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Rene Geoffroy Expression Brut

Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
  • WS92
  • W&S92
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

This wine gets better every year. There are lovely aromas; it's silky and stylish now – even starched. It's lighter on its feet than ever.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 92
Wine Spectator
Bright and elegant, this well-knit, aperitif-style Champagne offers lively acidity and a fine bead, with floral overtones and a focused palate of poached pear, chalk, candied kumquat and passion fruit. Disgorged January 2014. Drink now through 2020.
W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy blends this wine from parcels in Cumieres and Hautvillers, including Pinot Meunier (50 perfecnt) and Pinot Noir with a small addition of Chardonnay. It's the best release of Expression we've tasted in some time, with the kind of pale white flavor of mushrooms and chalk that you might get from a dry Manzanilla, balancing freshness with the oxidative chracter of barrel-aged wines. It's earthy and tense, a powerful evocation of the Marne Valley soils.
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Rene Geoffroy

Champagne Rene Geoffroy

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Champagne Rene Geoffroy, France - Other regions
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These days, many of the grower-producers are selling all the Champagne they can make. Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy, who has 14 hectares in the Vallée de la Marne, is the fifth generation in his family to grow grapes in the region. While his family has always made a little wine, they began to emphasize Champagne production in the bad years after World War II, when they were unable to sell their grapes to the big houses. In the 1970’s Mr. Geoffroy’s father decided to keep all the grapes and turn them into Champagne. Walking through a hillside vineyard in Cumières overlooking the Marne, Mr. Geoffroy’s parcels were easy to distinguish from the others. The lush green grass growing between his rows of bare vines was evidence of his distaste for chemical pesticides and herbicides. "If you don't have passion, you won't make very good Champagne," he said as he strolled the vineyard, waving at local hunters who also walked the rows, shotguns in hand, searching for rabbits and pheasants.

While this prominent grower estate has recently moved to the village of Aÿ, the Geoffroy name is inextricably linked to that of Cumières, where the family has winegrowing roots that date back to the 17th century. Today Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy and his father René farm 14 hectares of vines, 11 of which are in Cumières. A few parcels are located just across the border to the west in the adjacent village of Damery, while the rest is all meunier in the nearby village of Fleury-la-Rivière.

Geoffroy’s vines average about 20 years of age, and the oldest are from 1926. Viticulture is described as lutte intégrée, or “integrated pest control”—it is heavily aimed at sustainability, eschewing all chemical weedkillers and employing methods such as the planting of cover crops, tilling of the soil and the encouraged habitation of predatory insects to combat vine pests.

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Champagne

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Associated with luxury, celebration, and romance, the region, Champagne, is home to the world’s most prized sparkling wine. In order to bear the label, ‘Champagne’, a sparkling wine must originate from this northeastern region of France—called Champagne—and adhere to strict quality standards. Made up of the three towns Reims, Épernay, and Aÿ, it was here that the traditional method of sparkling wine production was both invented and perfected, birthing a winemaking technique as well as a flavor profile that is now emulated worldwide.

Well-drained, limestone and chalky soil defines much of the region, which lend a mineral component to its wines. Champagne’s cold, continental climate promotes ample acidity in its grapes but weather differences from year to year can create significant variation between vintages. While vintage Champagnes are produced in exceptional years, non-vintage cuvées are produced annually from a blend of several years in order to produce Champagnes that maintain a consistent house style.

With nearly negligible exceptions, three varieties are permitted for use in Champagne: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. These can be blended together or bottled as individual varietal Champagnes, depending on the final style of wine desired. Chardonnay, the only white variety, contributes freshness, elegance, lively acidity and notes of citrus, orchard fruit and white flowers. Pinot Noir and its relative Pinot Meunier, provide the backbone to many blends, adding structure, body and supple red fruit flavors. Wines with a large proportion of Pinot Meunier will be ready to drink earlier, while Pinot Noir contributes to longevity. Whether it is white or rosé, most Champagne is made from a blend of red and white grapes—and uniquely, rosé is often produce by blending together red and white wine. A Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay will be labeled as ‘blanc de blancs,’ while ones comprised of only red grapes are called ‘blanc de noirs.’

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Non-Vintage

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A term typically reserved for Champagne and Sparkling Wines, non-vintage or simply “NV” on a label indicates a blend of finished wines from different vintages (years of harvest). To make non-vintage Champagne, typically the current year’s harvest (in other words, the current vintage) forms the base of the blend. Finished wines from previous years, called “vins de reserve” are blended in at approximately 10-50% of the total volume in order to achieve the flavor, complexity, body and acidity for the desired house style. A tiny proportion of Champagnes are made from a single vintage.

There are also some very large production still wines that may not claim one particular vintage. This would be at the discretion of the winemaker’s goals for character of the final wine.

SKRKRG11_0 Item# 123207