Veuve Fourny & Fils, Cuvée du Clos Notre Dame Premier Cru Champagne 2009
Champagne Veuve Fourny & Fils is relatively new to the KLWM portfolio, although it has been an active family domaine since 1856. The estate is located in the prestigious Côte des Blancs, in the premier cru village of Vertus, an appellation that gives them the rare opportunity to grow Pinot Noir as well as Chardonnay. Brothers Charles-Henry and Emmanuel Fourny sustainably farm nearly nine hectares of vineyards and have been carrying on the family winegrowing tradition since 1993. Their “Clos Faubourg Notre Dame” is a rare jewel in Champagne, primarily due to the fact that there are few existing clos parcels left in the region. In this walled plot of land, their older vines benefit from a unique microclimate with deep, chalky subsoil and clay and limestone deposits. Southeastern sun exposure optimizes grape maturity in an area of France where ripe grapes are a precious commodity. Their other vineyards share the soil composition of the clos and get east, southeast and southern sun exposure.
Veuve Fourny produces classic grower Champagne, raising pedigreed fruit, adhering to high standards, and hand-crafting wines that showcase the chalky terroir of Vertus. All of the Fournys’ vineyards are farmed according to the same meticulous practices and principles, and each parcel is vinified individually. The Brut ages in their cellars for two and a half years before release, the vintage Champagne for five years, and the Clos for nine years. The house style at Veuve Fourny is best characterized as classic Côte des Blancs: a fine bead, rich, deep aromatics, and a complex minerality emphasizing freshness and purity. The Fournys believe in minimal dosage for all of their Champagnes, preferring to let the individual terroirs express themselves more clearly. This technique, in addition to their dedication to partial malolactic fermentations in their overall blends, impeccable vineyard management, and their decision to age most base wine partially in barrel, all contribute to their unique style.