Laurent makes his own bio dynamic, estate-grown, hand-picked 100% Chardonnay base wine, re-ferments it in bottle, hand riddles and disgorges it after 30 months on lees. The result is a dry, clear, vinous, and very refreshing sparkling wine along the lines of Blanc de Blancs Champagne. In fact, Laurent recently commented to me that a visiting Champagne vigneron had asked him for tips on how to make his wine taste similar…this is a great value!
Made from 100% Chardonnay selected from the Tripoz’s best vineyards this sparkling wine has a lovely fresh nose of citrus, fresh baked bread and a lovely mineral complexity. It is elegant and has a lovely balance. It is also a far nicer wine to drink than the ocean of basic Champagne available now and a much nicer price too!
This estate is one of the quiet achievers in my portfolio and it really does come down to the diligent work in the vineyards and cellar by husband and wife team Céline and Laurent Tripoz.
Céline and Laurent, started their estate in 1986 by acquiring vines in and around the small village of Loché, where their home and cellar are located. At first they were selling grapes to the local coop, but quickly decided that they could produce higher quality wines from their fruit, and so they released their first vintage in 1990.
All of their 11.5 hectares of vines are planted in clay soils rich with limestone and have been farmed organically and biodynamically since the late 1990s (they are certified by Agriculture Biologique and Demeter); some of the newer parcels have never been treated with herbicides or pesticides at all.
As you can imagine, this means meticulous work in the vines with severe pruning, de-budding, and leaf pulling to achieve concentrated, healthy fruit that will be harvested at optimum maturity.
In the cellar, Céline and Laurent believe that working the natural way is crucial to obtaining the maximum amount of quality from terroir that they see as being less prestigious than parts of Burgundy further north meaning that all fermentations occur naturally with the only addition being a touch of SO2 for some cuvées.
These wines are consistently some of the most thoughtful, pure, and precise wines to come out of the Mâconnais, and they rarely stay around for long. Now knowing them a bit more personally, this is no doubt a reflection of Céline and Laurent, whose passion and dedication to their land is apparent in each bottle.