Distributed equally over the two Grand Cru villages of Verzenay and Verzy, the family vineyard of five hectares offers a large number of possibilities in the creation of cuvées. While there is no recipe for making a great Champagne, all of Paul’s knowledge lies in his ability to reveal his terroir. A work of composition where the greatest possible attention is paid to its precious wines. After having discovered the secrets of the Champagne Lafalise-Froissart vineyard, it remains to unravel the mysteries of the development of cuvées, to become a true initiate.
Cuvee Les Rochelles from selected plots:
Grape variety: Pinot Noir & Chardonnay
Location: West of Verzenay, on the west-facing slope of a ridge line
Altitude: 135 metres
Geology: chalk, chalky silts and clays
Slope: 3 to 7%
Sensory profile: a fine balance between the clay-chalk soils produces a wine with floral, fruity notes that may develop overtones of honey and candied fruits during the ageing process. The whole enhanced by a subtle peppery aroma.
77% PINOT NOIR (including 25% solera) – 23% CHARDONNAY
The 045 cuvee is a champagne that combines all the best features of a Grand Cru, elegant with a wonderful aromatic intensity, the perfect companion for enjoying special, intimate moments.
1 %Pinot Meunier
1 %Pinot Noir
The cuvee has a luminous pale gold colour with a hint of silvery yellow, and deep glints of light yellow. An exuberant explosion of tiny bubbles forms a fine lingering mousse. The visual sensation speaks of a wine that is rich yet fresh.
The wine delivers a clean, fresh taste on the palate, overlain with a soft, creamy effervescence. This cuvee develops crisp and luscious fruity notes, enhanced by a pleasant citrusy grapefruit aroma. The mid-palate is built on a chalky minerality that brings a clean, fresh note, a sea-breeze saltiness, a characteristic sensation in the mouth that lengthens into a long, lingering aftertaste. The whole gives a full-bodied yet delicately refined wine that blossoms on the palate giving it a finely sculpted extra dimension. The lingering finish describes a harmonious balance between a fresh, fruity aroma and a chalky minerality that exudes flavour and character.
The first nose unveils a distinctive and highly elegant wine, characterised by an aromatic minerality with notes of humus and powdered chalk, combined with notes of fragrant jasmine, poppy, buttercup and fresh rose. Upon aeration, the champagne reveals fruity notes of wild berry with blackcurrant, raspberry, gooseberry, brought into sharp relief by notes of peony, black pepper and Carensac liquorice.
To be served at a temperature of 9°C – In a tall, curved champagne flute.
Foie Gras with kirsch and a beetroot caramel
Roasted guinea fowl suprême, rich jus
Grilled beef sirloin, pureed parsnips and a sauce made with a reduction of Cantal entre-deux, Parmesan aged 24 months.
Cuvee Les Longues Raies from selected plots:
Grape variety: Pinot Noir & Chardonnay
Location: North of Verzenay
Altitude: 105 metres
Geology: Graveluches (a mixture of limestone and clay) underlain by a chalky soil
Sensory profile: a chalky minerality dominates offering a clean, fresh attack on the palate. The soil of the terroir gives the wine a fresh aroma with a hint of exotic fruits.
70% PINOT NOIR (including 20% solera) – 30% CHARDONNAY
The 276 cuvee is a champagne with a refined elegance, an ode to the delicacy and depth of flavour of the Grands Crus, the perfect accompaniment to moments shared on special occasions.
Next allocation available in July 2021
70 %Pinot Noir
The cuvee unveils a luminous pale straw colour with deep glints of lemon yellow. An exuberant explosion of tiny bubbles forms a fine lingering mousse. The visual sensation forecasts a fresh, well-balanced wine.
The wine has a delicate, fresh attack with a soft, creamy effervescence. This cuvee develops luscious fruity notes, enhanced by a pleasant citrusy grapefruit aroma. The mid-palate is built on an exceptionally pure-tasting sand-chalk minerality that brings a clean, fresh note, a sea-breeze saltiness, and a delightful long-lasting aftertaste. This vibrant mineral note is in perfect harmony with the fleshy fruitiness that extends into a lingering finish, like an exquisite puff of air suddenly released from an exceptional terroir.
The first nose unveils notes of apricot and honeysuckle blossom, that then develop into a lighter, fresher aroma with notes of sea-salt sands, orange and lemon. Upon aeration, the champagne reveals notes often associated with a chalky soil, evoking blackcurrant, blackberry, cherry, raspberry and grapefruit, opening out into a smoky, star anise flavour, before finally releasing heady aromas of violets that form a harmonious marriage with the breath of sea air.
To be served at a temperature of 9°C – In a tall, curved champagne flute.
Scallop carpaccio, Melanosprum truffles,
Tartare of lightly smoked turbot, lime and coriander
Seared langoustines, langoustine sabayon, crab and Granny Smith apple
Goat cheese and elderberry-flavoured honey
Citrus fruit dessert, exotic fruits
More than a story, the adventure of the House of Lafalise-Froissart is based on the meeting of opportunities and crossed destinies. It is a work of passion and conviction, and too the complimenting of many strengths. All these fruitful exchanges formed a close circle of connoisseurs, which continues to grow today. In Verzenay, Paul and Caroline fiercely guard their most precious asset: their land.
