Notes from Charles Neal Selections:
"Benoit Lahaye is located in Bouzy, a grand cru village in the Montagne de Reims. His family has been making Champagne there since the 1930’s, and today he works in the winery with his wife Valérie and their 2 sons. The domaine, which covers 4.8 hectares, is situated in the regions of Bouzy, Ambonnay and Tauxières. Bouzy brings structure, power and fruit to the wines while Ambonnay brings acidity and roundness. The estate is mainly planted with Pinot Noir (just under 90%) on south- and southwest-facing slopes. The vines average 35 to 40 years old. The total production is less than 40,000 bottles per year.
In 2003, Lahaye began to work the property fully organically, and 2007 was the first vintage to be certified by ECOCERT. Lahaye uses only his own compost and organic manure to enrich his soil. Since 2009, Lahaye has also been applying biodynamic principles to further improve the expression of his terroir and reveal the full potential of his soil and vines. He says that the switch to biodynamic practices has brought higher potential alcohol at harvest, but also higher acidity. In 2010, the estate was certified biodynamic by Biodyvin. His 9-year old work horse Tamise, who became part of the family in 2010, leads Benoit around the vineyards, plowing the soil and spreading compost. In the cellar the work is as minimal as possible.
Champagne Benoît Lahaye “Le Jardin de la Grosse Pierre” Grand Cru Brut Nature is a rare field blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Arbanne, Chasselas, Petit Meslier, Gros Plant, Teinturier and other varieties, from a single parcel (called Le Jardin de la Grosse Pierre) on brown chalky soil in Bouzy Grand Cru. The oldest vines here were planted in 1923 by Benoît’s great-grandfather, who later replaced some dead vines with other varieties, mostly unknown or forgotten. Until 2009, the wine made from this parcel was blended with wine from other parcels, but after tasting it separately, Benoît recognized its unique character and decided to make a special cuvée from it. Depending on the vintage, it is aged for under a year in old 225-liter barrels, bottled without filtration, then kept an extra 2 years or so in bottle before release. Zero dosage. An incredible 140 cases made."