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« A mineral and fresh champagne, perfectly balanced that expresses itself with intensity »
It is a blend of equal parts barrel aged Chardonnay (7 months in oak barrels), Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir grown on the Premier Cru terroirs of Vrigny.
It undergoes malolactic fermentation and is entirely undosed to allow the wine and the terroir to express their full expression.
Thus the influence of the chalky soils of the Chardonnay, the clay earth of the Pinot Noir terroir and the sandy soils in which the Pinot Noir are grown is perceptible in this brut nature, which is aged for 6 years in the Coulon cellars.
Tasting notes: A superb bright gold and a discreet nose announces notes of citrus, white flowers, acacia honey, sage and little red fruits. The balance between elegance, tension and minerality excites the taste buds. A pure and long finish is punctuated with a hint of bitterness. A very pure NON Dosed Champagne to be enjoyed on its own or to be paired with oysters, urchins or seafood.
94+ / 100 Parker
Officially non-vintaged but based on 2009, the NV Premier Cru Brut Nature Esprit de Vrigny is a blend that represents the best soils for each grape variety: one-third Pinot Meunier from sandy soils, one-third Chardonnay from chalky soils and one-third Pinot Noir from clay soils. The wine displays a clear, super fresh and subtle/delicate bouquet with great purity, vibrancy and noblesse. Pristine and crisp on the palate, with a refined and salty finish, this is a very filigreed and complex cuvée that reflects the terroir of Vrigny, which is virtually the sea. This is mineral and firmly structured, but at the same time, it's also fine. It is terribly long and pure, with an iodine- inflected and intense yet fresh finish. This is a great, very persistent, rye and iodine-flavored wine—endless and long like a wine from the Jura. Persistently salty. Encore and encore. The is the most subtle complexity you can get in Champagne. Guys, I love it! Disgorged in June 2016. Tasted April 2018. Stephen Reinhardt
90 / 100 Vinous
The NV Brut Nature Esprit de Vrigny 1er Cru is bright and punchy, with all of the energy that is common in top non- dosè Champagnes. Sage, mint, white flowers, citrus and red berry notes pulse with real energy in a taut, steely Champagne that has so much to offer. The style will appeal most to readers who enjoy the more nervy side of Champagne, that much is clear. Disgorged: November, 2018. Antonio Galloni
Eric Coulon is the eighth generation of a family of vignerons that has cultivated vineyards in the premier cru village of Vrigny, Montagne de Reims, since 1806. To pay tribute, the domaine kept the name of Eric's father, Roger Coulon, who died when Eric was 14 years old. Today, Eric and his wife, Isabelle, farm more than 100 parcels of vineyards, which add up to 11 hectares and are spread across six communes, including the Côte des Blancs. "It's a mosaic of plots and parcels, but they virtually all face east, which is important for me because it's the best exposition and the exposition of most of the grand crus," Eric says. He cultivates mainly Pinot Meunier (40%) as well as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in equal parts and keeps the yields very low.
There are two main things that are important to understand the light, discreet, delicate and harmonious style of Roger Coulon.
First, there is no chaptalization, as Eric prefers lower alcohol wines and tends to find Champagnes imbalanced when they exceed 12% alcohol.
Second, he prefers a moderate and elegant spume and pressure. That's why he adds less sugar to start the second fermentation and keeps the pressure at five rather than six atmospheres. "It's the style my grandfather used to cultivate rather than my father," Eric says. In fact, it was his grandfather who trained him to handcraft Champagne like it was done 100 years ago. "Just the dosage is much lower today than it used to be in the old days..." After the press, the must is fermented with indigenous yeasts, and the best wines are aged in tonneaux for up to 24 months before the bottling. There is no stirring of the lees and no fining. After the disgorgement, the cuvées are kept for another six months in the domaine before they are shipped into the different markets.
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