LAYING THE FONDATIONS
It is in the heart of Verzenay that the family Lafalise-Froissart history takes place. Engraved in time, the long lineage makes its first traces at the time of the French Revolution and is written through several lineages. Each of the families that make up this history have contributed to the Establishment with exceptional know-how and whose destinies were intrinsically linked to the vine. Directed by Paul Froissart today, this discrete establishment in the Reims mountains proudly displays its history forged by more than a century of viticulture. Charles Chauvet was the first to inscribe the name of his lineage in this viticulture story: in 1885 he bought 27 acres of vines in Verzenay to start a small family vineyard. His son, Georges, also bought bought a few acres, as too did George’s son, Paul. The vineyard then reached a little less than two hectares, which was still too small to live on, even if it marked the beginnings of a long family tale. Born in 1902, Paul Chauvet was a daredevil, a past-master in the art of taking profitable risks. The future would prove him right.
BUILDING THE STRUCTURE
The foundations were laid, and the Chauvet family had begun working on the construction of the structure of the vineyard, but two world wars would bring their share of complications et dramas. When his father went to war in 1914, Paul Chauvet took over the estate when he was just 12 years old. At the end of the war, in 1926, he married Marie-Louise Leroux who gave birth to their daughter Marie-Thérèse. The young couple had already produced their own Champagne at the time when harvesting and producing winemakers were very rare.
And then World War II hit and shuffled the cards again. The Chauvet couple were separated by the conflict, Paul taken prisoner and Marie-Thérèse took refuge in Yonne. Verzenay was bombarded and entirely destroyed, with their home and all stocks lost.
Showing great resilience, the Chauvet family started from zero and began the reconstruction at the end of the war. A few years later, Marie-Thérèse took over from her parents to lead the vineyard after Paul’s death in 1954. She then met the man who brought another line of importance into the story: Jacques Lafalise.
Originally from Beamont-sur-Vesle, not far from Verzenay, Jacques left his profession as a pig trader to join his wife in the vineyards. Together, they formed a couple passionate about the vines and wine. They later made a point of transmitting their love of their work and their taste for effort to their only daughter, Danielle.
CONSOLIDATE AND MAINTAIN
In 2008, Danielle Lafalise was at the head of the family business. She was helped by her husband, Dominique Froissart, who continued to build the Establishment. Educated and trained in the vineyard work by Jacques and Marie-Thérèse, they jointly managed the family’s Grand-Cru vineyard, spread over the neighboring municipalities of Verzy and Verzenay. The spouses bequeathed their passion, knowledge and radiant ambition to their son, Paul Froissart, who took the torch in 2015.
Paul then embarked on a daring project to bring the light back on the family knowledge. The Lafalise-Froissart Champagne was reborn in 2019, a mark of connoisseurs establishing its stronghold in Verzenay and mirroring its region. With its history of reconstruction brick-by-brick, the Lafalise-Froissart Champagne is now taking back the work of the five previous generations. The results of an alchemy of several families, it thus asserts itself as a House of Champagne whose know-how is reserved for the enlightened.
What makes the know-how of the Lafalise-Froissart Champagne so precious is their understanding of the role of the soils on their wines. Paul studied the geology of the region and what role it brought to his work. He understood that the soils, the vines and the wines are three indissoluble factors in the equation of Champagne aromas. To decipher a vintage, you have to know how to read between the rows of the vineyards. To enter into the Lafalise-Froissart circle of trust therefore requires a rite of passage: to learn the specificities of the Grand Crus of Verzenay and Verzy.
40 PLOTS, 40 PERSONALITIES
The Lafalise-Froissart vineyard is located on a variety of soils and subsoils. Each geological layer brings its own characteristic to the vines and the grapes. The winemaker’s mission is to maintain this relationship, to preserve it. Paul’s thirst for learning led him to experiment differently with the land, with a view to sustain and respect the balance.
It all started with Paul’s encounter with his vines at a young age. As a child, he spent many hours in the vineyard with the family. He has an emotional bond with these plots that saw him grow and become what he is today.
The great strength of the region is Pinot Noir. The soils give it a scent, aroma and style that are unique in the world. It is also highly prized by the great Champagne houses to develop their finest vintages. Conscious of how lucky he is to be able to work such a grape variety on such beautiful soils, Paul is determined to serve it as best is possible in his viticultural and wine-making practices. This very expressive variety represents 80% of the Lafalise-Froissart Champagne vineyard.
The geological influence is also felt on the Chardonnay, which are more rounded than elsewhere in Champagne. They are said to “pinot”: their aromatic and visual properties have subtle points in common with Pinot Noir and tend towards being surprisingly fruity. The composition of the soil brings a touch of fullness , even exoticism, while retaining the freshness and finesse typical of Chardonnay.
The microclimate of the two villages are very complementary. They are inexhaustible sources of inspiration for the production of wines. The vines require special attention, and it is where Paul takes care to distill all his meticulousness and benevolence.
THE PLOTS, the fields of expression
In Verzenay as in Verzy, the generations of winemakers pass but the history remains. They are places where each generation expresses the mastery of their knowledge. Paul forged his identity as a winemaker by working on this heritage, one which lives in him and that is present in his mind daily. The plots are demanding but generous. In his vision of a job well done, prevention is better than cure.
In terms of vine care, he prefers the natural, sustainable and earth-friendly techniques, hence the vineyards have existed a lmost five years without weed killer. Grassing the rows of vines provides life for the soil and the organisms it contains. Paul practices superficial plowing to renew the vegetal carpet, oxygenate the earth and continue the regeneration. The vines emerge stronger, and its soils are rich. He refuses to take anything away from them and deals with everything the vines put forward to [CH7] him.
It has been several years since he became aware of the necessity to preserve his land from chemical interventions, an expertise that comes from previous experiences. Along with his desire to bequeath a healthy, natural heritage to his children, for Paul, this vision is instinctive: you have to think long terms to preserve the vines.