Extra Brut. As you probably know, Jérôme Prévost doesn’t make vintage labelled Champagnes, but his wines are always of a single vintage and he puts a code on the bottle to indicate the year of harvest. This “LC” number (Lot Consigné), printed on the base of the label indicates the vintage. This bottling is LC17, so 2017.
Prévost’s 2.2 hectare vineyard, Les Béguines, is in Gueux, 10km west of Reims in the north of the region. Inherited from Jérôme’s grandmother, the site was planted in the 1960s with an old, slow growing, rootstock that descends deeply. Les Béguines is close to 100% Pinot Meunier, although there is a small amount of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Blanc, that was planted about a decade ago. The soil of Les Béguines is a layer cake of calcareous sand (Thanetian sand), and clay. The vineyard management is of course organic, with the soils cultivated and yields kept at balanced levels. Nothing is forced. The fruit is picked ripe and the wine is vinified without any additions in large format, used barrels for ten months. Bottled unfiltered, Prévost disgorges the wine after roughly 17 months on lees and adds approximately 2g/L dosage, (so extra brut). These are wines that always show better after time in bottle, five + years is ideal, but even a year or two makes a great difference. 2017 is a much more seductive example of Les Béguines than other recent releases and will give enormous pleasure from the get-go.
“The NV Extra Brut Les Béguines LC 17 will be disgorged in October, and it has clearly turned out very well despite the challenging year, wafting from the glass with aromas of citrus oil, candle wax, white flowers, warm bread and spices, with only hints of the further complexity to come. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, lively and concentrated, with a ripe and enveloping core of fruit underpinned by racy acids.” 94 points, William Kelley, The Wine Advocate