Guillaume Sergent’s wines are intense, focused and pure—laser beams of searing pleasure. This micro-producer recently started making his wine in 2008 from his family’s four acre estate. Aside from wine school, he also carries a degree in geology and time with him in the vineyards is a rare treat filled with in-depth details of the natural history of his vineyards and the surrounding region.
Because his father has clients who have faithfully bought their family’s wines for years (bottled under the Roger Sergent label), most of the family’s grapes are made into a more sweet style, which couldn’t be further from Guillaume’s wines. Guillaume has a meager 1.25 acres that he organically farms (with some biodynamic principals as well) and ages in old, neutral François Freres barrels. To round the intensity a touch, he adds a tiny dosage of no more than 3g/l, to soften the vigorous energy his wine exudes. One could only wish that Guillaume had larger holdings so that we could get a lot more of his wines to sell!
Lay of the Land
Descending from a family that has been making wine for two centuries, Guillaume now farms a very small collection of his own vines. He insists on having full control in order to uphold his organic and biodynamic practices to remain connected through every step of the viticulture and vinification. Guillaume’s vineyards are located just to the west of Reims. It’s all Chardonnay at this domaine from two sites located in two high altitude Premier Cru villages in the Montagne de Reims, Vrigny and Coulommes. The vines are situated mid-slope with northeast and southern exposures on a mix of chalk with a plentiful supply of fossilized seashells and sand, imparting a certain tenacity and lift to his Blanc de Blancs Champagne. Guillaume refers to his own winemaking as minimal and precise—“good grapes make good wine.”
Guillaume Sergent - NV Champagne, ‘Les Pres Dieu’, B.O. (disgorged 07.20)
2 in stock
Inside the bottle: This laser beam, Chardonnay-based, Champagne is a brilliant balance of piercing acidity with finesse and polish. It is a straightforward wine with intensely focussed white fruits and mineral notes that are supported and rounded out by time in old oak casks. The bubbles are extremely fine for a young Champagne and the wine radiates with high energy. Our boy, Guillaume, has come out of the gates with an electric and ethereal style of Champagne. Deep inside the wine, fairy dust, forest floor, mineral and chanterelle mushrooms stay in the mouth long after the last taste.
Terroir: It is difficult to speak of the nature of this wine without referencing the imprinting of its terroir. Located on two vineyard plots, on the Montagne des Reims, the light, sandy-chalk soils elevate the wine's aromas to an ethereal pitch. Both plots are in the advantageous middle of each hill, Les Prés facing northeast, and Les Vignes Dieu, south. The energy of Guillaume's holistic/organic approach is apparent in the delicacy and energy of this micro-production wine. We would buy all of his production if he would let us.
Other stuff: The vineyards are insecticide and herbicide free and plowed by horse. The wines are not stirred to increase texture, the SO2 levels are low (45ppm total), no filtration, no fining, no induced heat and cold stabilization. A dosage of 3 grams is needed to tame this beast in the palate. Guillaume's philosophy is simple: Nature and man have long developed great natural wine from these sites, why change that?