While the Laval family has been growing vines for four generations, Georges Laval began producing estate-bottled champagne in 1971. His son Vincent joined the estate after finishing his studies in 1991, and has been in charge of the cellars since 1996. Laval’s vineyard holdings comprise just 2.5 hectares. Average vine age is over 30 years, and the oldest vines of the estate are over 70 years of age. The Lavals have been practicing organic viticulture since 1971, certified by Ecocert. “It’s a little more difficult to work organically than conventionally,” says Vincent Laval, “but it can be done, of course, and afterwards you have a better conscience.” Laval’s wines are harvested ripe and almost never chaptalized, and fermentation takes place in barrel, with indigenous yeasts. The wines are bottled late, usually about ten months after the harvest, and they are neither fined, filtered nor cold-stabilized. While Laval is not against the use of sulfur, he does try to limit its use as much as possible.
All 2020 Fruit. Bottled in the spring after the harvest and aging in neutral oak for 6 months, it is then disgorged with no added sugar after 18 months and released shortly thereafter. Although due to the regulations in Champagne, this is not technically a vintage bottling because it does not spend the required three years sur latte, this wine is never a blend of vintages. The year of harvest is revealed above as the last two digits in the item code.
This is a blend of Vincent Laval’s south-facing premier cru vineyards in Cumières, just west of Epernay. Quite vinous in texture with no sweetness on the palate, the nose combines citrus, minerals and just a hint of toast. Quite dry on the palate, a year or two in bottle helps this wine to fill out and reach its full potential of expression. Ripe fruit is laced with scratchy mineral texture and long term persistence. Like precious few Champagnes, this is a very serious wine that will reward, year after year, any cellaring that it is accorded.