A Visit with Champagne Voirin-Jumel in the Côte des Blancs

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Hello wine lovers and champagne lovers of the world!  I have to say that my time in the Champagne region of France has been getting better and better. And, I think this is due, for the most part, with how incredible the people are…

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Alice Voirin and one of her dogs, Cachou

I had the opportunity to visit with Alice Voirin of Champagne Voirin-Jumel twice now and both times, it was an instant and immediate connection.  When Alice speaks of her wine and her family – she shines and the wines her brother Patrick crafts are an excellent example of this radiance.

 

Located in the Grand Cru village of Cramant in the Côte des Blancs, the majority of Champagne Voirin-Jumel’s wines have Chardonnay as the elegant star of the lineup.  The family owns 12 hectares of Grand Cru and 1er Cru vineyard land throughout the Côte des Blancs.  Their champagnes are aged, on average, 3-4 years to maintain freshness.

Champagne Voirin-Jumel is classified as a RM producer (Récoltant-Manipulant) – that is to say that they are a ‘Grower Champagne’ house who craft their wines from their own vineyard land instead of purchasing grapes from other grape growers.  This is a family business headed by Françoise, the mother of Alice and Patrick.  Alice is in charge of sales and business development and her brother Patrick is the winemaker.  Patrick’s first harvest was when he was 16 years old and this is his 35th harvest.  Alice studied International Business at school and spent time in Germany and Brazil.  When she returned from her studies and travels, she thought it was time to launch Champagne Voirin-Jumel into the next level, “Starting a business is easy.  What is difficult is keeping it going and finding new markets.  Business is like a circle – where does it start?  We are a niche market champagne house as we are a family business of growers and produces from Cramant. I love what we do here and I want to share it with the world.”

Tasting Champagne Voirin-Jumel:

Champagne Voirin-Jumel Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut Zéro NV – made with base wines from 2014 and 2015, this zero dosage champagne is incredible. Crafted with 100% Chardonnay from the Grand Cru villages of Cramant and Chouilly, this is a perfect way to start an evening off.  It is full of electricity with flavours of lemon and lime citrus. 22.10€

Champagne Voirin-Jumel Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut NV – this beauty is exactly the same champagne as the Brut Zéro but with 6 grams of dosage added.  The added sugar brings a balanced creamy texture to the mouthfeel yet still has a zesty and approachable appeal. 22.10€

Champagne Voirin-Jumel Cuvée 555 Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Fut de Chêne NV – named after the house address in Cramant, this champagne goes through its first alcoholic fermentation in Burgundian oak barrels for six months and has 20% reserve wines added to the blend.  This champagne has a relatively low dosage – anywhere between 6 – 8 grams and does not go through malolactic fermentation (MLF). Full and flavourful, there are notes of cream, brioche and toasted hazelnut.  Great structure and depth. 31.70€

Champagne Voirin-Jumel Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Millésimé 2011 – with only 4 grams of dosage, this Extra Brut vintage champagne is finessed with an elegant structure.  It is a gorgeous wine that does not go through MLF.  This champagne really shines with its balanced structure and beautiful finish. 30.50€

Champagne Voirin-Jumel Tradition Brut NV – this champagne makes up the majority of production.  It is a 50/50% blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir coming from 2016 and 2017.  Here is a champagne to offer anyone who says they are not a champagne fan…it is very approachable with 6 grams of dosage. It is round with some complexity and is extremely food friendly.  An outstanding price at 17.50€

Champagne Voirin-Jumel Blanc de Noirs 1er Cru Extra Brut NV – this champagne is made with 100% Pinot Noir from the village of Mareuil sur Aÿ.  This is a crisp champagne that is full of character.  Bright with flavours of fresh blackberry, blueberry and walnut. 20.70€

Champagne Voirin-Jumel Blanc de Noirs Rosé de Saignée Brut NV – crafted with 100% Pinot Noir, this rosé is a gem.  It is alive and flavourful with notes of fresh strawberry, raspberry, a hint of rosewater and a splash of watermelon.  Rosé de Saignée is a style of rosé champagne that is very unique.  The word ‘saignée’ means ‘blood’ in French and this style of rosé takes its name from the deeper red colour produced through this method. Most rosé champagne ( about 99%) is a blended champagne where still red wine is added to champagne for colour and some complexity.  With the rosé saignée method, the rosé is crafted directly through maceration.  This is where the skins and juice of Pinot Noir grapes remain in contact so that the natural pigments of the skin start to colour the juice.  This happens between 6 and 24 hours of contact in order to get the flavour profile and colour desired.  Delicious. 21.70€

When you are travelling throughout the Champagne region of France, be sure to visit Champagne Voirin-Jumel in Cramant…Alice and her family will welcome you with big smiles and fantastic champagne.

Champagne Voirin-Jumel