Champagne R Geoffroy
“Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy’s Champagnes are marked by extraordinary precision and purity…These are very special Champagnes that richly deserve a wider audience.” -- Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
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Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy and his wife Karine. Their 5 daughters, Margaux, Sacha, Rosalie, Colombine and Azalée, will be the next generation.
Absolutely delicious Champagne of incredible value. They balance depth and fruitiness with a backbone of tension.
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- Aÿ (Grand Cru), has been the home base since 2008
- Cumières (1er Cru), was home for hundreds of years until then
- Hautvillers (1er Cru)
- Damery, in the Vallée de la Marne
- Fleurie la Rivière, in the Vallée de la Marne
- 11 of 14 hectares are in Cumières
- Montagne: Chardonnay
- Chênes: Chardonnay
- Tournemidi: Chardonnay
- Les Tiersaudes: Pinot Meunier
- Les Houtrants, warm spot, with 5 different varieties planted
- Fleurie la rivière - all Pinot Meunier plantings
- Plots going back to 1926
- Average vine age is 20 years
- This was the northern edge of viticulture until recent decades
- 2nd most northern grape growing region in France, after Alsace, but much less sunshine and more rain.
- Harsh cold winters, short hot summers
- Rain in summer, snow in winter
- Very wet climate, although drought has been an issue in recent vintages because of climate change
- Viticulture is possible because of long, (hopefully) dry, temperate autumns to extend the growing season.
- Because ripeness was a struggle, grapes are usually grown for white wine, or in the last 150 years, sparkling wines.
- Variations between his sites are due to aspect, elevation and proximity to water, like the Marne river.
- Cool climate red varieties Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier dominate, but the vast majority are destined for white or rosé sparkling wines.
- Wines are going to be high in acidity, light in body, low in alcohol, and often need extended aging of 18 months or more to temper the high acidity.
- Sugar is often added to wines at the end, called dosage, to help balance the high acidities from cold climate grapes.
- Chardonnay: 24%
- Adds finesse and freshness
- Often a signature lemon meringue pie flavor profile.
- If handled reductively, can impart white flower, ginger, green apple, quince and other primary flavors
- Oxidative or aged examples can be full of brioche, kernel, honey and truffle
- Does best in east facing sites with little to no top soil on chalk and other limestones
- Pinot Meuner: 34%
- Supple and fruity, often easier to drink younger than the other two, which makes it a great blending partner.
- Had a poor reputation until the last decade as it was planted in the worst sites, poorly farmed, and over-cropped as a work-horse, or filler grape.
- Now we know when treated with care, it can shine brilliantly on its own or add an inimitable character to a blend (notably in Krug).
- Easier to grow than the other two. It buds later than Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, meaning it's a great insurance policy against the late frosts that can decimate the groups of Champagne.
- Its dynamic nature also means it can find a home in any of the soil types of the region, but furthermore, can express terroir with clarity.
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- Pinot Noir: 42%
- Critical for structure and body, more powerful than the other two grapes
- Fruit profile can include red apple, strawberry, apricot, and peach
- Savory notes of spices, stones, rose petal and violet
- Almost always the grape used for rosé Champagne
- Shows best in on south facing sites with clay over chalk
Sustainable, lutte intégrée
- Plowing which aerates the soil and avoids the use of weedkillers
- Spontaneous grassing of multiple varieties of grass
- The use of organic manure
- Observation in order to be the least interventionist
- Avoids spraying pesticides
- Encouraged habitation of predatory insects to combat vine pests
- Traditional Coquard basket presses
- Only the cuvée is used, the taille is sold off
- Gravity flow cellar
- A mix of fermentation and aging vessels: enameled vats, tuns, barrels, demi-muids
- Fermentation with cultured yeats
- No malolactic fermentation
- Fined and filtered before bottling
- Wines rest 3-8 years on the lees
- Low dosage, as grapes achieve adequate ripeness
The Geoffroy family has been farming in Cumières for hundreds of years, selling grapes to the big Champagne houses, until the 1950s, when they began making and bottling their own wines. A motto of theirs is 'extraordinary wines come from extraordinary grapes', and to that end, they endeavor to work sustainably with the environment at large. Among the many premier cru parcels they own, it’s easy to distinguish Geoffroy vines from others’, because of the lush grass growing between the rows. These are some of our favorite wines for the money from the entire portfolio.
They balance depth and fruitiness with a backbone of tension. Most of the fruit comes from Cumières, which is a warm site, with a lot of Pinot Noir, with a powerful base, but on very chalk soil to layer in steely minerality. There are some great Chardonnay’s in the bunch, with a little of that Ça pinotte style.
The Expression is one of the best deals in Champagne, showcasing all the best parts of the estate and in the hands of a very thoughtful blender.
