Champagne Drémont-Marroy

Village:
Charly-sur-Marne (Vallée de la Marne Ouest)
Appellation:
7.5 ha
Champagne
Grower:
Jean-Rémi and Melanie Drémont

The brother and sister team of Jean-Rémi and Melanie Drémont came on the scene in 2016 and they are creating some waves along the Marne river’s “grand meandre.” Jean-Rémi and Melanie are the fourth generation to work the family farm in Charly-sur-Marne, and although their grandmother planted a hectare of vines in 1945, it was their parents who patiently over the last 25 years increased the vineyards from 1 hectare to 7.5 hectares. During this period, they sold their fruit to negociants. Jean-Rémi and Melanie produced the family’s first wine in 2018 and released their first Champagne in 2021. The estate was certified organic in 2022. Jean-Rémi and Melanie bring a lot of thoughtfulness and energy to everything they do. In the vineyard, they use a variety of cover crops to re-balance the soil, they partner with bee-keepers who install hives in the vineyards and they bring in local flocks of sheep to graze in the vineyards. They do a lot of vineyard work manually and work some plots with their Boulonnais draft horse. In the cellar, they vinify individual parcels separately using a variety of containers including stainless steel, cement eggs and foudres. They take only the juice from the first press known as “la cuvée” and vinification is with indigenous yeasts. The wines stay “sur lie” for ten months before bottling.

Le Triau Extra-Brut

The cuvée name “Le Triau” is a local term for wild or abandoned land and makes reference to all the work that the parents of Jean-Rémi and Melanie did to clear land and plant vineyards. The cuvee’s blend is 55% Pinot Meunier, 15% Pinot Noir, and 30% Chardonnay. It offers a representative cross-section of the varieties and terroirs in the Dremont’s 7.5 hectares. The base vintage is currently 2019 with 30% of reserve wine in the blend. 80% of the wine was fermented and matured in stainless steel and 20% in barrels of 220L and 600L. After bottling, the Champagne matures “sur lattes” for three years before being disgorged at 0g (without a “liqueur d’expedition.”)

La Lierie Extra-Brut

The cuvée name “La Lierie” is a local term referencing the tying of young vine shoots on to wires. It signifies the vine’s need of support in order to grow. The cuvee’s blend is 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay. The base vintage is currently 2019 with 30% of reserve wine in the blend. 80% of the wine was fermented and matured in stainless steel and 20% in barrels of 220L and 600L. After bottling, the Champagne matures “sur lattes” for three years before being disgorged at 0g (without a “liqueur d’expedition.”) In this sector of the Marne Valley, Chardonnay gets very ripe and exhibits an aroma and a richness that can mimic Pinot Noir. The cuvee “La Lierie offers a vinous and concentrated style of Champagne.

Noir de Méandre Extra-Brut

The cuvée name “Noir de Méandre” refers to the large meander in the course of the Marne river at the village of Charly-sur-Marne as well as the fact that the cuvee is a Blanc de Noir. The “Noir de Méandre” is 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Pinot Meunier. The cuvee blends parcels with different soil compositions typical of Charly and neighboring villages which include erosional and alluvial soils along with a “tuffeau” limestone. The Champagne is vintage 2018. 50% of the wine was fermented and matured in stainless steel and 50% in barrels of 220L and 600L. After bottling, the Champagne matures “sur lattes” for four years before being disgorged at 0g (without a “liqueur d’expedition.”)

Region: Champagne

Champagne, at first glance, seems easy to understand. It is after all the most popularized and recognized wine in the world. It has been endorsed by Napoleon, Churchill and Warhol (it’s the “war” theme). However, once the fizz of gaiety evaporates and the veil of simplicity is pulled back, Champagne reveals a region with a fascinating history that has for centuries fastidiously cultivated a complex wine appellation. It is an appellation governed by complicated regulations that touch all aspects of production, a classification system of villages that sets grape prices and a myriad of styles including: wines of a single vintage, of blended vintages, of a single grape variety, of blended varieties; all of which can have different levels of dosage ranging from Extra Brut to Doux. Dare I mention content measurement? How did a 15 Liter bottle of Champagne come to be associated with Nebuchadnezzar?

The Romans gave this region its name. I suspect that these explorers had already dipped into the “local water” before naming it Campagna in memory of the area around Mount Vesuvius. Perhaps in contrast to the vast plains that flank the region to the west the geological undulations of Champagne appeared to be a similar wonder of nature. The region’s boundaries are basically unchanged since the 15th century and the “champagne viticole” (vineyard area) today spans five “départments” , the vast majority of them located in the Marne and the Aube. The vineyards cover approximately 30,400 hectares, although this area has recently been expanded. Most of the vineyards fall into the following broad areas: Vallée de la Marne, Côte de Sézanne, Côte de Blancs, Montagne de Reims and the Côte de Bar. A complete and more precise categorization divides the vineyards into twenty regions and is explained in the wonderful book Grand Atlas des Vignobles de France.

Champagne became an important center in France after Hugh Capet was crowned in Reims Cathedral in 987. Kings were crowned in the Cathedral for the following eight centuries and during this period considerable grants were given to the local monasteries which in turn became centers of winemaking until the revolution in 1798.

Until the 17th century the wines of Champagne were labeled according to small geographic regions such as vins de la Montagne or vins de la Riviere or more specifically by village or place names such as Bouzy, Verzenay, Ay and the Abbey of Hautvilliers. These wines were predominantly made from red grapes, their color compared to an onion skin or the eye of a partridge and they were gently effervescent or not. As fashion changed, so did the style of the wines to the extent that the producers could control it. The style of Champagne that we know today began in the 19th century and continues to evolve. The biggest change in the last twenty years is the increase of small scale recoltant-manipulant, “RM” producers. These estate bottled champagnes offer a remarkable diversity of expression resulting from the different philosophies of the independent producers and the more specific terroirs with which they work. These more personal expressions of champagne stand in stark contrast to the large negociant manipulant, “NM” producers who blend wines from hundreds of villages and often produce Champagne with a calculated uniformity.