“M” is his 100% Pinot Meunier cuvée sourced from three different parcels: one parcel of 50-year-old vines in clay and limestone, one parcel of younger vines planted in sandy clay soils, and one parcel planted in clay and limestone. Fermented and aged in stainless steel tank and neutral barrel. 2g/L dosage.
AOC: Champagne (Crouttes-sur-Marne)
Varieties: Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
Viticulture: Biodynamic (Demeter)
Size: 7 hectares
Terroir: Clay, Limestone, Sand
Jérôme Bourgeois-Diaz is a 4th generation vigneron who has been making some of the most compelling Champagne in Crouttes-sur-Marne, on the banks of the Marne River halfway between Paris and Reims. Though he has deep family roots in the area, he was not always working in the vines, having had a previous career in industrial sales before taking over from his father in 2001.
He farms 7ha of vines that average 35 years of age (3ha Pinot Meunier, 2ha Pinot Noir, and 2ha Chardonnay) in the clay and limestone soils the region is known for. Jérôme is deeply committed to biodynamic farming, having gained certification by Demeter in 2015, meaning herbicides, fungicides, and all other sprayings are strictly prohibited. He allows for native, wild plants to intersperse the rows, which make his vineyards look like an oasis of green in an otherwise conventionally farmed area. Care is taken during the harvest to adhere to Pierre Masson’s lunar calendar and all vineyard work is done by hand. His practices are easily the most old-school approach to viticulture in the region that we know of.
This philosophy of making wine the hard way extends to the cellar. Jérôme takes great pride in his traditional Coquard Champagne press, a company that has been making them since 1924. Using this machine is incredibly labor-intensive (but crucial for gentle extraction of the grape juice) and involves three people working it at all times and carefully rearranging the grapes after every couple pressings in a technique called _retrousse_. It is a slow process, but one that Jérôme deems absolutely necessary. All of his wines are fermented with native yeasts in a combination of stainless steel tanks and neutral oak, and he eschews the use of sulfur unless absolutely necessary. All grapes are fermented separately and blended before bottling.
The wines are separated into two categories with his more serious wines called Collection, which see longer time on the lees before disgorgement.