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Jerome Prevost La Closerie Les Béguines LC20 Extra Brut NV

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    Jérôme Prévost is a prominent figure in the world of Champagne production, known for his dedication to creating intense, terroir-specific Champagnes. He is part of a small group of producers, often referred to as the "Champagne Renegades," who prioritize crafting vinous Champagnes that reflect the unique characteristics of their vineyards. Inheriting a two-hectare parcel known as Les Béguines from his grandmother, Jérôme focuses on cultivating Pinot Meunier, with additional vines of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay interspersed throughout the parcel. He is dedicated to producing terroir-transparent bottlings primarily dedicated to one grape and one vintage, with a tendency to blend in 10-15% reserve wines. Jérôme's winemaking journey began when he took over the vineyard in 1987, transitioning from renting out the vines to selling grapes directly to négociants. His experience working at Jacques Selosse and the guidance of Anselme Selosse influenced his winemaking techniques, leading to a focus on low yields and chemical-free farming. The winemaking process involves hand-harvesting all grapes, fermenting with indigenous yeasts using a mix of used barriques and demi-muids, and a unique disgorgement process about 16 months after bottling. Jérôme finishes the Champagnes with no dosage and minimal sulfur to preserve the wine's purity. Notably, Jérôme also produces miniscule quantities of a Rose Champagne called Fac-simile, along with occasional experimental cuvées that showcase his innovative spirit. Despite the technical details, Jérôme's approach to winemaking is driven by a desire to create wines that bring people together in the name of deliciousness, reflecting his generous and artistic nature.

    Les Beguines Extra Brut NV is produced with 90% of the fruit from the 2020 harvest, plus 10% reserve wines. It was aged in new to 13yo oak barrels for 10 months, before being bottled and then disgorged. Dosage 2gr/l

    This is 2020 base with 20% reserve wine from 2019—so two brilliant seasons. Prévost’s 2.2-hectare vineyard, Les Béguines, is in Gueux, 10km west of Reims in the north of Champagne. The soil of Les Béguines is a layer cake of calcareous (Thanetian) sand, over clay, over more calcareous sand. Inherited from Jérôme’s grandmother, the site was planted in the 1960s with an old, slow-growing, less productive rootstock that descends deeply. Les Béguines is close to 100% Meunier, although there is now a small parcel of 10-year-old Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc planted next to the Meunier (these vines represent roughly six per cent of the blend). The vineyard management is organic, with the soils cultivated exclusively by horse and yields kept at balanced levels.

    As always, the wine was vinified without any additions, in large format used barrels for 10 months and was bottled unfiltered. Prévost disgorged this release after 18 months on lees and added three grams per litre dosage. In the past, this was always a wine of one given vintage, however, the last two releases have seen some reserve wine included. It’s a game changer—the wines are now even more complex and far more approachable from an early age. Nonetheless, this is a Champagne that’s built for aging. A recent bottle of 2012 was in great form, and still youthful. The typical window we give for Les Béguines is around seven to 10 years from release. That’s an ideal of course, and this is already stunning. Nonetheless, if you can give it even between one and three years of further aging on cork, you will be amply rewarded.

    The Finer Details
    Style - Champagne
    Varietal - Pinot Meunier 90%, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay
    Country - France
    Region - Champagne
    Vintage - LC 20, Disgorged September 2023
    Bottle Size - 750ml
    ABV - 12.5%