This is an exciting new producer in the Vallee de la Marne producing 75% Pinot Noir from the great Premier Cru vineyards of Mareuil-sur Ay, Val d'Or, and Bisseuil and 25% Chardonnay from the Grand Crus Chouilly and Oiry in the Cote des Blancs.
Jean-Paul runs this property and is one of the super growers in this very much under-rated village. Mareuil-sur-Ay is rated at 99% so is technically a 1er Cru, even though it is right next door to Ay and there are many experts who believe it deserves true 100% grand Cru status. It is home to Billecart-Salmon and my personal favourite the famous Philipponnat 'Clos des Goisses' vineyard at the extreme eastern end. The style here is similar to Ay but with maybe a little more minerality and finesse. Also Jean-Paul has some great Chardonnay in Chouilly and Oiry with a very high average vine age. Quality is at a very high level, to the extent that Jean-Paul supplies some grapes to Bollinger. Dosages are low and the terroir is allowed to shine. Only a tiny quantity (about 5%) get to the export market- the remainder is totally swallowed up by the French!
John-Paul took over the running of the estate in 1983 at the age of 19. He is also developing a new cuvee- a small barrel matured blend of Ay Pinot and Choilly Chardonnay. As yet he has no name for it but it will be available at the end of next year.
Jean-Paul belongs to the prestigious 'Club Tresors de Champagne' an association of 26 of the very best small growers. The list of 'Special Club' members is an exclusive club indeed. Growers join and leave the club, depending if they can adhere to its strict standards.