Andrew Guard

2008 Champagne "Fleur du Passion", Diebolt-Vallois

The Fleur de Passion is fermented in old, 205-liter pièces, without malolactic, and bottled without fining or filtration. In most cases it is also unchaptalized, and fermented with natural yeasts. Although the final wine is blended from several different parcels of Cramant, the various lots are kept separate throughout the fermentation and aging. They aren’t always exactly single-parcel selections, as some of the parcels are too small to fill up a standard 4,000-kilogram press, but each marc (the Champenois term for a pressing made from 4,000 kilograms of grapes) yields ten barrels of wine, which are all kept separated until the final blending, just before bottling. The result is that these selections from different marcs offer an extraordinary opportunity to taste across the Cramant hillside, comparing wine from some of the village’s top parcels, made exclusively from old vines by one of Champagne’s greatest grower-producers. For the terroir-obsessed, I do not believe that there is currently a finer method of studying the terroir of Cramant. Peter Liem, ChampagneGuide.com

One of the most iconic and highly respected growers in the Côte des Blancs, Jacques Diebolt has been making champagne since the late 1950's. The estate in its present form dates from 1960, when Jacques Diebolt married Nadia Vallois, bringing a portion of the Vallois family’s holdings into the Diebolt estate.

One reason for the extraordinary character and quality of Diebolt’s wines is undoubtedly the magnificent collection of vineyards located in some of the most favored sectors of Cramant, as well as additional holdings in Chouilly, Cuis and Epernay. These vineyards include some very old vines  which Diebolt uses for his top cuvées.