About Mouzon Leroux
Sébastien Mouzon is one of the rising stars of Champagne. His simple goal: to produce the best natural expressions from each individual terroir. The Mouzon family possess about 50 separate plots spread across 7.5 hectares of vineyards in the Grand cru village of Verzy. All the estate is biologically certified with biodynamic practices being introduced in 2008.
The Mouzon family have been winegrowers since 1776 and originally supplied grapes to Veuve Clicquot. They first began bottling under the label of Champagne Mouzon in 1930. This was changed to Mouzon Leroux in 1976 with the marriage of Sébastien's father Philippe to his mother Pascale Leroux who are still an important part of this estate to this day.
Sébastien after completing his degrees in oenology and viticulture, spent a year working in Burgundy giving him greater insights towards the use of oak for fermentation and maturation. He then returned to the family estate in 2002. All wines are produced as 'naturally' as possible. Grapes are harvested at a ripeness level where chaptalization is not necessary. The initial fermentation occurs with indigenous yeasts and then aged further in vats or barrels giving greater depth and complexity to the wines. The wines do not undergo filtration or fining and then spend an extended period on the yeast lees prior to disgorging. The wines are pristine and focussed, with wonderful depth and minerality. Dosage is minimal. Such great wines are not a product of the cellar but the purest expressions of the vineyards themselves.
Verzy is a grand cru in the Montagne de Reims a region renowned and dominated by pinot noir. There are two exceptions: to the east of Verzy, the villages of Trépail and Villers Marmery which are exclusively chardonnay, due to the lighter clay soil and chalk mix. To the west of Verzy are the villages of Verzenay and Mailly where there are much heavier clays and chalk that is 3 metres deep. This allows the village of Verzy to uniquely produce both exceptional chardonnay and pinot noir. Hence their plantings of pinot noir are situated on the western side of Verzy and the chardonnay to the East. Unlike the villages of Ambonnay and Bouzy which are south facing that give power and weight to the wines, Verzy faces North East giving finesse, tension and precision. 200 years ago, the most important flint quarry of the Marne was situated in Verzy, and there is a flinty minerality that resonates in the wines.
After tasting at the Verzy cellars we accompanied Sébastien on a tour through his prized vineyards. His dedication and passion for his vines is instantly evident in the vineyard. Sébastien believes in the natural order of the vineyard and seeks biodiversity throughout. Horses are used to plough the vineyards allowing aeration but not compaction of the soil. Plants and flowers are allowed to grow under and around the vines, with herbicides and insecticides being avoided. I was surprised by seeing a cherry tree planted in the middle of a vineyard. Sébastien explained that it was for biodiversity of the vineyard and that it would attract birds helping to reduce the insect population. While walking through the vineyard, the comparison with the neighbouring vines was apparent, the health and vigour of the Mouzon vineyards obvious. The family estate consists of 30% chardonnay, 60% pinot noir, 4% pinot meunier and adding to the diversity they also have small plantings of the 'ancient' varieties; Arbanne, Petit Meslier, Pinot Blanc and Fromenteau. One of the few growers to have all seven permitted varieties. This is an exciting new producer to watch.
16 rue Basse des Carrières
51 380 VERZY
Tel.: +33 (0)3 26 97 96 68
Fax: +33 (0)3 26 97 97 67