'Val Mentra' really speaks to its amazing soils; a small parcel grown on Kimmeridgian clay, which is rich in fossils that impart a distinctive minerality to the final wine (much like in Chablis, where these soils are also commonly found).
The result is a combination of racy acidity, with notes of plush red currant and yellow plum, plus a gorgeous rich texture in the mouth. Incredibly complex and vinous, made from 100% Pinot Noir, this is a versatile Champagne that works equally well as an aperitif or paired with food.
We discovered Champagne Douge during an epic, Champagne tasting in our offices. Tasted blind amongst seven other potential new producers, these wines shone amongst some serious competition. We were blown away by their vibrancy, how expressive and exciting they came across in the glass, and of course how incredibly delicious they were. Needless to say, we were instantly hooked.
The Douge family owns just seven hectares of vines, across twelve plots, in the village of Neuville-Sur-Seine. The family vines are currently managed by Florent Douge, who studied in Beaune before working in Burgundy, Beaujolais, the Var and Sancerre. In 2016, he decided to start making wines under his family name (having previously sold the fruit to local producers), seeking to explore the unique terroir of their individual plots.
The Douge estate is located in the Côte des Bar, in the southern part of Champagne where the Kimmeridgian marl soils have more in common with Chablis t the rest of Champagne. The majority of the vineyards are planted with Pinot Noir, with some Chardonnay and a little Pinot Blanc. Florent's approach is Burgundian, treating each plot individually, and adapting working methods to the site and variety. They are also in conversion to organic farming and will be certified from the 2022 harvest.