We tasted: Guerlet-Deguerne 1996

tasting in June 2020, Madrid, Spain

We’re back with our tastings to a small grower (récoltant-manipulant RM) from Chamery, situated in Montagne de Reims region of Champagne. This small village, classified as premier cru, is considered between the first wine producing villages in Champagne and hosts some of the oldest vines. The story of this champagne house had begun in 1872 when Arthur Deguerne issued its first cuvées. But the family business has officially started in 1914, when thanks to the passion and the dedication of Lucien Guerlet, the house obtained the Certificate of “Moniteur de Greffage” – “Grafting Instructor” by the “Association Viticole Champenoise” prove of his expertise and profound knowledge of the so-called “méthode champenoise”. Then, in 1927, they received the Appellation d’Origine Controlée (AOC) “Premier Cru” recognizing the superior quality of their terroir. Lucien transmitted his savoir-faire (know-how) and passion to his son Daniel whose lovely daughter, Véronique, later married Patrice Guerlet and together they founded maison Guerlet-Deguerne. Patrice, himself descended from an ancient family of winemakers, put all his efforts in creating an authentic champagne and leave his legacy to their three sons that are now in charge at the house:  Victorien, Florian and Arthur. In 2019, the 10 hectares Champagne house received the VDC (Viticulture Durable en Champagne) et HVE (Haute Valeur Environnementale) certificates proving that sustainability and originality are the main producing vectors of their wines. One year later, in 2020, the entire vineyards have been converted to biologic viticulture, meaning that they are not using any synthetic products in the vineyards (vines and soil). This non-intrusive method assures the full expression of the terroir in all the cuvées.

We tasted a quite old millésime, the 1996, which was one of the best years in Champagne (especially for Pinot Noir grape variety). On the nose, we founded clear signs of aging: dry plums, raisins but also nuts and some hints of earthy flavours like mushrooms and leather. On the palate we were pleasantly impressed by its delicate mousse and powerful roundness. Cherry compote, dry apples, nuts, lemon and vanilla completed the experience. The aftertaste was long and dry, dominated by its still present acidity.

CLB score

92

*take a look at our CLB scoring

Type of champagneBrut
Vintage1996
Grapes50% Pinot Noir, 50% Chardonnay
MaisonGuerlet-Deguerne
Village/terroirChamery (Premier Cru, Montagne de Reims)
DegorgementMarch 2002
Agedon lees for 6 years
DosageBrut (6-12g/L)
Sizebottle (75cl)
Number of bottles2500
Price range (euro)N/A
Chef de CavesPatrice Guerlet
Other considerentsno malolactic fermentation

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