Jacques Beaufort's Champagnes of Valor

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Jacques Beaufort has held his vineyard work to the highest ethical standards (relying only on soil work, homeopathic & alleopathic treatments) for over three decades, but the measure of the courage of his convictions cannot be properly appreciated without context. Champagne has land prices that dwarf other French wine-growing regions. Most of the Champenois vineyards remain in the hands of small growers (1.5 ha or less in holdings) and given grape prices of €6 to €8 per kilo, most growers are content to maximize yields and sell their grapes to the Grands Marques (large, established, often multinational held Champagne houses).

Less than 1.5% of the vineyards in Champagne are farmed organically and if asked, these growers will tell you that switching to organic farming will typically result in a 10% decrease in yields. Jacques Beaufort’s vineyard practices are many altruistic rungs above most of those growers, as he does not treat his vines with copper or sulfur to fight powdery and downy mildew, as is allowed in organic farming. In Champagne, the threat posed by those blights is heightened by the damages caused by, occasionally severe, spring frosts (shown below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the first few years of his ethical vineyard practices, Jacques saw his yields decrease by one third. Similar convictions held him steadfast in the cellar, where he has long worked with an absolute minimal use of sulfur and often ages his wines on their lees for as long as 30 years.

The results are some of the most distinctive, delicate, and filigreed wines to be found in the whole of France. In fact, Jacques' wines have profiles that stand apart from other growers in the same village and from the established aromatic hallmarks of even notable vintages in Champagne such as 2008.

This is all to the good because no vineyard practices, however ethical, exempt the resulting wine from serious evaluation. No wine, regardless of sub-genre or axiomatic movement, should escape a moment of truth in the glass. Discernment in tasting should not be the victim of moral admiration.

Happily, with great consistency from vineyard to vineyard, from vintage to vintage, Beaufort Champagnes offer beautifully balanced, complex, and finely delineated aromas. As much as Jacques’ wines are the result of skill and experience in the vineyard and cellar, they are the result of a judicious palate.

The qualities of his Champagnes have found resonance and recognition with chefs de cuisine of the caliber of René Redzepi at Copenhagen’s Noma, where Jacques wines are prominently featured. We are proud to present Jacques Beaufort’s new arrivals!

-David Salinas

 

 

Beaufort, André 2002 Champagne Polisy Brut Nature

A sensational mature Champagne from André Beaufort - the estate converted to organic agriculture in the early 70's and makes brilliant, full-bodied Champagnes that are among the most "vinous" being made today. Medium golden yellow in color and sporting a discrete mousse. The nose is quite floral with tones of cherry blossoms, apple blossoms, and irises before touches of quince and fresh baguette. The palate is concentrated with a spherical and laser-like focus that offers notes of lemon sorbet, tart lemon custard, and apple pie, underlined by a fine minerality that persists through to a rounded, savory finish. Really a very pretty and lovely wine. This medium bodied Champagne is made of approximately 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay and was disgorged in March 2017 after 14 years of sur-lie aging, illustrating the Beauforts' commitment to releasing mature wines.

  • white sparkling
  • 9 in stock
  • no discount
  • $76.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Beaufort, André 2008 Champagne Grand Cru Ambonnay Brut

"Really superb, subtle, long. Quiet nose. Winy. Seems like old school white Burgundy. Very serious..." Anonymous notes from Beaufort dinner, Jan 2017 (Disgorged April, 2017)

  • white sparkling
  • 9 in stock
  • no discount
  • $79.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Beaufort, André 2010 Champagne Polisy Rosé Brut

For its striking blood orange/copper color and for its vinous character, Beaufort's 2010 Rosé is one of the most compelling Champagnes on our shelves. 100% Pinot Noir from Beaufort's Polisy vineyards, there are geographic and stylistic similarities to great Rosé des Riceys. Aromas of cherry compote, cinnamon, spearmint, and butterscotch give way to gingerbread and herbal notes. The palate is broad and balanced with a juicy core of cherries, tangerines, and red plums before a lengthy mocha and mulberry finish. One of Beaufort's best rosés to date!  Tasting notes  Jan 2017 "Absolutely super, in the end the wine of the night. Transparent, super light but dense and complex, long and unfolding in waves..." (Current stock disgorged June, 2017)

  • rosé sparkling
  • 3 in stock
  • no discount
  • $54.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur
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Beaufort 2010 Champagne Polisy Brut Reserve

The Polisy Brut Reserve 2010 is a full and lively Champagne with lovely pear, bread and floral aromas, with honeysuckle and exotic fruit  and a full-bodied palate with notes of citrus confit, brown spice and stone. As with all the Beaufort wines, there is terrific length and concentration due to their many years of organic farming and low yields. The extremely low level of SO2 in the wine also contributes to its purity.  It's worth noting that Polisy is a village in the southern part of Champagne, the Aube, where the soil is heavier in limestone than the chalk-laden soil of Ambonnay. The Beaufort family planted vines in Polisy in the 1960s and the results we've tasted since our relationship with Beaufort began have been stunning. Great value — and a great food wine as well, serve with fish, white meats and full-flavored cheeses... This Champagne has enough minerality to age beautifully for many years to come! (Disgorged 4/15, Lot # 10P).

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $46.99

  • Organic