Ahoy, Feneuil! -The Best Champagne You've Never Tasted

5/20/22 -

At Chambers Street Wines we're especially excited for the new Champagne releases from Emilien Feneuil, a prodigiously talented biodynamic grower from Chamery, whose first two vintages have dazzled us. These tiny production Champgnes and Coteaux Champenois have brilliant energy and a sensational terroir expression, the result of magnificent farming and deft work in the cellar.

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. His releases are extraordinary for their frank minerality, purity of fruit, vinous character, and an ineffable character one could ascribe to 'soulfullness.' Especially notable are his Coteaux Champenois which display a confidence and suavity that are impressive in such a young grower. We'll be following Emilien's progress with a keen eye as he grows as a winemaker. John McIlwain

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