In 2018, Stéphane Regnault released his first single-vineyard cuvée from his family’s prime terroir in Oger and Le Mesnil. Only ten years prior, he’d taken over his family’s domaine in the Côte des Blancs after a brief stint as a sommelier in London. He soon became engaged in stimulating conversations with other young producers. These conversations influenced his decision to stop using herbicides in the vineyards as well as his gradual conversion to organic farming. In 2014 he became the only certified organic producer based in the famed Le Mesnil. An anomaly to say the least, but his conversion represents a huge and necessary step towards bringing life back to such a famous terroir.
The domaine consists of four hectares of Chardonnay equally divided between the legendary chalk terroirs of the Grand Cru villages Oger and Le Mesnil. The majority of the vines are between 40 and 60 years old.
Stéphane’s cuvées exemplify a harmonious marriage between the unique character of each vineyard and the Champenois tradition of multi-vintages. Stéphane has selected three parcels for his cuvées: Chemin de Flavigny in Oger, Moulin on the border between Oger and Le Mesnil, and Hautes-Mottes in Le Mesnil. Each parcel is fermented and vinified in a similar fashion – ⅔ in stainless steel tanks and ⅓ in used barrels. Malolactic fermentation is neither prevented nor encouraged. Each harvest, Stéphane allows the wine to develop naturally, and after regular tasting, he selects the perfect time to blend the barrels and tanks into one of the three perpetual soleras that are kept separately for each of the three cuvées.
An interesting side note: Stéphane is a passionate jazz saxophone player as well as a passionate wine producer. In a nod to both passions, he has named his three cuvées after a different music mode that each reminds him of.