Champagne Veuve Fourny & Fils “Monts de Vertus” (Vertus Premier Cru Extra Brut 2009)
Price for The Champagne Society members: $67 (regular price $79)
Champagne Veuve Fourny is one of the most respected producers in Champagne. Brothers and fifth-generation growers Charles-Henry and Emmanuel Fourny manage some of the finest terroirs in the highly regarded Premier Cru village of Vertus at the southern end of the Côte des Blancs. They sustainably farm about 22 acres of vineyards predominantly on the mineral hillsides of “Le Mont Ferre” on the border of the Grand Cru Le Mesnil-sur-Oger.
The brothers think of Vertus as a “complete” terroir, containing mostly calcareous soils and areas of pure chalk with very little clay. These soils coupled with gentle slopes and ideal sun exposures all work together to impart a singular expression of fruit. Because of their absolute focus on ripeness and quality fruit in the vineyard the Fournys seek to add minimum dosage to all of their wines, maintaining the purity of the terroir. The average age of their vines is over 40 years and most of the vines are massal selection grafted by their grandfather Albert since 1930.
The Fourny’s operate with a philosophy of strict selection based on the character of each of their thirty lieux-dits and vinify each plot separately. “Monts de Vertus” is made solely from Chardonnay from mid-slope plots growing vines all 60+ years of age on pure chalk soils under a thin layer of rendzina. This soil is ideal for producing wines that will mature over a long period and create a precise style with a mineral and saline finish.
“Monts de Vertus” is 100% Chardonnay and made from first pressed juice and only in the best vintages from their best vines. The cuvée typically does not go through malolactic fermentation and ages in bottle for a minimum of five years before disgorgement – your bottle was disgorged in December of 2015. The 2009 vintage has a dosage of three grams per liter (Extra Brut). The result is an exuberant wine from a warm vintage that captures the exoticism of Vertus with the expression of ripe citrus fruits and spice. A well judged acidity and vein of minerality help provide balance before a lengthy finish.