The Champagne Boutique

Meeting Marie Doyard

In Champagnes, Events, Winemakers on May 27, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Last week I visited the London International Wine Fair to sample new houses as well as re-tasting my favourites.

The day before I called Marie Doyard of Champagne Andre Jacquart to know if she would have a few minutes to share a glass or two but also to ask her a few questions about her house and what direction it is taking.

The meeting was set for lunchtime at her stand. The last time saw Marie was at the Champagne Bureau annual tasting at Whitehall in April. People who know her are always impressed by her charisma and her great knowledge of wine making so I was there for a treat.

Sharing a glass at the London Wine Fair

After sampling the whole range (I said sampling!) we sat for a chat and I threw a few questions at her in order to know more about the House.

The first question I asked Marie was to sum up in one phrase what the house of Andre Jacquart stands for.

Her reply was meticulous and precise: “Quality, Family run business, traceability of the product and a focus on the quality of the Terroir and the grapes that the Cote des Blancs and especially Vertus and Le Mesnil can offer”

This precise answer led me to ask her what was the main style of Andre Jacquart and what makes the house like no other.

“The house tries to express the best Chardonnay style that we can do with a combination of oak to try to really have an expression of pure wine rather than just champagne, great wines with bubbles”

Marie runs the family house but who is the wine maker and what is his particularity?

“The winemaker is my brother Benoit and I take care of all the commercial aspect of the business. When it comes to wine we, as a family, are expressing our family soul and heart”

But what is your soul? Some champagnes are more feminine or more masculine, where do you stand? “Above all we are making champagnes that we like and would like to share it with our customers”

As many winemakers are favouring the Zero Dosage nowadays I asked Marie if the house would think of trying this method some time in the future.

“We are definitely ready to give it a try but the thing is that we are already doing a low dosage of three or four grams of sugar so we have done a big step already, but we are still creating the new range so it might be too early to put this idea into practice as we are quite satisfied with our actual dosage.”

Now was time for the question that I could not miss…vintage 2009. Is the house planning to release a vintage of possible great potential?

“For sure we will be doing a vintage for 09. We will see through the year how it evolves and it would be a pure expression of Le Mesnil with from 80 to 100 percent of oak. If the wine can accept a full oak vinification we will do it!” (Looking forward to it)

The conversation goes on and we talk about which champagne we prefer and Marie explained that her range is so diverse that every champagne can be enjoyed on the moment depending of the time of the day but above all with who you share it.

The last question was about the boom of grower champagnes and how far down the line would the small champagne houses be recognised like the grande marques. (Controversial!!!)

“We have been convinced since the beginning that we make a Champagne we like and we love but not just champagne to satisfy everybody because you can’t satisfy everybody. We want to stay specialised in a niche product and to offer the opportunity to share our values with our customers.”

I have to salute Marie and her family for a true respectability and integrity in what they do.

To celebrate, lets open another bottle of Le Mesnil Experience.

Merci Marie!

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