R Geoffroy, Champagne Expression Brut, NV $56.99 $50.15
R Geoffroy, Champagne Expression Brut, NV (1.5L) $129.99 $114.39
R Geoffroy, Champagne Expression Brut, NV (3L) $380.00 $334.40
"The NV Brut Expression is an attractive entry-level offering. Dried pear, chamomile, crushed herbs and spice are all nicely laced together. The Meunier is driving the style and feel of the wine this year. The Expression could benefit from a bit more depth through the middle and into the finish, but it is nicely done just the same. This release is a blend of equal parts 2017 and a perpetual reserve. Dosage is 5 grams per liter. Disgorged: March, 2022. 89 pts" -- By Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
R Geoffroy, Champagne Empreinte Brut, 2016 $74.99 $65.99
R Geoffroy, Champagne Empreinte Brut, 2013 (375ml) $69.99 $61.59
"Disgorged in May 2019, the 2013 Brut Premier Cru Empreinte is showing well, opening in the glass with notes of citrus oil, crisp yellow orchard fruit, clear honey and wet stones. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, tensile and incisive, with an inviting core of fruit, ripe but racy acids and a long, saline finish. This is a beautifully elegant, classically balanced Champagne from Geoffroy that bears the stamp of the late, cool growing season. 92 pts" -- William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
R Geoffroy, Champagne Rosé de Saignée Brut, NV $77.99 $68.63
R Geoffroy, Champagne Rosé de Saignée Brut, NV (375ml) $47.99 $42.23
R Geoffroy, Champagne Rosé de Saignée Brut, NV (1.5L) $177.99 $156.63
"A dense rosé Champagne with strawberry fruit and mineral undertones, as well as cooked peaches. Full-bodied with lots of fruit and a spicy finish. Minerally, too. 100% pinot noir. Dosage 4g/L. Disgorged in March 2022. Harvest 2017. Drink now. 93 pts" -- James Suckling
R Geoffroy, Coteaux Champenois Blanc Les Collinardins, 2020 $89.99 $79.19
R Geoffroy, Champagne Madelonne Cumieres Rouge, 2021 $89.99 $79.19
R Geoffroy, Champagne Volupté Brut, 2014 $92.99 $81.83
R Geoffroy, Coteaux Cumieres Blanc Moulin a Vent Pinot Meunier Millesime, 2018 $92.99 $81.83
R Geoffroy, Coteaux Cumieres Rouge Chalmots Pinot Noir Millesime, 2019 $92.99 $81.83
R Geoffroy, Champagne Blanc de Rose Brut, NV $129.99 $114.39
"The NV Brut Blanc de Rose is superb. Rich, effusive and so wonderfully inviting, the Blanc de Rose checks all the boxes. Sweet floral accents meld into a core of red berry fruit, cinnamon and blood orange. Two years post-disgorgement, the 2013 has an extra kick of bottle complexity that rounds things out nicely. Disgorged: March, 2019. 94 pts" -- By Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
R Geoffroy, Champagne Les Tiersaudes Extra Brut, 2018 $134.99 $118.79
"A powerful Champagne, with firm definition from rapierlike acidity, plus a rich range of white peach puree, crème de cassis, roasted almond and lemon curd flavors. Plush and creamy, with a minerally finish of oyster shell and chalk. Disgorged July 2022. Drink now through 2030. 165 cases made, 10 cases imported. 91 pts" -- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator
R Geoffroy, Champagne Terre Millésime Extra Brut, 2012 $169.99 $149.59
R Geoffroy, Champagne Les Houtrants Complantés Brut Nature, NV $190.00 $167.20
"The NV Brut Nature Les Houtrants Complantés is phenomenal. What a wine. Rich, deep and explosive, the Houtrants possesses tremendous depth and energy from start to finish. Orange peel, dried flowers, ginger, mint and baked apple tart all race across the palate. This large-scaled ample Champagne is endowed with tremendous character. This is one of the best wines I have ever tasted from Geoffroy. Disgorged: September, 2020. 96 pts" -- By Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
R Geoffroy, Champagne Millésime Extra Brut, 2004 (1.5L) $520.00 $457.60
"In February 2017, Geoffroy disgorged 300 magnums of the 2004 Extra Brut Millésime, a lovely wine that's still very youthful. Offering up aromas of citrus oil, wet stones and white flowers, complemented by subtle hints of candied fruits, it's medium to full-bodied, racy and incisive, tangy and chiseled, with a racy spine of acidity and a tightly wound core of fruit. While this is very youthful for a 2004, a touch of asperity—foregrounded by the low dosage style—betrays a year of sometimes rather marginal ripeness. 93 pts" -- William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
R Geoffroy, Champagne Ratafia, NV (500ml) $52.99 $46.63