Dehours & Fils

No visit was more revelatory than this one, for all sorts of reasons. First of all Jerome Dehours himself, a debonair, fast-talking man of exceptional lucidity and passion. To get a sense of his uniqueness, you can read,  the remarkable manifesto he publishes about his enterprise which describes every aspect of his work, down to the brand and engine size of his tractors. He took over the domaine in 1999 and started a conversion to organic viticulture, which is now complete. The domaine consists of 42 parcels, all within close reach of the winery. Dehours was the first producer in Champagne to offer “vins parcellaires” emanating from their lieux dits“ a now commonplace practice. Total production is typically 70-80,000 bottles a year,  all of which are held back for an above-average period before release to the market. (A superlative late-released 2003 from that most unfashionable vintage was the single most stunning wine tasted on this recent tour). The wines are not filtered, all enjoy a passage through wood, and they are allowed to go through malolactic fermentation naturally in the spring. The yeasts used are indigenous, but Dehours makes their own cocktail of the best. Jerome likes to employ the tailles, so often sold off by other producers, feeling that they impart useful and attractive qualities to the finished wines. Certainly, the prevailing cashmere elegance of his range is testimony to the fastidious care with which he works -a fact recognized by an adulatory press in France and important customers among the big houses who ask him to press their grapes for them. We count ourselves lucky indeed to have this important agency in our portfolio.

Available Wines

Dehours 2009 La Croix (Pinot Meunier) Extra Brut [6/750]

This parcel affords the opportunity to make white, pink or still champagne -a decision that is taken every year. Perhaps the exceptionally long aging on the lees helped slim down the potential corpulence of 2009, or maybe it was just Jerome’s innately elegant style, but this is just a focused yet sensuous vintage wine that pleases on every level.  Dosage of 2 gm., like all the top wines. SIX 6-PACKS ALLOCATED TO US!

Dehours N.V. “Grande Reserve” Brut [3/1500]

Drawn from the entirety of the estate’s holdings, the idea behind this wine is to exemplify the expression of champagne in the vicinity of the domaine, with an emphasis on the prevalent Meunier grape. Based on 2013, with the balance coming from a solera of reserve wines dating back to 1998,  the wine more than meets its remit. There is a tenderness to the fruit that belies the low dosage of 7 gm. and testifies to the fastidiousness of the viticulture and wine-making. We don’t use the word “perfect”  lightly, but it is appropriate to a champagne like this that so effortlessly evokes the uniqueness of the genre and delivers it in such a seductive fashion.

(70% Meunier, 20% Pinot Noir, 10% Chardonnay)

Dehours N.V. “Grande Reserve” Brut [6/750]

Drawn from the entirety of the estate’s holdings, the idea behind this wine is to exemplify the expression of champagne in the vicinity of the domaine, with an emphasis on the prevalent Meunier grape. Based on 2013, with the balance coming from a solera of reserve wines dating back to 1998, the wine more than meets its remit. There is a tenderness to the fruit that belies the low dosage of 7 gm. and testifies to the fastidiousness of the viticulture and wine-making. We don’t use the word “perfect” lightly, but it is appropriate to a champagne like this that so effortlessly evokes the uniqueness of the genre and delivers it in such a seductive fashion.

(70% Meunier, 20% Pinot Noir, 10% Chardonnay)

Dehours N.V. “Terre de Meunier” Extra Brut [6/750]

Jerome is a fierce proponent of Meunier, which dominates his holdings. And who could refute his belief in the grape’s innate quality when confronted with such a masterly wine as this? A blend of 80% 2014 and 20% 2013, dosed at just 2 gm.,,  it again demonstrates the house’s remarkable ability to coax finely-textured wines from their grapes, even at this ultra-dry level. It is reminiscent of the single-parcel Meunier wines made by Jerome’s friend Alexandre Chartogne. (Meunier)