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The art of intergrating oak!
The Doyard family is the 12th generation to run their winery on the Côte des Blancs (since 1677) and the 4th generation to prepare vintner champagne as Récoltant-Manipulant (R.M.).
Ten hectares of Chardonnay and one hectare of Pinot Noir are divided between the Premier Cru community of Vertus and the Grand Cru communities of Oger, Le-Mesnil-sur-Oger, Avize, Cramant and Aÿ. The average age of the vines is 40 years, the vines grow - unusual for the Côte des Blancs - in cordon training to keep the yield low. Chemical-synthetic sprays have been avoided since 1990, and Doyard has been working organically to biodynamically for a few years - but without certification.
Doyard's champagnes are worth every penny. About 50 percent of the grape harvest is sold to large houses. In your own company, you only process what actually has first-class quality, as Guillaume Doyard emphasizes.
In the cellar, each plot is vinified separately. Doyard uses the Coquard PAI press which is considered one of the best and of course only the first pressing is used. They even go a step further and divide this first pressing into three different cycles. Only the first two cycles are used for the vintage champagnes.
Some of the base wines are fermented and aged in wooden barrels without batonnage. Doyard does not use new casks, only those that are at least three years old. Malolactic fermentation is only desired in part for the basic cuvées; it is avoided in the top segment.
Doyard produces champagne at a slightly lower pressure, around five bars. This is partly a matter of personal preference, and partly because of Doyard's appreciation of manufacturing in the olden days where bottle fermentation took place under natural cork rather than crown caps. This results in less pressure than we are used to today - and thus a finer perlage.
Doyard's champagnes are elegant, mineral, sometimes puristic and have their own personality. They are among the most respected on the Côte des Blancs. The long yeast storage in combination with the lower pressure ensure extremely harmonious, very fine products.
In 2024, two new champagnes from single vineyards - one Vertus, one Avize - are to come onto the market.
Facts: R.M., Vertus, Côte des Blancs, 10 ha. 50,000 bbl/year