Peter Liem, one of the foremost Champagne experts and enthusiasts, called Benoit Lahaye “one of the finest growers in the Montagne de Reims.” From his estate in the Grand Cru village of Bouzy, Benoit crafts tiny amounts of exquisite Champagne built on texture and precision. Lahaye’s wines are ample, powerful, but also finely sculpted, with a backbone of chalky minerality, always a hallmark of the finest wines from Bouzy.
An ardent believer in biodynamic viticulture, Lahaye was cerfitied organic in 2007 and biodynamic since 2010. He believes that healthy soils are integral to the production of fine Champagne. To that end he began planting cover crops in the vineyards and works them by horse in order to avoid soil compaction. Since converting to biodynamics Lahaye has observed an increase in both grape ripeness and acidity, enabling him to create wines of breadth and power that nonetheless retain freshness and elegance. Lahaye ferments the majority of his wines in barrel and ages them on the lees for several months before bottling.
These are ample wines, showcasing the finest qualities of this grand cru terroir. While the vast majority of the wines are composed of Pinot Noir from Bouzy and a little from Ambonnay, Lahaye also has a small parcel of Chardonnay in Voipreux, near Vertus, which is the source of his stunning Blanc de Blancs. Moreover, he produces a single-vineyard Champagne called Le Jardin de la Grosse Pierre, made from a field blend of old vines, mostly planted in 1923. Not only does it include all seven of Champagne’s heritage grape varietals, but also a number of other no longer permitted varietals, such as gros plant. It is one of the most distinctive wines in Champagne.
Simply put, these are some of the most exciting wines in the Montagne de Reims. Often very difficult to find, we are thrilled to have been offered a small allocation for Ontario.