Jérôme Prévost

La Closerie,
Jérôme Prévost

VigneronJérôme Prévost
LocationGueux (Marne)
Size of Domaine2.2 ha
TerroirContinental climate with oceanic influence. Light sandy soil and clay-limestone over chalk bedrock. Single vineyard. 120m altitude.
ViticultureSoils are partially hand ploughed, no herbicide or insecticide. Sulphur and copper against mildew/oidium although fungicide might be used in case of extreme pressure.
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Jérôme Prévost started in the village of Gueux (to the west of Reims) in 1987, taking over a 1.5ha parcel of pinot meunier vines called Les Béguines inherited by his mother. It was her who spurred him into action by doubting whether he could ever make it as a winemaker!

Jérôme sold his grapes on to the négoce for the first ten years, primarily because he didn’t have a cave. Between 1998 to 2003, he worked with iconic grower Anselme Selosse who allowed him to use his cellars in Avize – from where he made his first bottlings of Les Béguines. He then crafted his champagnes in a garage behind his house. And finally, in 2018, Jérôme moved to a beautifully designed eco-friendly cellar (and house) adjacent to his plot of Les Béguines.

He is an artist at heart, working as a painter as a young man, and then later turning his hand to sculpture and photography. He loves to scour local flea markets for tiny 'objets d’art', he also writes poetry and regularly organises literary celebrations.

Jérôme has an interesting angle when questioned as to whether a vigneron is similar to an artist – "You have to listen to nature with the sensitivity of an artist, perhaps. But then an artist seems to have mastery of their art. A good grower? No – as nature is ultimately the master."

Les Béguines is a 2.2ha vineyard where the 55 million years old Thanetian soils are a deep strata of clays, sands and limestone, that weather out many marine fossils. Planted by massal selection on good rootstock in the 1960s before "the industrial revolution arrived in the vineyards (1970s) with clones and chemical solutions becoming the norm". Yields here are naturally low and give intense fruit, particularly important for the pinot meunier, which is not overly perfumed and gives little unless picked ripe. "As it was very rarely picked at optimum maturity in the region, it doesn’t have the reputation that it deserves", comments Jérôme.

Viticulture is straightforward although meticulous – light hand ploughing under vine at the end of winter, grass is allowed to grow naturally until summer when it is mowed, and sexual confusion is practised against harmful insects (the use of pheromone which confuses males that are trying to mate).

His champagnes are made in an unmanipulated style: no unnecessary use of gadgetry and electricity, fermentation with indigenous yeasts, vinification and 10-month ageing in a mix of new to 13yo barrels of all sizes from 225 to 600ltr. Jérôme neither racks, filters nor stabilises the still wines and he uses 23g/l for the secondary fermentation. The ageing 'sur lattes' goes on for 14 to 17 months and disgorgement occurs with a dosage of around 2g/l.

Jérôme's bottlings are the ultimate expression of champagne as fine wine, and always repay ageing for several years for anyone who can resist temptation – he reckons that his champagnes start to open out when they are around six years old!

N.B. Concerned about the extreme weather encountered over recent vintages and their potentially devastating effects on yields, Jérôme started a mini-négoce in 2019. He works in close relationship with a few vignerons, tending some of the vines himself, and applies the same dedication and attention to detail as he does with his own vineyard – see wines below.

Jérôme Prévost Wines

Les Béguines
90% Pinot Meunier, 10% Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris & Chardonnay
90% Pinot Meunier, 10% Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris & Chardonnay (12.5% alc.)
(12.5% alc.)

The initial still wine from the 2020 vintage was oak aged in new to 13yo barrels for ten months, before being bottled and then disgorged in August 2022 at which point 2g/l dosage was added. Rich, vinous, dense, complex and extremely long on the palate but all the time beautifully fresh and balanced.

90% Pinot Meunier, 10% Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris & Chardonnay
90% Pinot Meunier, 10% Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris & Chardonnay (12.5% alc.)
(12.5% alc.)

Jérôme makes this extremely delicately coloured fine rosé by the addition of one barrel of pinot meunier red wine aged for 11 months and then gently infused and married with the white wine – the idea of doing a saignée just for the sake of colour was not for Jérôme. It’s an extremely fine example with layers of delicately perfumed spiced red fruits and an incredible textural finesse. Disgorged 10/22 - Dosage 2g/l.

80% Pinot Meunier, 20% Chardonnay
80% Pinot Meunier, 20% Chardonnay (12.5% alc.)
(12.5% alc.)

The 'Closerie &' cuvée was created to compensate losses due to different climate change related issues (hail, frost, storm etc). Grapes can come from different parts of Champagne depending on the year, some of them are tended by Jérôme and his team, others by the owners themselves – always in close collaboration i.e. both the date of harvest and sorting of the grapes are in Jérôme’s hands. In 2020, the pinot meunier came from Gueux while the chardonnay was sourced in Cuis 1er Cru (Côtes des Blancs). Disgorged 08/22 - Dosage 2g/l.

GRAND CRU (2020)
50% Pinot Noir, 50% Chardonnay
50% Pinot Noir, 50% Chardonnay (12.5% alc.)
(12.5% alc.)

As per the 'Closerie &' cuvée (see above), grapes are bought from reliable and trusted sources. The chardonnay came from Le Mesnil GC (Côtes des Blancs) while the pinot was sourced in Puisieulx GC (Montagne de Reims), both plots were planted in the 1960s. No reserve wines, no dosage and disgorged 08/22. As Jérôme puts it, "my usual agricultural and winemaking practices are applied, and this bottling showcases the vineyards' noble pedigree."

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