The Champagne Jacques Picard Story
José Lievens and his wife Corinne (née Picard) run their business, and grow most of their grapes, in Berru, a village in the top corner of the Montagne de Reims, East and slightly North of Reims. They own 17 hectares of vineyards, predominantly Chardonnay, and in addition look after some neighbouring vines in the village for Pol Roger. Vines were abundantly planted here before the First World War, but this was a front-line village in both World Wars, and holdings declined sharply after then. Until 40 years ago they looked to be dying out. The renaissance was begun by Roger Picard and continued by his son Jacques, Corinne’s father. Champagne Jacques Picard is still the only Propriétaire-Récoltant in the village, though others farm grapes over a total surface area of 80 hectares.
Watch a video of winemakers José Lievens and his niece Fiona in their vineyards and their cellar (April 2020):
Champagne Jacques Picard Wines
Unusually for the Montagne de Reims, Chardonnay makes up 85% of the blend, and only a very partial malolactic fermentation is employed. The remaining 15% of the two Pinots comes from two Premier Cru villages in the Vallée de la Marne: Avenay Val d’Or and Monbré, where the family purchased vineyards in recent years. The Brut Réserve stays long on the lees and the overall result is a wine with structure, citrusy notes and a delightful freshness from the Chardonnay, but with a mealy richness from the two Pinots. Interestingly and unusually, a part of the reserve wine comes from a solera system, which dates back to 2000. This Chardonnay solera is also significant in the production of the Brut Nature: bone-dry but with a brilliantly soft, creamy texture and a slightly lower pressure of fizz. In addition we have a Rosé, still essentially a Chardonnay blend, with 12 % Pinot Noir juice added to the
Chardonnay before fermentation. We also buy a little of a third exceptional white wine Art de Vigne. This is a single vintage wine made almost every year from 60% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier. The wine ferments in 350 litre barrels, again with no “malo” but with a little bâtonnage until December. Clearly this is a totally different, more oxidative style of Champagne, with gentle vanillin, creamy notes, but with abundant fruit and citrus notes too. The imminent new vintage will be 2007 (4/20).
|JPRESNVH||Champagne Brut Réserve||NV|
|JPRESNVB||Champagne Brut Réserve||NV|
|JPRESNVM||Champagne Brut Réserve Magnum||NV|
|JPNATNVB||Champagne Brut Nature||NV|
|JPNATNVM||Champagne Brut Nature Magnum||NV|
|JPCHR13B||Champagne Blanc de Blancs, Les Champs Renard||2013|
|JPADV05B||Art de Vigne||2005|