2019 Domaine de Marzilly, Champagne Ullens, H, Petite Montagne, Champagne, France
Wine • Sparkling

2019 Domaine de Marzilly, Champagne Ullens, H, Petite Montagne, Champagne, France

We come together around the idea of saying “yes”: A small word that contains everything.

In 2012, a Belgian architect named Max Ullens de Schooten heard about a grand old estate in far northern Champagne. Château de Marzilly had been passed back and forth through several families, survived two world wars, and now was waiting in ruins for its next caretakers.

Max and his wife Anna bought it, roof caved in with trees growing inside of what had been the main house. Partway through the renovation process, un-grafted pre-phylloxera rootstock was discovered in their sandy forest soil. Local records confirmed that, before World War I, this land had been a vineyard. Because, however, the Champagne appellation had been codified in 1936, this area no longer qualified as Champagne.

So, Max and Anna thought, if they weren’t going to stumble into a dreamy life as winemakers in Champagne, they’d simply forge that path themselves. They rented vineyards nearby and dove in.

H is a blanc de noirs of pinot meunier grapes from a single parcel near the village of Hermonville in the Massif de Saint-Thierry. It comes from the northernmost edge of Champagne. The grapes were harvested in 2019 and were vinified in oak barrels, followed by 25 months on the lees. The wine received no dosage. The meunier shines out of the wine in all its purity. Like looking at a pool in mountain light rimmed in white flowers. There is a whisp of orange oil and a vibrating bell of minerality!


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