Nathalie Vranken | wine spectator

Nineteenth-century France was hungry for change and creativity. The new society that emerged at this time gave birth to the famous brands now called “luxury brands”, for which the unique know-how passed down from generation to generation is in the spotlight, a tradition that continues to embody excellence. today. Alongside Louis Cartier and Thierry Hermès, a singular woman also imposed her vision: Madame Pommery. With the creation of the first brut in history, Madame Pommery presented a unique definition of Champagne.

This creation of the brut category in 1874 remains the foundation of the house, the basis of its history.

Maison Pommery’s quest for excellence does not stop at this unique creation. After the brut came the vintage, a unique cuvée highlighting the seven grands crus that make it up.

It is therefore easy to understand why Maison Pommery did not produce any other prestigious cuvée for a long time apart from this one.

It took almost 100 years and all the thoughtfulness of Prince Alain de Polignac to create the Cuvée Louise in 1979, a vibrant tribute to women. Nothing more mysterious, nothing more sophisticated, nothing more elegant has been produced since then. The Cuvée Louise is a story, a beautiful story, as only the best craftsmen can tell.

The first crude in history
In 1858, Madame Pommery took the helm of Pommery & Greno after the death of her husband, basing the expansion of her house on the creation of wines like no other, with a constant requirement: quality pushed to the extreme. Aware of the importance of the origin of the grapes in the quality of its wines, it has built up over the years a collection of the most beautiful vineyards of Champagne. In terms of taste, it was ahead of its time. It was she who created Pommery Nature in 1874, the first brut Champagne to be commercially successful, thus breaking with the tradition of very syrupy wines. A woman in a man’s world, she has imprinted her personality on her Champagnes. The purity and finesse of Pommery wines perpetuate this heritage.

The Pommery estate, an incredible dream
From 1863, with the growing growth of sales and the adoption of a stock management strategy by Madame Pommery to ensure the quality regularity of each cuvée, it became clear that the cellars of her house in rue Vauthier-Le lacked square. -Black, in the heart of Reims. Madame Pommery knew very well that, if she wanted to ensure the success of her ever-growing and self-sufficient brand, she needed a more functional establishment, bringing together all her wine-growing activities in one place. The Saint-Nicaise hill, then at the gates of Reims, dominating the cathedral, offered many assets: available land, possibility of expansion, passage close to the imperial road, presence of the Galloroman chalk quarries. In July 1868, Madame Pommery launched what would be the biggest construction project of the century in Reims: the transformation of the chalk pits into wine cellars. It took a huge project, the construction of which lasted more than 10 years, to build all the exterior buildings, plant 25 hectares of vines and dig the 18 kilometers of interconnected galleries that linked the 60 chalk pits together. The Pommery estate measures 55 hectares in total, which, for comparison, is the equivalent of the Louvre Museum, the Tuileries Gardens and the Place de la Concorde combined.

Cuvée Louise 2005 “Parcelle”, the new exceptional vintage
The 2005 harvest, which took place under cool, dry and sunny weather conditions, was marked by quality and abundance. All the ingredients were there to deliver a great vintage for a new Cuvée Louise. By taking the time to select the best plots, waiting the necessary time before harvesting, picking only the finest bunches, selecting the purest juices during pressing, Maison Pommery has perfectly revealed the potential of this exceptional year, while preserving the identity of the terroirs of the three grands crus that make up Cuvée Louise: Ay, Avize and Cramant. The Cuvée Louise 2005 harmoniously merges these three terroirs to express the quintessence of the Pommery style, while incorporating the characteristic features of the vintage.

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Elisha A. Tilghman