2014 Coessens Champagne Millesime
This is my greatest Champagne discovery since Cédric Bouchard’s Roses de Jeanne. These Champagnes are stunning, and you’re going to be blown away!
The producer is Jerome Coessens. His family owns, and he operates, a crush facility for 30 different Champagne producers. Jerome’s vast experience at the facility lends his wines a mature technical precision.
His Champagnes are made from just one grape: Pinot Noir.
They’re made from just one vineyard: Largillier, a single-sloping hillside facing southeast.
They’re bottled as single vintages: each Champagne is vintage-dated.
Within the single vineyard of Largillier, there are four distinct soil types that fan down from the top of the hillside to the middle of its slope. Having isolated his four soil types, Jerome makes the claim — which I believe shows in the Champagnes — that they produce uniquely different Pinot Noirs. He gives these four Pinot Noirs separate titles based on their soils — Mineral, Fruity, Flowery and Substance.
Jerome vinifies these four Pinot Noirs separately, then decides to blend them or not. If one of the Pinot Noirs is complete and harmonious on its own, it stays solo. But usually, he blends most of one of the wines with a little of another — or a little of all of the others. Depending on their soil characteristics, he ages the Champagnes, almost always in stainless steel. Finally, along with three friends (including Cédric Bouchard), Jerome adds the dosage and tastes the Champagnes blind (usually 100 samples per wine). When I was at the winery, Jerome noted, “that when doing dosage tastings blind, one always reveals itself as special. There is almost always a perfect match, and the four of us almost always agree.”
A complex process, but it results in outstanding Champagnes. Here they are:
2015 Coessens Blanc de Noirs “Fruity and Intense”: Yes, he also nicknames all the cuvées. This is from the fruit and flower parcels. To my palate, it offers up super fresh strawberry on the nose, with loads of brioche and toast. Cinnamony, spicy, loads of red fruit. The finish is very long and clean. This is outstanding Champagne. About 600 cases made.
2015 Coessens Brut Nature “Rigour and Maturity”: Obviously, this wine is not describing me. It comes from the single plot called Mineral and is not made every year. To my palate, it completely lives up to its nickname. It’s intensely nervy and vinous, yet it also carries a stunning amount of fruit. Loads of black cherry. And crystal clean and straight on the palate. About 150 cases made this year.
2014 Coessens Millesime “Complex and Assured”: made exclusively from the single plot called Substance. To my palate, this Champagne was very different than the rest. More forest floor here and black cherries, more big and broad and massive. 2014 was a good harvest and blessed with good weather. The Champagne was not overpowering, just lots of body. Jerome noted that the wine’s body owes entirely to the vineyard. 250 cases made.
And there you have it. My greatest Champagne discovery since Cedric Bouchard. I urge you to catch this rising start before it’s too late.