William Kelly has once again summed up the latest disgorgements of Jerome Dehours' wine perfectly. With 90+ points on all their Champagnes, the stock won't last long.
Anchored in the heart of the Marne Valley, 15 km from Epernay, the Dehours estate is located entirely on the left bank. This is an area with highlight soils made of clay and sand laid on limestone bedrock. In 1996, when Jerome took over the reins of the estate with his brother-in-law Jean-Marc Laisné, their objective was to highlight the diversity of the plots that have been exploited, resulting in their first cuvées in 1999.
The vineyard is made up of approximately forty plots, planted mainly with Meunier. No herbicides are used, and soil maintenance is carried out mechanically. From June, they allow natural grass to develop, which is kept until the end of the following winter. To combat disease, priority is given to prophylactic measures such as de-budding, careful training and early stripping of the leaves on the side least exposed to the sun. The selection of plant material that is planted is also extremely important and often from their old vines.
Overall, their farm was one of the first to be certified HVE3 (Agronomic way). This certification limits the use of chemicals and encourages the respect or development of Biodiversity.
"Whether it's the vine or the wine, it's the man who chooses the moment and the method." By placing a great importance on which tradespeople they work with they ensure their team is strong and united. Their team of nine permanent staff prune, disbud, trellis, and drive agricultural machinery. With the picking team being housed and fed throughout the harvesting season to keep a positive and energised group through the working hours.
90, 92, and 94 points - all awarded by William Kelly, The Wine Advocate. Read his reviews below.
GRAND RESERVE BRUT NV
Disgorged in July 2019 with 5.5 grams per liter dosage, the NV Brut Grande Reserve is based on the 2016 vintage, complemented by around one-third reserve wines from a solera started in 1998. Much like a somewhat earlier disgorgement of the same tirage that I reviewed last year, it's showing very well, wafting from the glass with notes of pear, mandarin oil, elderflower, smoke and honeycomb. Medium to full-bodied, elegantly fleshy and precise, with a perfumed core of fruit, lively acids and a pearly mousse, its' beautifully seamless and elegant. 92 points - William Kelly
OEIL DE PERDRIX ROSE - EXTRA BRUT NV
Based on the 2018 vintage and disgorged in March 2021 without dosage, the new rendition of Dehours's NV Extra-Brut Oeil de Perdrix is only very delicately tinted (keen amateur cooks will think of the skin of a Roscoff onion). Exhibiting aromas of crisp stone fruits, white flowers, buttery pastry and subtle hints of honeycomb, it's medium to full-bodied, pillowy and seamless, with fine depth at the core, lively acids and a beautifully refined mousse. 92 points - William Kelly
LES VIGNES DE LA VALLEE BRUT NV
Based on the 2014 vintage and disgorged in October 2020 with only 2.3 grams per liter of dosage, Dehours's NV Brut Les Vignes de la Vallee is showing beautifully, wafting from the glass with aromas of crisp yellow orchard fruit, mandarin orange, nectarine, acacia honey and subtle hints of wheat toast and iodine. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and incisive, it's bright and pillowy, its elegantly fleshy core of fruit underpinned by a tangy spine of acidity and complemented by a pretty pinpoint mousse. this is a terrific bottling that's well worth seeking out. 92+ point - William Kelly
"NATURE" EXTRA BRUT NV
Disgorged in May 2018 and based on the 2015 vintage, Dehours's NV Brut Nature is showing nicely, mingling aromas of honey, linden and citrus oil with subtle hints of warm pastry. Medium to full-bodied, pillowy and precise, it's chiseled and saline, with a delicate pinpoint mousse. 90 points - William Kelly
LIEU DIT "COTE EN BOSSES" VINTAGE 2012
Disgorged in December 2020 without dosage, the 2012 Extra-Brut Lieu-dit Côtes En Bosses unwinds in the glass with aromas of Anjou pear, baking spices, honeycomb, English walnuts and citrus oil. Medium to full-bodied, deep and incisive, it's a taut, concentrated wine with terrific depth at the core, racy acids and a pearly mousse. Seamless and precise, it concludes with a long, intensely sapid finish. This brilliant effort is one of the most complex, intellectual wines in the Dehours range. 94 points - William Kelly