Region: Cote des Bar, Champagne, France
Soils: Calcareous + Clay
Vinification: Direct press, then fermented in oak barrels for 10 months, then 2nd fermentation is started in bottle
Aging: 4 years in bottle before disgorging
Fining or Filtering: Disgorged
Dosage: 0 g/l
Notes from the Importer: Although Pinot Meunier is widely planted in the Marne Valley, it is relatively rare in the Aube. Only a mere 6% of the Piollot family vineyards are planted to Pinot Meunier, but they decided to highlight this grape with the Mepetit vineyard in Polisot starting in 2015. Aging in oak barrels gives this wine a uniquely complex texture and profile that is not to be missed. The wine is aged on the lees for four years before release, and like all of the Champagnes from Piollot, it’s disgorged non-dosé.
Champagne Piollot is produced by Roland Piollot and his wife Dominique Moreau from family-owned vines in the Aube. The vineyards are located primarily in the town of Polisot, where the family has had strong roots since the early 20th century. In 1911, Roland’s great-grandfather was one of the leaders of the famous Aube revolt, which ensured that the Aube would remain an official part of Champagne. As of 2018, Roland and Dominique have been joined by their daughter, Jeanne.
Roland's father was extremely passionate about vineyard work and replanted all of his vineyards using the selection massale method (he even kept some of the old Pinot Blanc vineyards that most of his neighbors were replanting to Pinot Noir or Chardonnay). In 1986, Roland decided to bottle the wines himself, and in 2009, he converted all 10 hectares of vineyards to organic farming. Essentially overnight, the Piollot’s production was radically changed. Rather than using the standard recipe of “Brut, Rosé, and Vintage,” the family decided to lead with three single-vineyard cuvées made from a single variety: Pinot Noir (Côme des Tallants), Champs Rayées (Chardonnay), and the hometown favorite Pinot Blanc (Colas Robin). Since the conversion to organic farming, the Piollots have continued to find ways to improve their stewardship of the land, and in 2020, they obtained biodynamic certification for all of their vineyards.
The still wines are all vinified with native yeasts and are mostly aged in steel tanks, though a bit of the base wine does go into barrels and foudres. Their rosé is produced in years where the Pinot Noir shows especially great quality, and occasional micro-cuvées also appear from time to time. Bottles are kept on the lees for four to six years (!) and are then disgorged with no dosage.