'Everyone in the village knows me now, they know where my vines are, they are getting used to seeing me doing things differently and they do not annoy me anymore when they see trees in my vineyards or see me working with my horses.'
We have known Aurélien since first tasting with him back in April 2016, where he was pouring his first ever vintage (2013). Aurélien is based at the end of the Vallée de la Marne, in the village of Romery, where he farms 2.3 ha on 15 plots, the oldest one planted by his grandfather in 1947, and called Les Crayères. Since the start, Aurélien has been working his soil with his horse and has also increased the height of the plant to allow a natural growth without cutting the apex of the vine.
Prior to the start of his estate, Aurélien trained in Burgundy with Luc Pavelot in Vergelesse between 2002 and 2005. Afterwards, he moved for a short stint to Maule, Chile where he encountered working with horses on a day-to-day basis. Eventually, when he finally came back to Champagne, Aurélien started organic conversion in 2007. That year also marked another milestone in the estate’s young history as he bought his magnificent Coquart press that can hold 2000kg. After pressing, juice travels by gravity to the old traditional cellar. The press cuvées and tailles are normally separated, but can also be blended, with a tendency to do 3/4 cuvée and 1/4 of the taille. Aurélien really wants a pristine freshness to define his wines, so he is extra careful with the overall level of tension in the wines.
The fermentations are rather slow in his cellar. Aurélien is doing more and more trials by adding some must from the coming vintage to the base wine, extending his lees aging for the base wines to even more than a full year now. For his Coteaux Champenois, he is now leaving the wine to settle in barrels for up to 3 years. There is no compromise to quality in this estate, and the quantities are very low.
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