Champagne Roger Coulon
Eric and Isabelle Coulon are the representatives of the eighth generation of the Coulon family to be engaged as recoltant-manipulant growers, producing Champagne from Vrigny and the surrounding villages in the northwest corner of the Montagne de Reims. Since 1806, this family has gradually increased its holdings so that there are now 10 hectares (24.7 acres) under vines, almost all located within the 1er Cru rated villages of Vrigny, Coulommes and Pargny (more than 80 plots), about 10 kilometers in distance from Reims. Production at Champagne Roger Coulon is approximately 90,000 bottles per year.
The vineyards are planted 40% to Pinot Meunier, 30% to Pinot Noir and 30% to Chardonnay. The average age of the vines is 38 years, a rarity in Champagne where old vines, and the limited production that is the result thereof, are often considered a curse rather than a blessing. Further, the vineyards are planted by the selection massale process rather than with modern clones. No herbicides are used, and harvest is done manually. The juice from the red grapes is fermented and aged in stainless steel but much of the Chardonnay is fermented in small oak barrels (not new). Only the natural, indigenous yeasts are used. The use of sulfur is limited. Depending on the harvest, the rate used is always under the Champagne average.
"Eric Coulon crafts beautifully expressive, resonant Champagnes. One of the distinctive attributes of these wines is the significant presence of Meunier in many of the cuvées. Aging in oak brings out added texture without being dominant or overpowering. All four wines I tasted were superb and full of character."