Gert Crum visits Champagne Aurélien Lurquin
Hesitation strikes. Do I have to use “Champagne” in the title of this piece? Yes, surely, although Aurélien Lurquin actually produces, just as happily, and at least as many, still wines – Coteaux Champenois, blanc and rouge.
I came accross of Aurélien Lurquin, thanks to a small message in “La Revue du Vin de France” of Février 2020 – this is of course the way it goes. Above the eight-line message was “Aurélien Lurquin: a star is born à New York.” His cuvée 100% meunier is said to have gained cult status in the Big Apple. His wines are now ultra-demanded and at the same time untraceable, according to the French wine magazine.
So off to Romery
A village where I had never been before, although it is only a few kilometers away from Hautvillers and from Fleury-la-Rivière. Romery is high up, about 250 meters above sea level on the northern flanks of the Marne. It is one of the villages with the highest vineyards.
It is beautiful and rural. The vineyards are on steep slopes with varying exposure to the sun. According to the latest figures, 157 people live there. The appointment with Aurélien is at 10 am, but he is not there at that time. .
More than fifteen minutes later, an old car, which makes wicked noises, comes onto the site.
And yes, there is a man who must be Aurélien Lurquin: a bit of a hipster with a very friendly face. He immediately apologizes for being late. The ice broke quickly. Before he started here, in 2007, he visited the Lycée Viticole in Beaune and worked at Domaine Pavelot (Luc and Lise) in Pernand-Vergelesses.
He started with 1.8 hectares from his grandfather. For grandfather it was a job on the side, because he worked at Lanson, the house that bought his grapes.
Now, Aurélien Lurquin produces 6,000 bottles per year. Yes, you read that right: 6,000 a year.
In the long term he wants to grow to 10,000, but no more. He sells forty percent of his grapes to the négoce, including Leclerc Briant. In 2015 he sold his first bottles – from the millésimes 2012 and 2013. Meanwhile, 60 percent is sold outside of France. His name is quickly established.
Finally, Aurélien served de Coteaux Champenois had “Les Traverses” 2018 from cask.
So this is the Meunier that is so highly rated in “Raisin” and which has made Aurélien Lurquin “a star” in New York, but of course from a more recent year.
Here is the refined aroma of raspberry and some spiciness (as if it were a wine from syrah). In terms of taste you are almost blown away by concentration and strength. What a Meunier. What a super wine in the cap!
But for the time being, not for sale, because it will stay on wood for 36 months – and it has about 20 months to go.
“A star is born,” but not only in New York.
That’s for sure.
Champagne, the future uncorked
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