Jerome Prevost La Closerie is one of the most sought after grower champagnes in the world. Artisan 100% Pinot Meunier in a humble village called Gueux (which means beggar/peasant in French) within Montagne de Reims, about 10 km from Reims.
Pinot Meunier accounts for 32% of the vineyards in Champagne, 2% more than Chardonnay. Yet, there is not a lot of attention going into 100% Pinot Meunier Champagnes. Jerome Prevost La Closerie Les Beguines is one of the best examples of a stunning and characterful champagne made from 100% Pinot Meunier (technically 95% Pinot Meunier for Les Beguines). Jerome Prevost also have a small amount (0.2 hectare) of young vines – Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Blanc, which accounts for 5% of Les Beguines.
Jerome Prevost inherited 2 hectares of vineyards at the age of 21 (in 1987), he sold the grapes to Laurent-Perrier for the first 10 years. During the 10 years, Jerome traveled to different parts of France to taste wines and to develop his own winemaking philosophies.
In 1998, Jerome Prevost started making his own wine with the help of Anselme Selosse. Selosse made space in his winery for Jerome Prevost to make his own wines there. Jerome made wines at Jacques Selosse winery for three years, until Jerome decided that he wants to be closer to his wines. Gueux is about 45 km from Avise (where Selosse is located), approximately one hour drive.
Luckily, Jerome Prevost found a small cellar on his street in Gueux that was previously used to store bombs and armaments in World War II.
The 2 hectare vineyard Les Béguines was planted Pinot Meunier with american roots in three consecutive years, 1960, 1961 and 1962. The soil is sandy, and the temperature of the soil is high during summer, the sandy soil reflects the sunlight well and malic acid are formed in the evening.
The vineyard of Jerome Prevost is low in altitude so frost settles easily, and Pinot Meunier has the ability to bud later in the growing season and ripen earlier and more reliable than Pinot Noir. Hence the choice of planting Pinot Meunier over Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.
Jerome ploughs the soil and applies biodynamic practices onto his Pinot Meunier vineyard. The wines at Champagne La Closerie are made in a natural way with natural yeast (the Selosse influence), fermented in oak barriques, and aged in oak. Bottled for second fermentation using gravity. The bottle spends 3 years sur lattes before release.
Wines and tasting notes
Jerome Prevost produce two wines, a white wine La Closerie Les Beguines and a tiny production rosé La Closerie Rosé Fac-Simile Extra Brut.
La Closerie Les Beguines 2013
Focused with latent intensity. Very grower Champagne like, razor sharp acidity and lovely minerals with lots of precision. This 2013 has a great intensity and concentration, fresh zesty citrus, elegant toasty and spicy aroma. Rich and well-balanced use of oak. Energetic, muscular. Cool and deep fragrant, full bodied, gooseberries. Oak oxidative style and subtle spice. Toasty and exotic, very refined. I reckon this will be amazing in 5-10 years time once it puts on weight. It has got everything to make it a brilliant Champagne, it just needs time. This 2013 has a great intensity and concentration, fresh zesty citrus, elegant toasty and spicy aroma. Rich and well-balanced use of oak. (93+/100)
La Closerie Rosé Fac-Simile Extra Brut
Tasted blind – A smart and chic Rosé with hints of red berries, energetic citrus and charming dried florets. Very fresh with good intensity. Low dosage, great drive, vinous, razor sharp acidity. Grower Champagne style. Strawberries and cream, some chalk and attractive oak.
This Jerome Prevost La Closerie Fac-Simile Rosé is from the 2014 vintage (LC14) is made from 100% Pinot Meunier, vinified in barrique. It is intense and rich, only 3300 bottles made. Almost as good as the Les Beguines 2013. (92-93/100)