JM Seleque Solessence Brut Champagne NV
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Jean-Marc Sélèque came back to his family domaine in the Coteaux Sud d’Epernay in 2008. The Coteaux is a part of the Vallée de la Marne that runs south of Epernay, mirroring the landscape of the Côte des Blancs, situated just to the east. From the vineyards in 1er Cru Pierry, you can see the hillside of Cramant just across the valley. As the terroir and exposition here is similar to the Côtes des Blancs, you find mostly Chardonnay planted in this area of the Vallée de la Marne. Jean-Marc has vines in seven villages – Pierry, Moussy, Epernay, Dizy, Mardeuil, Boursault, and Vertus (in the Côte des Blancs).
In the cellar, Jean-Marc is using mostly stainless steel, but is increasing the amount of wine fermented and aged in 300L and 600L barrels (currently about 35% of production.) He buys used barrels from Burgundy and purchases 3-4 new barrels per year. Wild yeasts start fermentations in barrel and in stainless, but Jean-Marc will use a neutral yeast from Champagne if necessary. Malolactic fermentation happens naturally- it is not induced or blocked- so it occurs as it will, on some barrels or tanks and not on others. The amount of time on the fine lees is detailed in each wine below and Jean-Marc is now (as of 2010) aging his wines on cork instead of crown cap. Cane sugar is used for dosage on the Tradition NV and concentrated must is used for dosage on the other wines.
“Solessence” is Seleque’s flagship wine, representing nearly half of total production and including all seven villages where Jean Marc grows vines. 50% Chardonnay, 40% Meunier and 10% Pinot Noir with an average vine age of 40+ years, half of the blend is reserve wine, which is a perpetual reserve aged in barrel, while the base wine is made predominately in steel and aged on its lees for 20 months. This is a generous-in-style, non-vintage bottling with a 2015 base vintage and dosage of only 2 grams per liter.