The why, the what and the how of...

Pierre Peters

Champagne Pierre Péters is one of the most highly respected champagne growers in the village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, in the heart of the Côte des Blancs.

Fourth generation wine maker Rodolphe Péters crafts champagne that is both delicious in their youth, but also make for “excellent candidates for long ageing, developing a wonderful complexity and depth over time”, writes UK’s Decanter magazine.

Originally founded in 1919 under the name Camille Péters, the name Péters is synonymous with Le Mesnil-sur-Oger; with nearly three-quarters of the estate’s vineyard holdings located there. The single vineyard cuvée, Les Chêtillons (produced from vines up to 80 years old) is exclusively from Mesnil, whilst the rest of the range are grand cru blends produced from the villages of the Mesnil, Oger, Avize and Cramant.

The estate aims for environmental sustainability in its viticulture, avoiding pesticides and herbicides. The yields are managed through cover crops and regular ploughing. Rodolphe Péters vinifies all of his wines in stainless steel tanks, as he believes that this better retains the original purity and character of the fruit. His champagnes demonstrate the fine acidity and prominent chalkiness typical of the Côte des Blancs; with a focusing on refinement and harmony rather than overt concentration.

The non-vintage Cuvée de Réserve Brut Blanc de Blancs is a blend of the grands crus villages of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger, Avize and Cramant. This is arguably one of the finest non-vintage blanc de blancs around with its degree of complexity, precision and expressive character (dosage is 5.7 grams/litre). They also have a non-vintage Cuvée Extra-Brut Blanc de Blancs, which is the only cuvée in the range released as an extra-brut (dosage of 2 grams/litre).

One of the distinctive features about the champagnes of Pierre Péters is that their reserve wines are based on a solera system called a perpetual reserve. “In our perpetual reserve we have all these vintages (1988, 1990, 1993, 1995 and 1996, 1997 plus every other vintages except for 1999 and 2003, which were too fat and heavy”, explains Rodolphe Péters. The non-vintage wines consist of 50% of the current year and 50% of the perpetual reserve.

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