Domaine Flavien Nowack - La Fontinette Extra Brut Champagne 2016
100% Pinot Meunier
Biodynamic, Organic, Vegan
Vallée de la Marne, Champagne, France
From the importer-
Biodynamic. 100% Pinot Meunier. Sourced entirely from a 1 ha plot called La Fontinette. The soils are brown sand & clay with marine subsoil (about 1.5-2 meters under the surface) and the exposure is southwest at 100-120 meters above sea level. Primary fermentation in 2/3 tank and 1/3 barrel (228 liter). Bottled unfined and unfiltered. 30 months sur lattes and disgorged in December 2018. Approx. annual production: 200-250 cs.
Flavien Nowack began refocusing his family’s estate on single vintage, single parcel bottlings in 2011. Passionate that nothing should come between the purest expression of terroir, he farms organically, does not chaptalize and does not seek malo-lactic fermentation. He relies on the natural yeast of unfermented grape must as his prise de mousse for the secondary fermentation in bottle. As a result, these Champagnes are lower in pressure than is typical and underscores the vinous quality of these exceptionally soft and delicate wines. A young talent with a clear vision.
Flavien Nowack’s family has been making traditional, blended champagnes in the Marne Valley for generations. Their estate is located in the village of Vandières and about 75% of the family’s vines are planted to Pinot Meunier, 25% to Chardonnay and 10% to Pinot Noir. Having studied with younger generation grower producers like Emmanuel Brochet, Flavien is gradually moving the family estate, parcel by parcel, in a new grower-oriented direction – focusing on organic farming, minimal intervention in the cellar and single parcel, single vintage bottlings. Each year since 2011 he selects a single parcel from the family estate to rehabilitate, transition to organic farming, and vinify in a way that he feels best captures the individual site.
At the same time wanting to explore the rich viticultural diversity in the Marne, he created a second range in his portfolio, Cru d’Origine, which features a single village. The fruit is a mixture of his own holdings and purchased fruit from like-minded, organic growers and is meant to be an exploration in site. His first release in the Cru d’Origine series focused on his native Vandières.
All three of Flavien’s crus are at the same elevation, 100-120 meters and are on marne subsoil 1.5 to 2 meters below the surface. The wines are fermented 2/3 tank and 1/3 barrel (228 liter) with no new wood. Flavien keeps only the cuvée from the press for his champagnes.