by Michael Edwards
Since the 1950s, the Brognion family have farmed premier cru vineyards in and around Vaudemange in the south eastern corner of the Montagne de Reims on the way to Bouzy. Most of the Montagne is Pinot country: the village of Vaudemange by contrast is distinctively different, more suitable for Chardonnay like its well-known neighbours, Trépail and Villers-Marmery.
The trio are well known as la Perle Blanche de la Montagne. It’s no surprise to learn then that Chardonnay amounts to 83% of plantings in Vaudemange. The Brognion family under Gerard, the current head are now respected producers, with 7 hectares under vine, producing about 15,000 bottles a year.
The Chardonnay Brut is their most interesting wine – rounder, fuller, more palate-filling than the chiselled greats of the Côte des Blancs. Though Brognion Chardonnays do have that agrumes grapefruity taste which refreshes, the character of the fruit leans more to orchard peach and pear, shaping a “sweet” succulence that marries particularly well with coquilles St Jacques (scallops) and stands up well throughout a grand fish dinner centered on lobster or best of all roast turbot aux morilles (morel mushrooms).
The Brut Traditionis what it says on the tin, a traditional blend of all three Champagne grapes, Meunier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Made for easy drinking as an aperitif. There is also a Prestige Cuvée, rich , intense, which I guess may have seen a little time in oak. The lovely rosé like a the other champagnes are moderately dosed close to or within the extra brutcategory.
Champagne Romuald Brognion heeft nog geen importeur in Nederland.
Michael Edwards is auteur en journalist gespecialiseerd in Champagne. Het boek The Finest wines of Champagne is van zijn hand.