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 “Cuvée Violaine Sans Soufre” Brut Nature is 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay, from the vineyards Les Argentières and Les Monts de Tours, both in Bouzy with dry brown chalky soils. Vinification is in used barrels using indigenous yeasts, afterward one or two lees stirrings and with complete malolactic fermentation. There is no racking or filtration during the elevage, and no dosage or sulfur at any part of its production. Only 1,800 bottles produced."