Clement Perseval

Clement Perseval is the best kept secret in Champagne! It's hard to imagine, in the time of social media, that a disciple of the great Anselm Selosse is a relative obscurity. Even in France these babies are hard to come by, and here in the US, it's darn near impossible.

Clement shifted the focus of his father's estate when he took over in 2010, to sketch out the terroir of his premier cru village of Chamrey. Each cuvée is bottled as a bisection of the hill, in a very Burgundian fashion. Chardonnay is planted in the thin topsoil over chalk, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir on the sandy mid slope and then a straight Pinot Noir on the dense clay at the foot for a powerful Blanc de Noir. Farming is done by hand — and Romain, his horse — and the yields are quite low.

Like Anselm, he prefers a controlled oxidative style and achieves this with 18 months aging in old 225L used barrels (2-3x longer than most) before secondary fermentation. No dosage is added, yet the wines are not screechingly tart like some of his brut zero contemporaries; far from it, as he choose to pick late, counting on fruit ripeness to do the balancing for him.

His wines show an impression of chiseled edges, tempered by oxidation, that pop with electricity. They clearly display the nuance of each varietal and the precise details of their partnered soil types. Their longer aging gives them a vinous quality, perfect for drinking now, and their price tag means you can leave a few in the cellar for later.

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