Champagne Héraclite 2014 — Pinot Meunier
A Wine That
takes you to the healthier part of Champagne; where wildflowers and wild grasses grow; where the birds sing and make their homes in the vines. This is the stark contrast of mass-produced and chemically farmed herbicide Grand Marques Champagnes. Instead, there is life in this bottle; it tastes like the Champenois wilderness —like rosehips and cranberries straight from the bush. It's a wine of hope, and is named after the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, whose quote, "the only constant in life is change" has deeply inspired Timothée on his journey.
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- Winemaker: Timothée Stroebel
Where and How?
This is 100% Pinot Meunier grown in Timothée's organic vineyards in Villers-Allerand, in the Montagne de Reims subregion of Champagne, planted on chalky loam soils. It comes from two parcels which sit opposite one another; one of which was planted in 1964. It's a true rarity to find old vines such as this in the region.
The base wine was fermented naturally and aged in stainless steel. After adding the Liqueur de Tirage, the wine was aged for three years in the bottle. It was disgorged and left as a Brut Nature, although a touch of sugar remains naturally - just 1.5g, which gives the wine a very gentle roundness on the palate. Unfined and unfiltered, with just a tiny touch of sulphur at bottling.
Champagne, despite its lofty reputation, has borne the brunt of chemical farming, perhaps more so than any other French wine region. It’s thanks to an increasing handful of growers like Timothée that the soils here are beginning to slowly recover from decades of chemical abuse. They are leading the way, and others are beginning to follow, a little like a positive version of a vinous Pied Piper. The ecosystem doesn’t die; instead it strengthens and flourishes.
Timothée achieved his organic certification in 2014 after over a decade's work to regenerate his soils. He works almost without machines, instead working his soils by horse and plough with his own two horses, Bijou and Quina. All his vineyard work is carried out with the goal of promoting soil health; in order to boost the vineyards’ ecosystem and attract insects and birds.