is comprised of sandy clays over limestone. For the Coteaux Rouge, the grapes are destemmed.
This wine is pre-arrival. Wines arrive 4/12.