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Jérôme Prévost La Closerie Les Beguines Extra Brut
Disgorged October 2020. Extra Brut. Prévost’s 2.2-hectare vineyard, Les Béguines, is in Gueux, 10km west of Reims in the north of the region. 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% Pinot Meunier, although there is now a small amount of 10-year-old Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc that has been planted next to the Pinot Meunier parcel. As these vines are still young, they are currently blended into the Les Béguines cuvée, and represent roughly 6% of the blend. With time they may produce a stand-alone wine. The vineyard management is of course organic, with the soils cultivated and yields kept at balanced levels.
This 2018 base is Prévost’s twentieth release of Les Béguines. As always, the wine was vinified without any additions in large-format used barrels for 10 months and bottled unfiltered. Prévost disgorged the wine after 18 months on lees and added two grams per litre dosage. Historically this wine was always from the same vintage, however the last two releases have seen a significant change and now 40% reserve wine is included. It’s a game changer—the wines are now even more complex and approachable from an early age.
As with the ’17 (the first vintage with reserve wine) this 2018 base is already drinking beautifully, with an open, pulpy texture and layers of bosc pear, white peach, lemon curd, and citrus pith. There is also hay again, and plenty of spice, but this is finer than La Closerie, more restrained and altogether in a greater class. There is terrific energy and freshness. It will certainly age well, even if it is stunning already. A great vintage for this wine, no doubt about that!
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