Organic Champenois Vigneron Thomas Perseval in his barrel room. Photo courtesy of Selection Massale

Chamery's Brilliant Parade: Taste the Organic Champagnes of Thomas Perseval.

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There are numerous ways to discover wine, or more accurately learn about a wine. There are the classics, described in the acknowledged tomes by wine authorities; there are the vast trade tastings where one ambles over to the most crowded table to join in the scrum to taste the newest/hottest/allocated-est sensation; there is the bolt-from-the-blue discovery on a wine list in that out-of-the-way restaurant that one time; and there is the romantic discovery deriving from a long journey (the sort of thing recounted in Kermit Lynch’s seminal Adventures on the Wine Route). Another is to have someone of good taste nudge you and suggest trying a new wine in the manner one would recommend a really good novel she just read, which you absolutely must check out.

This April, while traveling in France, I experienced the latter when my former colleague (and avowed Champagne lover) Sophie grabbed me by the elbow at a small grower tasting and insisted I try the Champagnes of newcomer Thomas Perseval from Chamery. And while the tasting was attended by some more established producers, Perseval’s wines shone brightly. They displayed that magical combination of energy, purity, and precision that makes one bolt upright from one’s chair. With a grin, she told me that our friends at Selection Massale had a new grower. And what a grower, indeed!

Thomas Perseval farms 2.5 hectares of vines in Chamery on the northwestern edge of the Montagne de Reims. Per Selection Massale the soils are clay, sand, and “Calcaire limoneux.” The farming is certified organic, the initial fermentations are with native yeasts, wines undergo natural malolactic fermentation, and are bottled with lower dosage than those of those of his parents’ domaine, Perseval Harteel. The inaugural releases are the snappy, coltish Extra-Brut Tradtion and more layered and red-fruited Extra Brut Rosé, with further cuvées to follow. (Of note, the still-unreleased Grand Cuvée 1er cru which is to be disgorged in 2016—this showed great promise in April with luminous fruit, spicy minerality, rich texture, and a detailed, sauve finish.)

 

Please join us on Tuesday December 29th from 5-7 PM for a tasting of the lovely organic Champagnes of  Thomas Perserval with our friend Guilhaume Gerard of Selection Massale. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to taste these wines of purity and terroir.  John McIlwain

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Perseval, Thomas 2012 Chamery 1er cru Tradition Disgorged 3/15

One of two inaugural releases from organic vigneron Thomas Perseval from Chamery in northwestern Montagne de Reims, the Perseval Tradition 1er cru Extra Brut is a blend of 45% Pinot Noir, 45% Pinot Meunier, and 10% Chardonnay from the 2012 vintage. Raised 70% in enamel, and 30% in barrel and disgorged in March of 2015. For a first release, this is quite a Champagne! The nose shows white flowers, Meyer lemon peel, red fruit, candied ginger, and sea spray. The palate has a snappy mineral attack followed by layered flavors of wild strawberry, cool crushed herbs, chalk, brioche, and shows considerable drive and power on the medium-long, rising finish. Since first tasting the wine in April, the flavor and structural elements have integrated further with the wine becoming more harmonious and suave. John McIlwain

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $54.99

  • Organic

Perseval, Thomas 2012 Chamery 1er cru Rosé Disgorged 3/15

This is the inaugural release from Thomas Perseval, a young organic grower in Chamery.  The Extra Brut Rosé is 50% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier, and 30% Chardonnay. Raised in tank and barrel with reserve wine from 2010 blended in. The wines undergo malolactic fermentation naturally but maintain cut and precision due to the high quality of work in the vines. On the nose there are notes of watermelon, strawberry, blood orange peel, and brambles. The palate is fresh, lively, and taut, with cool-toned red fruits, mineral, and hints of ginger. This is ripe, energetic, and textured. The wine has knit beautifully since April when I first tasted it. (Disgorged 3/15). John McIlwain

 

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $44.99

  • Organic