The city of Reims and the Montagne de Reims
By Tom Stevenson and Michael Edwards
This Guide was last updated on 25 June 2010
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Address: 2 Rue de la Petite Montagne,
Tel: 03 26 03 48 60
Geo-coordinates: Latitude: 49:14:49N (49.24697) Longitude: 3:54:30E (3.90839)
Just northwest of Reims, at the foot of the Petite Montagne, the leafy village of Gueux was right on the front line during World War I and nearly every house was razed to the ground by the Kaiser's artillery. Opposite Louis Roederer’s surviving white country mansion is a charming little 1920s cottage, home to one of Champagne’s bravest small growers. Jérôme Prévost inherited his family's 2ha vineyard at the age of 21 in 1987 and first sold his grapes to the local cooperative. Eleven years later, Jérôme saw the chance to buy the cottage, which had good outhouses and an unusual but very practical 'cellar', which was an old armaments store during the two world wars, durable enough to survive the bombardments of the enemy and a stable place to age fine wine. He started to produce his own wine in 1998, thanks to the invaluable help given him by the great Avize grower, Anselme Selosse, who made space for Jérôme in his winery for his first three vintages. Jérôme produces two Champagnes (a white and tiny amount of rosé) from old Pinot Meunier vines planted in the 1960s. He aerates the soil by plough and applies biodynamic preparations to the plants. La Closerie is always a wine of a single year (not stated on the label), fermented in oak, mainly barriques where it ages on indigenous yeasts in cask. The result is often the most intense and exotically spicy Pinot Meunier Champagne in the region. Yet in each vintage the venerable variety says something different: the 2006 is lithe, forward, with an attractive elegance; the 2005 is deeper, intense, and very vinous; the 2003 celebrates the wonderful fruit of the Meunier and as it approaches maturity, the 2000 has a freshness and purity of fruit that gets better by the moment. The Champagnes are extra brut, that is bone-dry. Jérôme, a man of artistic sensibilities, is also something of a poet: read his back label and see what we mean.
Useful information: Visits by appointment only Monday – Friday 08.00–12.00 and 14.30-18.30.
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